There are a lot of theories out there as to how to play small connecting cards before the flop. Though, the majority of how to play small cards is really only down to personal preference, and vary from table to table. Whether you fold, call, raise, or check, it’s usually how you would handle in any other situation.
How to play small connecting cards depends on a lot of factors. Which connectors you choose to play, and what your position is in the table structure. For example, you might want to play excited connectors, or you might not. That’s all a matter of personal preference. The point is that whichever style you adopt, you should have some sort of playing style that suits the hands you choose to play.
An example of a small connecting hand might be hands like 8-9, or 5-6, or even 6-7 suited. All of these hands can be blocked if you raise, so they are not as good as many people think they are. Though, because they are connectors, they are usually the hands you want to see more of, especially the more people at the table you get in.
Other hands that fall under this category would be hands like 6-8, or 7-9, because they have three cards of the same suit. They don’t have to be connected, but if you want three of the same suit, and a fairly good kicker, these are the hands to play. The same concept applies to 8-9, or 5-6, or 7-9. I wouldn’t worry too much or go to the opposite extreme of folding any of these hands, as too many other players will tend to call a limited number of hands with these hands.
A related category of hands, and the next hands up the rankings from the small connecting hands, are the big connecting hands. hands like K-Q, or A-J. The reason behind these hands is the off suit being the key difference, so it is more important to try and get the off suit or the correct side card, rather than the Ace or King.
For a general guide, the later your position, the better your chances of getting a good starting hand. So in early position, you should play more connected hands, and conversely in late position, play more calling hands.
Just because you are calling hands, does not mean that you can get away with playing poor starting hands. You should remember the old adage that, in order to win, you must have a hand. So, if you have a pair of 2’s, it is not advisable to raise or call early position. You might find yourself calling efforts, or even folding, as the odds are against you.
So, the general rule of thumb is that, if you are in a late position, and no one has raised the pot, you should play a few suited cards, like 8-9 offsuit, and suited cards, like 6-8 spades. You really want connectors in this spot. That’s about it. You can play other hands, but it depends on the types of opponents you are up against. If they are loose, play hands that have flush potential, like two picture cards or lower, and beat your hand to a few players who might have video poker flush machines, but you are the chip leader in the tournament.
For a visual aid, look at your bankroll after a session, and compare your chip count with the number of hands you played. After a session, you’ll probably only have about ten to fifteen active hands. This means you could play about ten thousand hands, and win about fifteen thousand. Now, because you only played a limited number of hands, the important records are the ones that you make, not the ones that you don’t make. You actually record how you did against your hand, not whether you won or lost. This makes it easy to learn what you did right and what you did wrong.
Slot MachinesHands rank the same way, and the payout rules are also the same for all poker slot machines. You need to read theRules For Playing Video Poker to learn about which hands to play, when to press the spin button, and what the maximum bet is.
You play video poker at a table, just as you do on a slot machine. The only difference is that the video poker machine is behind a closed door, and you don’t hear the whirr of coins coming into a machine.
The video poker machine works the same as a slot machine, except that you cannot return it to the beginning of the machine unless you press a special switchoff-the equivalent of a pull down lever.