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Poker Article: Texas Holdem Strategy - Pocket Jack Ten Unsuited Hand

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Here's a tip for all of your Holdem players, that may not appear obvious:

So you decide to play in a Tournament on your favorite Internet Poker Site. Early in this Tournament, you play well, and you are the early chip leader. On the next hand, you are the first player to the left of the blinds, so you will bet first. You receive a Jack of Clubs and a Ten of Spades (hence, pocket Jack 10 unsuited). Given that it is your turn to bet, should you raise the bet, call the big blind, or fold the hand ?

If you took a survey, many Holdem players would state that a Jack-10 unsuited pocket hand is a strong hand. Nothing could be further from the truth. This particular pocket hand has a probability win rate of only 9.4 %. The hand alludes to the fact that you have a possibility for a straight (which you do have so far), but based on mathematical probabilities, it is just not a very strong hand. It is only ranked the 50th highest pocket hand, out of 169 different possible pocket hands, that can be delivered.

Since you are the first to bet in this scenario, and you have no visibility into the hands of any of your opponents, you should not consider raising or calling this bet. Since you are the leader in this Tournament thus far, and you do not want to squander your lead or money, you should fold this hand. This may not be what you would normally have considered, but again, based on the laws of probability, you should definitely fold, and preserve your capital here.

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