Poker tips for new players looking to improve their skills are easy to find. However, more advanced players seeking the latest poker strategies are sometimes not so lucky in their search. To assist you develop your game further, the following poker tips on how to play your best and second best poker hands are those commonly used by expert players.
Firstly, let's take a look at how advanced players maximize their wins while keeping the amount of money they lose in poker games to a minimum. Bear in mind this has a lot to do with your starting hand. If your first two hole cards are a Seven of Diamonds and a Two of Clubs, you'll most likely fold before the flop. You can exit the game losing nothing except your blind if it was your turn to post one. However, if you get an Ace of Spades and an Ace of Hearts in your first poker hand, you'll have the potential to play a far stronger game. This can either result in you winning a substantial amount of cash or losing it if you stay in the game until final showdown.
What generally separates a winning poker player from a player that loses more games than he wins is how each plays a losing hand. The winning poker player knows that he should either fold early or continue playing with a less than favorable hand providing he knows how to use it to full effect. The strategies that playing a "second best" hand requires depend on whether you're playing a limit or no limit version of poker.
With limit poker, you can still win with a second best hand. Minimize your losses through preflop play by making sure you keep a strong kicker on standby. If you have a single Ace, make sure you complement it with a King or a Queen rather than a Nine which will be easily dominated by your opponent. If you're playing no limit poker, concentrate on playing nut hands. Remember that your pairs are more valuable because they will go toward three and four of a kind, while your connecting cards will increase your chances of making a straight.
The hands that are less favorable to you in no limit poker are high card combinations such as Ace and Queen, Ace and Jack, King and Jack etc. This is because for every small pot these hands win by being high cards, they will lose several more for being beaten when an opponent produces a straight or a flush.
The key to playing a second best hand rather than folding before the flop is trying to determine the strength of your opponents' cards. If you want to engage in some simple psychological warfare, you can gain a good indication of your opponents' hands by raising the bet to see how they react. But bear in mind that the likelihood of you winning a no limit game with just two high cards is very low. Generally it is advisable to fold preflop and hope that your luck improves when your next two hole cards are dealt in the next hand.