When is It Time to Change Your Poker Hand Selection?

Alexandre “Cavallo” Mantovani, a well-known poker coach and Twitch streamer, is the latest Brazilian poker player to join the 888poker ambassador team. Mantovani is a Brazilian citizen.

Mantovani is the site’s newest instructor for the Made to Learn strategy videos. He joins a list of well-known poker players that includesincluding Vivian Saliba, Samantha Abernathy, and many others. Mantovani is assisting Texas Hold’em fans in mastering the game.

In this edition, Mantovani will walk you through five simple methods for determining when it is necessary to make changes to your poker hand selection.

Adjust for Stack Size Variations

It is critical to understand which hands are more effective when played against short stacks and which are better suited to deep stacks. It is common knowledge that when playing poker, you should aim to participate in large pots with strong hands. This means that when you have a large number of huge blinds, you should prioritize hands with the potential to form powerful holdings, such as straights or flushes.

A hand like ten-nine suited is an excellent example of a deep stack hand, and if it hits, you will usually be rewarded. If it doesn’t hit, you’ll most likely lose your money. When your stack is smaller than your opponents’, any top pair will suffice to get your chips into the middle of the table. A hand like king-jack is another example of a good hand with a good chance of quickly forming a strong top pair.

Position is valuable

When you are in the first position, there are a large number of people who will act after you. After the flop, one of your opponents is very likely to wake up with a strong hand and have a position on you. As a result, you should avoid playing marginal hands from an early position because it makes everything more difficult.

When you are on the button, all you have to do is defeat the blinds, and since you will always act last, expanding your range makes a lot of sense.

Protect Your Big Blind

In poker, the odds of winning the pot, your equity, and your position all play a role. If you’re in the big blind and the antes are being played, and someone min-raises, you have fantastic odds because you’ll get more than four to one if you call the raise. As a result, you should defend your big blind with a different set of hands.

Even if we get great pricing, we’ll be in a worse position after the flop when playing against a stronger range than ours. This means we shouldn’t play the lowest cards, but any hand with an ace, a suit, or connections will suffice to see the flip.

Keep an eye out for the Button and the Big Blind

Every time you play, the button will have a position on you, and the blind will most of the time play a diverse range of cards. If we have strong and aggressive opponents in either of these locations, we should avoid opening hands in our range that are among the weakest in our range. Strong players will put a lot of pressure on this post-flop, so look for better opportunities to attack elsewhere.

If we have inferior hands in these scenarios, our post-flop strategy will be simpler, and we will be able to play more hands against them.

Understand when to raise the bar and when to close the door

We always want to have action when we have pocket aces, but jamming aces may scare away some of the hands that could have given us value if we had just raised instead of jamming. When given the option, our strong hands with good playability both before and after the flop will raise rather than move all in.

Following the flop, some powerful hands are more difficult to exploit than others. Take pocket eights as an example; they will be the best hand preflop the vast majority of the time, but they will be in the minority after the flop the vast majority of the time. If we instead jam with this hand, we not only avoid having to make difficult decisions, but we also force some of the overcards that could outdraw our hand to fold. This is a win-win situation for everyone.

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