playing over cards

Texas Hold em Starting Hands » Playing Over Cards

In Texas holdem, it's a good idea to try to start with one the 10 best starting poker hands, which include two big cards like AK, AQ or KQ. These are called overcards because they will generally be higher than the cards that come out on the flop. The question then becomes how to play these big cards

Overcards Before the Flop

It's usually a good idea to raise with big cards before the flop in Texas Holdem, especially if you are out of position.

This will help define your hand. If you put in a good-sized raise, you can expect to be called by pairs and hands similar to yours, not hands like 9club 2spadeoffsuit. If you are re-raised, you will have a decision to make.

If you decide that you are up against an underpair, you may want to raise back or flat call and see if you pair the flop.

If you have a hand like AQ and you suspect a hand like AK may dominate you, you might choose to fold.

Overcards After the Flop

If you miss the flop completely and the board is safe looking, you may want to lead out with a feeler bet. For example, a board of 8diamond 4spade 3heart may be a safe one to take a shot at.

This is most effective if you have raised preflop to get hands that might have paired this flop to fold. It's also important to give players holding draws incorrect poker odds to call.

If the board is well-coordinated, for example you hold AK and the flop comes Q J J, it's okay to check-fold.

Overcards on the Turn and River

If you've taken a shot on the flop and been called, it's usually correct to give up on the hand unless you pair the turn.

Whoever calls probably has at least a pair and will likely be willing to go all the way with you. Unless you are prepared to run a huge bluff or have a great read on this player, toss your overcards and wait for a better opportunity.

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