Your goal when playing poker is to win as much money (chips) as possible. Usually it comes with the best of hands. But there are situations where you can win chips without holding the best hand at the showdown.
Yes, it can happen when you bully your opponent; but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Let me explain.
Playing Texas Hold’em, a situation might arise when you are almost certain that you hold the second best hand with a hand that hasn’t arrived. But the opponent holding the better hand has gone all in. From this point on, every bet or raise goes to the side pot visit KaptenPoker, from which it is issued. Note: After the hand has started, the player cannot buy back chips until after the hand has finished and the dealer has made a payment.
In such situations, it would be ideal if the best hand was used on the flop or before. The more cards that will come up, the greater the chance to build the biggest possible side pot.
Towards that end, use your best judgment when deciding whether to bet, move up, play slow so as not to drive your opponent off, check for raises when you’re pretty sure your opponent behind you will make the bet.
Assuming you’re correct that the all-in player has the best hand on the table, he wins the main pot, but you get the side pot.
Sometimes the side pots can be bigger than the main pot. And, what if you get it wrong: The all-in doesn’t have the best hand. Now you win the main pot and side pot. Either way, that hand can put you ahead for the session.
Here’s an example. This is a $ 4- $ 8 limit hold’em game. In middle position, you are dealt Ac-10d – an excellent starting hand. Preflop, Under-the-Gun (UTG) limping to see failure. Then, the next player, UTG + 1 – the loose-aggressive player – makes a raise (bet 2).
With the A-10 in the hole, you decide to call a raise to see what happens. The player behind you and Button also calls up the raised bet. Then, without hesitation, Rose, in Big Blind, bounced back – betting 3 times.
Rose is an elderly woman who has played against you several times. Most importantly for you, he is a pretty tight player. He had to hold a very strong starting hand to make this reraise.
You put it in handcrafted (like AA, KK, QQ) or premium drawing hands (like AK, AQ, AJ, KQ).
Everyone at the table is focused on the board when the dealer places the flop face up: 9c-Ah-10h.
You’ve dropped the top two pairs on the board, Aces and 10s.
On the flop, the bet is checked against Rose, who goes all-in with her last three chips. You are looking to hold the best hand after Rose. You decide to just call the stakes, rather than raise them and throw any player away, or see if anyone raises. The other three players in hand also only called long. You feel confident that your hand will likely be second to Rose’s.
The turn is 4d – lap – unlikely to help anyone. UTG opens the bet, and is called by UTG + 1. You decide to play it slow (just call) to keep everything in the pot until the river. Everyone (except Rose who was all-in) called. The river is 4, put a pair of 4 on the board.
You’re almost certain that your top two pairs on the board are number two after Rose’s hand. Again, UTG opens the bet and is called by UTG + 1. Pondering the board for a few seconds, you make your raise. They all call.
Wish you were right, you raise your hand: Aces and 10s. You win the side pot. Rose then raised his hand: AK diamond in the hole. You also win the main pot. Wow!
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