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

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So, you are in the middle of an exciting Texas Holdem Poker Tournament, and you are on a 9-player table, where seats number 3 and number 4 are the Small Blind and Big Blind. You are sitting at seat number 2, and you were dealt a pocket hand of Queen of Clubs and Ten of Hearts (that is, Queen Ten Unsuited). Moreover, you are currently the chip leader at the table. Everyone has folded to you, and it is your turn to wager, with only the Small and Big Blinds left to follow you. At this point in the game, should you fold, call the 800 chip Blind, or raise your bet in an attempt to get the blinds into folding ?

This is a marginal decision-making area, where your final decision may be based on how well you can predict how the 2 Blind players are at playing. You recognize that you have a chip advantage over these two players, and very often part of playing successful tournament poker is being able to bully your opponents, when you have a chip advantage. By betting more chips that either of them have in their remaining stack, you will be forcing their hand to decide whether or not they want to risk their entire stack to stay in the Tournament. If these two players are generally conservative in nature, then a large raise will probably result in getting them to fold. The worst that can happen to you in this situation is that you will lose your bet, if either of these players calls your bet, and has a better hand. This is a large number of chips, but would not totally devastate you, since you would not be exhausting your entire stack.

On the other hand, if you fold this somewhat weak hand, you will still remain the solid chip leader, and perhaps either the small or big blind players will wind up knocking each other out of the Tournament, if they both decide to stay in the hand. Part of the reason for establishing a chip advantage is to use them to your advantage in bullying tactics. The final determination of whether you stay in this hand or not, should be whether or not your raise is over a certain percentage of your entire chip stack. If your call/raise amount is greater than 30 % of your entire stack, then you should fold this somewhat weak hand. If your call/raise is less than 30 % of your entire stack, and you know the 2 remaining players are somewhat conservative, then you should consider playing this hand via a raise.

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