Pre-Flop Poker Strategies Through Rankings

Playing the wrong starting hands would cost us a lot. Veteran poker players always recommend choosing strong starting hands from the very start of the game.

If we hit a card on the flop that would do no good for our starting hand would be too costly for us. It would be good sense to get rid of poor cards at once whenever we can so we are left with cards we really need to complete a strong hand. So this cannot be overemphasized: we must play strong hands and just concentrate on this by getting rid of bad cards that don't help.

Rankings can help us in deciding what hand to play. The books "Hold'em Poker" and "Advanced Hold'em Poker" written by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth can help so much in pre-flop poker strategies like deciding what hands to play from start to finish through card ranking. Here, cards are grouped according to ranks and played by how they turn out as strong or high poker hands in the game. For a copy of the books please refer to Sklanskys Hold Em Poker for Advanced Players.

A certain group of computer and poker wizards at Carnegie Mellon tried Sklansky's pre-flop poker strategies through his hand ranking system. Through computer simulation they tested the system against various table play scenarios tight, loose, and other wild plays all in the weirdest they could imagine, totaling millions of plays. With some revisions they have come up with a different a ranking system and hand clustering. They're on http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/People/mummert/poker/.

The above Sklansky system and its modified versions concern only Holdem limit poker. Some further adjustments to the systems are needed for no-limit Holdem applications. When hitting trips in a game or having a pocket pair for a hand, there are implied odds in no-limit, especially when, holding the pocket pair, we hit a flush, especially the nut type. Hence, the needed adjustments on the systems.

Having such hands as the above costs little as against the probably pot and payouts we would get. In some tables, in fact, flops come as cheap as 50 cents but if we peek at the pot there's $20 in it, actually an average amount.

Thus, with such pre-flop poker strategies, we can dare play multiple hands in various positions. But watch our chips closely. Moreover, tight playing is still essential even post flop when we still need to watch out for poor hands and get rid of them pronto.

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