How to play when not getting the hands

    • rich2681
      rich2681
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.02.2011 Posts: 5
      Okay so Big stack and short stack strategy both say as a beginner you should play tight aggressive. So basically look at the starting hand charts and wait for the premium hands and then play them aggressively. This strategy definitely works when you get the hands, but what I've been having problems with lately is how do you play when you are not getting the premium hands? do i start playing a little looser and play speculative hands and hope for a bit of variance or how would you play in this situation?
  • 8 replies
    • Meiffert
      Meiffert
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.10.2008 Posts: 151
      Originally posted by rich2681
      how do you play when you are not getting the premium hands? do i start playing a little looser and play speculative hands and hope for a bit of variance or how would you play in this situation?
      You fold. Also this is a good answer. ;)
      Big stack and short stack strategy both say as a beginner you should play tight aggressive. So basically look at the starting hand charts and wait for the premium hands and then play them aggressively.
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      Hey rich2681,

      First of all, welcome to our community!

      As for your question, it's pretty simple really: you don't play them! If you are sticking to a starting hand chart because you are just starting out, just follow it closely. If you're not getting any hands that are listed in the chart, just keep folding until you do get them.

      Once you get more experience it will be fine to deviate from the chart for sure, but it is certainly a great place to start. You just need to make sure to follow it quite strictly for the time being.

      A great way to really get started is to take our Beginner's Course: http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/1992/1/

      By following this course, you will walk through the basics of No Limit Hold'Em cash games step by step. I can strongly recommend taking this course!

      Kind regards,
      Tino
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      If your playing tournaments and can't just sit there and keep folding keep an eye on the table and identify the players who don't defend their blinds and just take them.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,915
      Originally posted by JimC6
      If your playing tournaments and can't just sit there and keep folding keep an eye on the table and identify the players who don't defend their blinds and just take them.
      Besides the starting hands charts for tournaments, there are also stages.
      There are articles that describe the stages, and as you move through the stages of a tournament, hands you would never play early on can be played.

      Also, the premium hands from earlier stages get played much more aggressively.

      There is a lot to be said for folding in tournaments too.

      The early stages of the low-BI tournaments are full of people who limp every hand, so you get lots of 5-way flops -- just stay out of the way until they've all busted out.

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Hi rich2681,

      Ok, so here we are, sitting around card dead and twiddling our thumbs, checking our email/twitter/facebook, whatever; bored, bored, bored...yawn, yawn, yawn.

      I got a better idea! Look around the table and pick out one player, if you play often try picking a player who plays a lot perhaps on multi tables.
      Study this player, take notes. What position did he raise from, did he get to showdown, how did he play, what bet sizes did he use? Take notes, study the players, take more notes. :)

      This isn't to pass the time, but to introduce the study side of the game. You will learn a lot from it about your own game to. What would I have done there, ask yourself?
      Ask questions all the time; watch the other players, all the time. Watch your knowledge take a leap up!

      Hope that helped a bit, have fun learning,

      Mal.
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,255
      Originally posted by JimC6
      If your playing tournaments and can't just sit there and keep folding keep an eye on the table and identify the players who don't defend their blinds and just take them.
      Agree totally.

      Plus consider stealing as many unopened pots as you can from late positions (i.e HJ, CO, BU, SB).

      However be careful from the hijack because sometimes players behind you have been waiting for a chance to steal and may try to resteal.
    • JimC6
      JimC6
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2011 Posts: 458
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      Besides the starting hands charts for tournaments, there are also stages.
      There are articles that describe the stages, and as you move through the stages of a tournament, hands you would never play early on can be played.

      Also, the premium hands from earlier stages get played much more aggressively.

      There is a lot to be said for folding in tournaments too.

      The early stages of the low-BI tournaments are full of people who limp every hand, so you get lots of 5-way flops -- just stay out of the way until they've all busted out.

      Cheers,
      --VS
      I agree, the only times I ever get knocked out of a tournament is the hands where I don't fold.
    • RasTweet
      RasTweet
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 4,553
      Originally posted by JimC6
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      Besides the starting hands charts for tournaments, there are also stages.
      There are articles that describe the stages, and as you move through the stages of a tournament, hands you would never play early on can be played.

      Also, the premium hands from earlier stages get played much more aggressively.

      There is a lot to be said for folding in tournaments too.

      The early stages of the low-BI tournaments are full of people who limp every hand, so you get lots of 5-way flops -- just stay out of the way until they've all busted out.

      Cheers,
      --VS
      I agree, the only times I ever get knocked out of a tournament is the hands where I don't fold.
      I'm a complete MTT fish, but I cashed some! Just folded my way ITM :D and the ocasional "get AA double up :D "

      In a cashgame though if I don't get hands I keep folding. It's better to lose a small amount by doing nothing then losing a big amount because I'm trying some fancy stuff.