Pocket Pairs in Poker Only Get You So Far

If there is one weakness that newcomers to the world of poker tend to have, it is that they over focus on the hand they are initially dealt. In Texas Hold ’em this is just not smart and it leads to a lot of issues that are going to wind up with these same players feeling that they got the dreaded bad beat, sometimes even sending them into a seriously negative tilt that they are unlikely to have skills to break out of. If you want to play smart, then you need to realize that your hand at the outset of the game, no matter how awesome it is, only goes so far. You are going to need the community cards in order to pull off a serious victory.

Pocket pairs are one of those things that new players get far too focused on. They seem to believe that since they got an Ace King or a Pair of Queens, they are really going to have a great hand and start pulling in the profits. This is not at all how things work. It is far too easy for someone else to put together another hand, using the cards on the table in a wiser manner, and simply beat them. This is a reality that poker players absolutely must understand. You do not want to make betting decisions based solely off the hand you are initially dealt. Resist the urge to even let that wonderful Pocket Pair of Aces affect your mood. After all, someone else can beat you with Triple Jacks. That’s no fun and it would all be the fault of you getting too excited over an early hand that would need more work in order to be a serious competitor.

Too many times, players obsess over a pocket pair and fail to take into account the possible combinations that can come up based on the flop. You have got to keep a tight focus on those cards if you are to have a general understanding of what might be possible for your opponent to put together. Once you start thinking about what the flop makes possible then you will be able to see exactly when you have a very high likelihood of holding an advantage versus all the times when it appears you’ve got a great hand but that pair of same suited cards in the flop could well wipe you out. Keep an eye on the flop at all times because it is the real artillery in a game of poker.

In the end, poker is betting and you are going to have to get comfortable with the fact that even if you have very good odds to winning, you automatically still have odds to losing with that excellent hand you hold. This is key to understand and it is exactly why bad beats are really a silly thing to get upset over. Guarantees are not what poker is about, playing to win and doing the best you can with the information you have is what takes poker pairs and makes them into something more than a nifty starting hand.

Page Updated: May 8, 2018