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Pre-flop Strategy – Starting Hand Rankings: Group 6

There are still some good hands yet to be played, but you must be careful! We are running pretty thin at this point. Here are my Group 6 hands:

Group 6: KT QT JT A7s K9s Q9s T9s J9s A5s A6s A4s A3s A2s

Again, this group is a clear departure from Sklansky and the Carnegie Mellon group’s hand groupings. These are late position plays only people! And as you’ve probably learned by now, that if you’re going to play these on the button or one off the button, and everyone has folded up to you or there’s one limper, well you may want to go in for a raise here and there to mix it up.

All the hands of Group 6 are difficult to play. Many of these hands are looking to hit the flush. The odds of hitting the flush or four to the flush on the flop is also around 12%. Having the nut flush draw after the flop is a decent hand, and you may be able to semi-bluff the pot with the flush draw, preferably in late position.

You may also win if you pair up Aces; however this is a precarious situation since you have no kicker. If I do hit the Ace on the flop with one of these hands (14.5%), I will usually bet it to test the waters. If I get raised then I know to let go of the hand. If I’m in early position, I will sometimes check it (sometimes!), to see if anyone else will bet aggressively on the Ace, and then use my best judgment on whether to make that call.

I will not call raises with these hands, and on a tough table, I may not play these hands at all! But I think it’s good to mix things up, so playing some of these weaker hands can confuse your opponents. Occasionally playing them out of position or raising them in late position, etc. can really deceive your opponents. Actually, I should use the term rarely as opposed to occasionally. These moves should be used very sparingly.

This is a beginner’s guide so the simplest strategy would be not to play these hands at all. The next level of difficulty would be to play these hands only in late position. And the level after that would be to play some out of position or with raises in late position.

I hope that makes sense, and this little guide helps you get your feet wet at the no limit tables! Again, this is a beginner’s guide at very low stakes. I’ve introduced my style at play at these levels. And at higher stakes, my gameplay will change. Above is a pretty much straight forward ABC strategy. This will be a winning strategy at the stakes I’ve described, but not necessarily at different stakes. Obviously, the only real answer to a poker strategy question is “it depends.” I’ve attempted to give you answers on how to play no limit Texas Hold’em just to get you started, but after some experience, you’ll see that there is no straight-up guide to direct you. That’s when you’ll start to develop your own style, instincts, and strategies. Good luck and have fun progressing!

Go back to our main starting hand groupings to see how this group fits in with the others.

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