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Winning With Trouble Hands

Ditch your expectations

by Ed Miller |  Published: Apr 29, 2011

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Here’s a question that I’m asked a lot: How should I play A-Q? Or, this: I always seem to lose with pocket jacks; what should I do differently? These second-tier starting hands, frequently dubbed trouble hands, seem to confuse many players. The trick to playing them is to realize that they aren’t fundamentally any different from any other starting hand. Great Expectations It’s funny, no one ever asks me how to play pocket fours. Yet, people ask me about pocket jacks, even though jacks are a much stronger hand than fours. Similarly, no one ever asks how to play 9-7 offsuit. Yet, people ask about A-Q offsuit, a much stronger hand. Why are the bad hands somehow easier to play than the good ones? It’s all about expectations. When you look down at 9-7 offsuit, no fireworks go off in your head. But when you look at A-Q, you get ...


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