Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to Avoid Bad Beats in Poker

Bad beats are going to happen always. The KEY is to NOT play on TILT after they do. If you are lucky enough to suffer a bad beat and STILL have chips left over, consider yourself blessed. Usually, one bad beat follow another, and soon you are out of chips and out of the game.

As was discussed earlier, the only true way to avoid bad beats is to play correctly. Playing correctly puts you in situations where you have the absolute best percentages to win. There is an old saying, “Always Be Raising” or “If you are going to call you may as well raise.”

With those sayings in mind, a good player should ALWAYS raise the big blind pre-flop. Then only exception that I can think of is the late position limp-in where you are trying to see some cards for a minimum amount of chips.

In the better games, at the higher buy-ins, you don’t get to limp-in. Someone seems to always raise. Raising pre-flop eliminates the marginal “fluke” hands that end up giving you a bad beat. You have to make the other players think, and make a decision. This starts with raising the big blind.

More often than not, to a significant raise, the big blind will fold. The big blind gets a FULL bet in before seeing what cards are dealt. The odds of anyone getting a Group 1-4 hand are 11.3%. So, a little more than 10% of the time the BB will have a “great” starting hand. The other 88.7% of the time they will have a “good” hand at BEST! If you have a playable hand, make them pay to play.

The other knock on the BB staying in the hand is that once they pay to stay in, they are rewarded with terrible position.

Perhaps even more importantly, YOU don’t know what kind of hand they have because they put their money in blind. By raising the BB, you at least get SOME information about their hand. Without raising, the BB could have ANY two cards under there.

The BB has two strikes against it pre-flop. They put money in blind, and have terrible position. Raise the big blind. The big blind will give you more bad beats than anyone else. The small blind is second.