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Pocket Pairs

This one’s for all my poker-playing friends:

Poker’s a game I love to hate. It’s not just about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play them. I don’t do such a good job at playing them.

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  1. Wow, what a great hand! I love how there were three other good starting hands out there, too: J-T, 7-7 and 5-5.

    One thing about playing low-stakes limit hold ’em (which is what I play in cardrooms) is that it’s mostly about hand evaluation and the math; reading other players rarely comes into it, and even when it does it’s usually just for one small bet (since the betting sizes are fixed).

    No limit hold ’em is rather different, although I don’t quite agree with the maxim that you play the players and not the cards. You need to play the cards too. But knowing your opponents is a much larger factor in individual hands, since the stakes are so much higher. (In limit hold ’em knowing your opponents adds up over the course of many hands, naturally, but the impact is gradual.)