Not all hands are created equal, but if the right (or wrong) conditions come together, hands that would appear to be very different can actually be fairly equivalent. In poker, there are various «levels» of thinking. At Level 1, players focus on their own cards, without regards for their opponents' holdings. Hopefully, this is not you. Regardless, once we move to Level 2 and consider our opponent’s hand, the value of your hand can change significantly. If you are not careful, you can get married to a hand because of its seeming strength; but not appreciating the concept of hand equivalency can be a costly mistake.
When playing a hand in poker, amongst the myriad of considerations to consider is how to keep weaker hands from folding. The biggest pots are usually the ones where there is a showdown, and the only way to win a showdown is to be against weaker cards when the betting is done and its time to expose the hands. Oftentimes, as a newer or even intermediate player, when you reach showdown against a weaker hand, thus taking the pot, it is somewhat unintentional. Sure, you want to win the pot and you play with that in mind, but are you consciously trying to keep weaker hands in the pot? By tweaking your game slightly, you may be able to do just that, giving you more winning showdowns and more huge pots.
Poker is all about the long term. In any given hand, luck may be the determining factor. You may have gotten your opponent to call your all-in after you flop a straight against his top pair, but if the board goes runner-runner and he ends the hand with a straight, all of your good play can go up in smoke. But that’s okay, because experienced players understand that poker is all about the long term. Your opponent may get lucky in one hand, but if he is the type of guy to call an all-in with top pair, over time you will end up with his money, as long as you keep making that same play with superior hands. Winning one hand may require luck. Winning many hands require skill.
You’re playing a 5 cash game with $10/$20 blinds with A9 in the small blind. You have bet all three streets out of position and on the river the board shows K10QJ6 with no flush possibilities. What should you do?View previous questions