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Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

Test Your Poker Sense With This Texas Hold'em Quiz

23 October 2004

Now that you've nearly all seen Texas Hold'em played on TV and many of you have played it yourselves, let's see how well you know the game. The following questions and answers are all "must know" stuff if you're ever going to be a player with a serious chance to win.

1) The best starting hand you can be dealt is a pair of pocket Aces. What's the worst?

Answer: It's an unsuited 7/2. It's even worse than, say, a 4/2 because it's the lowest possible hand that cannot reach to a straight or make a flush. A 7/deuce offsuit will win the pot less often than any other starting hand.

2) So if A/A is top dog and 7/2 is the bottom of the barrel, how often will the pocket Aces beat the 7/deuce after all the cards are out?

Answer: Seven times out of eight if they both stay to the river.

3) Well then, what is a perfectly "average" starting hand for Hold'em?

Answer: A hand like J/8 falls right about in the middle of the pack among the 169 different hands you can be dealt

4) Then does that mean a J/8 is the minimum hand you should call to see the flop with?

Answer: No! Average hands don't win pots. Good hands win pots. Remember, nine or ten hands will be dealt, but only one can win. That takes a good starting hand.

5) Just how good a starting hand do you need then to be correct in paying money to see the flop?

Answer: That depends a lot on your position in the betting order. You need a better hand in early position than in a late-acting seat. Up front with no information about anybody else's hands, your smallest pair should be pocket 8's and your lowest no-pair hand should be A/J - Q/J if it's suited.

6) Suppose I'm the last player to act?

Answer: From there, you'll have gotten a good read on how many players have enough to play, whether anybody's strong enough to raise, etc. Plus, you'll get to act last after the flop and throughout the hand. If there's been no raise, you can play any pocket pair, or no-pair hands as weak as 9/8 - or 7/6 suited.

7) Generally speaking, what's a good hand on the flop?

Answer: You'd always like to flop the "top" pair. That is, if you have K/Q and the flop comes 5-8-Q, it's a lovely flop for you. That same flop would be even better for you if you held an "overpair" such as K/K.

8) Suppose I have 9/8 with the above flop and somebody bets. Can I call with the second highest pair?

Answer: If the bet came from up front where people should be holding high cards, you should definitely fold. If it came from the back, that player likely would have raised before the flop if he had high cards, so your hand might well be good enough to play. When in doubt, though, fold - you can't stand much heat with second pair!

9) Can I continue on beyond the flop with anything else but a big pair?

Answer: Flush draws and open-end straight draws are usually well worth it too. Suppose you've got 10/J of spades and the flop comes A-7-3 with two spades. Your hand is usually good enough to go all the way in search of a spade.

10) How about the open-end straight draw?

Answer: Say you've got Q/J and the flop is 3-9-10. You've got the top-end straight draw - a pretty nice hand. Be wary though, if you have 7/8 with that same flop. If there are lots of players and a Jack comes, you might lose to a Q/K, a Q/Q or even a Q/8. Overall, with less than a solid pair or a draw on the flop, you usually should check and fold if there's a bet.

Test Your Poker Sense With This Texas Hold'em Quiz is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey