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Poker Article: Texas Holdem Strategy - Pocket Jack King Suited Hand

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Here's a good tip for all of your Holdem fans:

Let's assume that you are playing in a poker Tournament with extremely low buy-in. In the very first hand of this tournament, you receive a pocket Jack King Suited hand (hooray !). Based on well-documented poker probabilities, you instantly realize that the odds of you winning such a hand is 45.3 %. Additionally, assume that for this hand you are in the big blind position at the table. All participants at your table fold, after the pocket hands are dealt, with the exception of the player who is at the small blind position at the table - this chap decides to go All-in. Based on his bet, should you fold the hand or call him and play on ?

Based on the above scenario, your decision should be to call him and play one. For one, you must realize that there are always players that will exhibit this intial "all-in" behavior, when you are playing in a low buy-in tournament. Such impetuous players feel a need to establish dominance at an early juncture of the tournament. If the buy-in were larger, then this may not be the case, but with a low buy-in, players of this nature will very often display such behavior.

Mathematically speaking, your hand has a probability win rate of 45.3 %, and it is the sixteenth best possible pocket hand that you could have received. Hence, it is a sound strategy to call your opponent in this instance, and remain in the hand. If you were conservative and elected to fold, you would unquestionably remain alive in the tournament, and your opponent "may" have gotten his "all-in" urge out of the way. However, given the probability of winning such a hand, and given the nature of your opponent in this very first hand of the tournament, it is a reasonable bet that you will be in real good shape by remaining in the game.

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