Hold ’em Holding the Nuts

Hold ’em Holding the Nuts

Hold ’em is somewhat more volatile than seven-card stud. There is no ante and no reason to stay in if the first two cards are not good (unless you’re the big blind).

On the other hand, this makes pot stealing rather easy. Betting aggressively tells everyone you have two aces or two kings. Sometimes the other players will bow out, or they might think you’re bluffing and call you.

The most promising and occasionally the most dangerous situation is believing you hold the required cards, the nuts, to the best hand. Let’s say you have two aces in the pocket.

You bet aggressively. Some people drop out, but a few stay with you. The flop reveals another ace, a ten, and a four, all unsuited. You have the nuts, so you change strategy and decide to draw people in.

You bet modestly. It works. Nobody folds. The turn brings a two. Everyone checks to you. Again you bet modestly. Everyone calls. You still have the nuts, and you prepare for the kill. The river reveals another ten. Now there is a problem. One of the remaining players could have four tens.

Happily, there is no indication of this because everyone checks to you. You push out a big pile of chips. The first live player to the dealer’s left raises. Everyone folds to you. Now you must fold with a lot of money in the pot, or you pay even more to possibly lose.

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