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Poker Article: Texas Holdem Strategy - Pocket Fours Hand

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Let's say that you have been playing in your Holdem Tournament for quite some time, and about 60 % of the players in the Tournament are done. Personally, you had been going well in some of the early rounds, but of late, your chip stack has been quite stagnant. Let's say that you are in Seat 8 on a table with only 8 players remaining. In the next hand, you are dealt a pair of 4's, and 2 participants ahead of you (seats 6 and 7) have both decided to call the rather large 600-chip big blind. Given all this, what should you do ? Should you fold, call the blind, or even consider raising the bet ?

The first thing that you should consider when making this decision is that a pair of pocket fours has an approximate win rate of only 8.3 %. Additionally, this pocket hand is ranked as only the 61st strongest pocket hand, out of the 169 possible pocket hands. More importantly, a pair of 4's is the 11th ranked two-card hand. These statistics should alert you immediately that you are playing with a less-than-strong hand. The only way that this hand could develop into something worth betting on, is if a third 4 were to appear on the flop, the odds of which are remote. Even more to the point, the blinds are pretty high currently, so it will be expensive for you to try and chase that third 4. As a result, this hand has disaster written all over it.

Of course, you must be mindful of the blinds becoming increasingly steep, to the point that if you cannot catch a decent hand, their cost will become prohibitively painful. Nevertheless, the pair of 4's, with you in this position on the table, is not a worth playing. You must resist the temptation to play a low pair with this many opponents, while in this position. Besides, if you decide to call the bet, the players following you at the table could decide to raise the bet, or even go all in, after your call the bet. If that materialized, you would have yet another painful decision of either calling those raised bets or not. At this point, you should fold your hand, preserve your current chip total, and wait for a better hand in the Tournament.

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