After you have got your two cards, you need to decide whether you have a chance to get anything with them or not. Whether it’s useful to put more money into this game or not.
Firstly, there are certain cards you should always play (if they’re suited): AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ
Why these cards?
These cards have the highest possibility to beat others – to get high pairs, full houses, flush or four of a kind possibilities. Of course, you do need to think about how much money you need to put into the game as well. For example, AA is the best pair you could have at all. But even with that pair there’s a chance to lose. So if you have AA, no flop has been dealt yet and someone calls ALL-In, then you need to think first whether you are ready for the risk or not. Yes, you do have a great chance to win this game, but these chances are never 100% sure. What I saw in the first few games I played was that sometimes there were no flops when I called all-in. And these players are usually the ones who I cannot beat after all.
Which cards should I play?
Good cards all round. Groups of three, four, five, six and so on. But avoid the high cards. These are the cards that make so many people lose. Why? Because they are very high cards and very often seen. The hands with the highest cards have the least chance of winning. There’s no three of a kind or straight chances for example. So if you see a poker site, make sure you choose a poker site that allows low limit games. Here you can play games with three times the limit. Here you can even find some tournaments.
You can even find some poker sites that allow you to buy-in with 50 dollars at a time, so you don’t need to deposit more than that. And 50 dollars is also the cost of a single sit and go buy-in at Full Tilt Poker.
That’s a lot of money you can save if you only play at low limit tables. And even if you loose, you just lose a minimal amount of money. The best odds are at no limit tables. The players are stronger here.
Another important thing to know before playing is, the more flops you see the more you can bet aggressively. Betting at the pot will allow you to win the most money. We all know the standard raise when you see a hand with high cards. And then we assume that almost all players will call that. Some may but most won’t.
If you move all-in at any time you may take the pot away from someone else with a high flush or straight. Or, if you have the monster hand, you will scare many players out of the hand.
If you have a weak hand, it’s not the end of the world. Though you can certainly take your chips back if you think there is a better one out there.
I am not suggesting you to never bluff, take that decision when you see it. But bluffing when you have a monster is most often wrong.
A tip that I like to use, is to determine if your opponent is a tight or loose player. And then bet carefully depending on your cards. If your opponent is a loose player and you have a good hand, you should bet at them, otherwise, raise them, and fold.
This will also help you to take back the pot, if you are called.
Good luck at the tables!