When new players come into no limit Texas Hold’em then they often struggle with the way that pots escalate. Let us look at an example here to show you what I mean.
Unlike in poker tournaments then cash game players are frequently playing with 100bb or more during their session and on multiple tables if they just happen to be multi-tabling.
So they raise with a hand like A-K which is pretty standard. But when you do this in a tournament for example and you only have say 20bb at the start of the hand then you really cannot make a big mistake.
POKER FACT: To make a big mistake in a hand of poker really involves having a big stack. This is why many tournament players struggle with the transition to ring games because instead of being all in before the flop or on the flop then they have to play through the streets.
Easier to Stack Off
So if you have a hand like A-K and you raise with it then you have already made it much easier for you to end up all in with 100bb.
However do you really want to get all in when you are building a mediocre hand in any poker game? What you need to remember when you play a hand like A-K is that you are either going to flop no pair with overcards or top pair and top kicker.
This is on boards like A-10-8 and K-Q-6 for example. If you bet on an A-10-8 board then you figure to probably have the best hand but let us also say that you raised from early position as well and three opponents called.
No Easy Way Out
- Irrespective of what you do then you are really in an awkward spot.
- If you bet to protect your hand and it gets called then the pot is escalating with you being out of position and somewhat in the dark.
- If you check and someone bets then you are getting involved after it looks like an opponent could have bet simply because they saw weakness.
This is why position is so important in poker because here we have a situation where you have a good hand and you have hit a decent flop and you are still in a tricky position.
Checking though does control the size of the pot and folding the best hand in a small pot is only a smaller error but calling with the second best hand in a big pot is a huge error and the greater of the two evils.