The number of players in the hand

Again, this is a widely ignored factor, which you are not going to ignore.

Certain kinds of hands do well against a small number of opponents. These are hands that can win a pot with little or no help from the board — big pocket pairs and big cards. With a pair of pocket kings, you can often win a pot, betting all the way, without improving that pair. However, as the number of players in the hand goes up, you run a much larger chance of having a little two pair or freak straight beat you. The same holds true for AK, but you probably need to get an ace or king on the flop.

Conversely, some hands are "drawing" hands and need significant help from the board. However, if that help comes, they can turn into very big hands that you are happy to play against a lot of players. For instance, A^-7^ is not a very good hand on its own. Even if an ace flops, you could be in big trouble because of your low kicker. However, if you make a diamond flush, it's the nuts if there isn't a pair on the board,5 and you're delighted to

4A "set" is a pair in your hand and a third card of that rank on the board. It is still three of a kind, but this is more desirable than three of a kind where two of your rank are on the board.

have lots of company in the hand with you. Since these drawing hands need help that comes somewhat rarely (for instance, with a suited ace you will only flop two more of your suit about 11% of the time), you need lots of players in the hand to provide the pot odds to call.

Thus, in general you'd like to play your big cards and high pairs against a small number of players and your smaller pairs and suited cards against many opponents.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment