Hand selection is one of the most important principles that you must learn when playing in the Betfair Poker Live Prague event.
When you are new to the game, you will be compelled to play almost every hand, convinced that the flop, turn and river will provide the miracle combinations you needed to drag the chips in.
This belief sets in when you start to notice that the hands you have just folded would have made monster hands had you played them.
Example: You are playing six-max cash games and are dealt [Qh] [2s] in first position and fold. The flop comes down [3s] [2d] [2h] and you think, ‘Oh man!’
This way of thinking is inherently flawed and it’s all down to simple mathematics. You are playing with one single deck of cards so there are a finite number of possibilities.
In this instance, you will miss the flop far more times than you will hit it, meaning you will likely lose more money when you open with this hand from early position over the long run.
The basic strategy is to open up fewer, but stronger, holdings in early position and then gradually loosen up your starting hands as you move closer to the button. This is because the closer you get to the button the fewer people you have to play against.
The only time you need to veer away from this strategy depends on the strength of your opponents.
For instance, if you feel that you have a very strong edge on your opponents then you can loosen up your starting hand selection from early position, because you don’t fear playing against them from out of position.
Conversely, if you find yourself on a table with quality players then most online poker tips pages will tell you to tighten up even more.