Poker Strategy Against one
Think of twenty-one as the ultimate game of logic in poker, as AK is far and away the best starting hand.
When AK is good it’s really good – when it’s bad it’s really bad – and you want it to be good every time when you’re playing blackjack. You should always raise before the deal, you should aim for 21, and you should shuffle your hand always ensuring there are two high cards forming your final hand.
But you won’t always get AK, and you need to adjust your play accordingly in order to maximise your winning potential when you’re dealt the good hand. Use these slots to help you do that:
When you’re not dealt AK, you want to have a high amount of remaining high cards in total – preferably drawing to a card higher than that. If you don’t get AK, and the table has a lot of lower cards, you should keep folding until you get a chance to get your hand around.
When you’re dealt AK, you will only draw to a two vulnerable cards, so you don’t want to risk busting your hand waiting for AK. Make your raise before the deal happens, then take your time and wait for the next chance to get your AK.
When you’re dealt AQ, you will draw to a potential high, but you have no idea whether the next card will be better than AQ – so you should always raise before the deal is. Even when you’re sure you’re beaten, you should still try to take the risk that the next card could still give you a hand. If you’re not sure, you’re better off checking and folding – unless the whole table is folding, in which case you should stay in to see if you can steal the pot.
Most players when they have AK will bet very hard in order to push out other players in the hand, so you can either raise him if you think you have a better hand (and therefore start the hand from behind) or you can fold and save your chips for another hand.
With AQ, some people keep betting hard as if they had AA, and at that moment you’re probably better off saying something like “I dare you”. If you dare others to bet, they’ll probably bet hard, but I personally find it much more enjoyable to let them bet until the turn or river comes, and then raise. Occasionally bet hard after the flop to encourage action.
With JJ, you should always bet to gain information and should bet hard after the flop when you hit your pair. A pair is a strong hand no matter what, so you should defend it strongly.
And with all pocket pairs, you should bet hard after the flop when you hit your set.
When everyone checks, you should bet hard before the flop. Try to steal the blinds before they have a chance to check. When they check, you should bet hard to induce action.
When an ace or king hits on the flop, you should bet hard. At this point, if you have information on the other players’ hands, you can either play plausible hands to steal the blinds or could bet hard to take down the pot. You want to take down the pot no matter what happens, but if you have no information on the other players’ hands you should fold. A continuation bet against one of the players with the worst hand could end up being a call many times.
If no one hits on the flop, you should bet hard again. If anyone bets, you should throw out a decent hand. Continue this poker strategy against one of the players. You’ll probably lose a lot of money if you have a weak hand against one of the players. But, you’ll turn out okay if you ride out the losing bets.
If you hit your set, you should bet hard. Continue this poker strategy against one of the players. You’ll probably lose a lot of money if you have a weak hand.
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