Pre-Flop Poker Strategy: Secondary Hands

What if we don't hold primary hands AA or KK? Secondary hands like QQ, JJ, AK suited and unsuited, TT, AQ suited, AJ suited, and KQ suited are still playable with the right pre-flop poker strategy. In fact, most times they also are the most powerful hands at a table in a particular game.

Let's consider QQ, JJ, and AK off-suited. They appear here by their ranking. It is safe to raise with any of such hands, call any raise made on them, and probably a one time re-raise with any of them is not bad. If the pre-flop odds seem pretty clearly against us then we can quietly fold with these hands. For instance, we're raised $2 and we re-raise with another $2. Should somebody want us out and re-raise with $15 (and that's as good as an all in), then fold, regardless of any of the 3 hands. More so if we know that the challenger really has something strong.

However, a good pre-flop poker strategy is to remember that QQ at pre-flop is very seldom beat. Well, at times, pre-flop, the opponent will be lucky and skillful enough to have an AA or KK, and we're caught off guard while bragging about our QQ. This often happens when we're too loose at the start and don't pay attention to other players pre-flop. Players with AA or KK sometimes give off poker tells we should've spotted. Such players are often rigid in play but aggressive with pre-flop bets. We see on their faces and eyes the unmistakable confidence that AA or KK brings.

Spotting such confidence in them and discerning their very strong hands, we fold our pair of queens. Against an ace pair, QQ or JJ is about 80 percent beat. With our suited AK against the opponent's AA, we're almost 90 percent beat. Hence, the important thing here is to be able to tell when an AA or KK is around, and who seems to have it. The player holding one of these hands is bound to act quite confidently and easily, and he will surely call and raise. To save face and our bankroll, we had better fold.

Some poker players may have another view, but in most cases an AK is stronger than a suited KQ at pre-flop. In fact, a good pre-flop poker strategy is to remember that AK is also stronger than suited hands AQ and AJ, especially in no-limit.

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