The playability of a hand indicates how easy it will be for you to make the best possible decision after the flop. In this video you will learn how playability and domination are connected and how playability influences your starting hand selection.
In this video you will learn… what playability is, how playability influences your hand selection what domination is and how playability leads to domination.
The term playability describes how easy it is to play a hand post flop. So good playability means that it will be much easier to make the best decision postflop. The better the playability of your hand, the more often you will be able to stick in your money as a favourite and consequentially win more money.
You will often ask yourself “Where do I stand with my hand?” How can you know if you're the favourite or not? In many situations, the answer to that question is not clear cut. Let's say you hit a top pair with Ace-Four offsuit on an Ace-Eight-Two rainbow flop. That looks good on first sight. But if your opponent has a better kicker, you're in trouble. You have an OK hand, but unfortunately you're hand is only second best. To make things worse, you can only catch up to your opponent if a Four rolls of, which isn't very likely. You are in danger of losing a lot of money on your way to showdown. Your hand is dominated by your opponent's hand.
If, on the other hand, you were to play with Eight-Seven of Hearts against Ace-King and the flop comes Ace-Nine-Two with two hearts then your hand is NOT dominated. You're behind, but you have a good chance to hit your flush, make a better hand than your opponent and win a big pot. You also know very well that you are way behind should no heart come.
To summarize the concept of domination: A strong hand plays against a reasonable but weaker hand that has little chances of catching up. The one who dominates will win the money
Playability is a key factor in your preflop hand selection. Your goal is to dominate as often as possible. But domination will often only come into play after the flop. The hands that you will make on the flop again depend on your preflop hand selection. This means that you should preferably play hands with good playability. But what constitutes good playability?
Hands with good playability will allow you to win big pots , because you will frequently hold a strong hand and get paid off by second best hands. Typical situations include getting paid by top pairs and two pairs with straights, flushes and sets or getting money in with a top pair that has a better kicker than your opponent's top pair. Therefore, the following hands have a good playability: Aces with a strong kicker, because you can make top pair with a better kicker than your opponent's. Suited hands, to hit flushes Connected hands to make straights And pocket pairs to hit sets! All of these properties increase the probability that you will hit a very good hand that gets paid by a worse hand. Hands with bad playability will allow the exact opposite to happen: Aces with a bad kicker. You will run into better kickers very often. Offsuit cards: They can not make flushes, except for one card flushes. Disconnected cards: They can not make straights, except, again, for one card straights.
Let's look at some examples: Hands like Ace-King, Nine-Eight suited or Pocket Sixes have good playability. You will often dominate your opponent's hand with strong top pairs, straights, flushes or sets. Ace-Queen suited, Seven-Five suited and Jack-Ten offsuit have mediocre playability. You will hit and dominate with monster hands less often. Hands like Ace-Four offsuit, King-Ten offsuit or Nine-Six offsuit have bad playability. You will often be the one who is dominated if you play those hands.
Let's return to the question: "Where do I stand with my hand?". The better the playability of your hand is, the easier it will be to answer that question. You will have an easy decision if one of the following is correct: You are clearly ahead. You try to get money into the pot. You are clearly behind: You play check/fold You have a strong draw: You want to continue, be it aggressively or passively If you face difficult decisions often, you will, on average, make more mistakes and lose money because of that. Therefore your play will be more profitable if you do not put yourself to difficult decisions unnecessarily. Consider, however, that you will also face difficult decisions with hands that have good playability. However, this will happen much less frequently when compared to hands with bad playability.
Let's look at some examples for post flop situations: Pocket Fours has good playability. If you hit your set on an Ace-Nine-Four board you are clearly ahead and you want all the money to go in. On the other hand, if the flop comes King-Queen-Eight, on average you will be behind. You should just give up the hand and not hope that your opponent has not made a pair. Nine-Seven suited has mediocre playability and you hit a reasonable draw on a Deuce-Five-Six board. You have a pretty good idea of where you stand with your hand and you can try to take a peek at the turn. Eight-Seven suited has very good playability. As it will not often lead to difficult decisions postflop where you are worried about folding the best hand. If the flop comes King-Nine-Four rainbow you can easily throw away your hand. On the other hand, you will never be as comfortable with Queen-Four offsuit on a King-Queen-Nine rainbow flop. In this situation you will be facing a very difficult decision and there is no clear advice as to whether you should continue with the hand or how.
Let's summarize what you learned in this video: The playability of a hand indicates whether you will have easy decisions post flop. Suited connectors, pairs and Ace-King have the best playability. Domination means that you are playing against a weaker hand that has hardly any chance to catch up. Your goal is to dominate your opponent's hands. The best way to achieve this is to prefer hands with good playability in your preflop hand selection.