This week’s tip is a two-parter:
Part 1 -”If you really think you are beat, you probably are.” If you are holding a so-so hand, (middle to small pair, gut-shot draw etc) and the board is scary, (three or four of one suit on the board, four cards to a straight, etc) and you are up against someone who you know isn’t a frequent bluffer, use that information to save your chips for a better hand–it will come along.
Part 2 – “What can I beat?” Really look at the board and ask yourself this question every hand, even before the flop. Then consider how many people still get to “act” after you. If you are the first one or two or even three (sometimes) to act after the big blind, ask yourself if you are going to call a big raise with that hand. If not…then don’t call. I like what Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher say over and over and over in her poker seminars: “If you can’t raise with it, don’t call with it.” It is true. Yes, you might get lucky and flop a monster (we all groan inwardly when the flop comes 6,6,2 and you just threw away 2,6. But it is still the right move because only 1 time in 1164 hands would you hit that hand (yes Nancy and Diane, I looked it up). So one time in over a thousand hands you MIGHT make money with that hand–but you will lose money the other 1163.