Winning Hands in Short Handed Texas Holdem

Given the speed at which the game proceeds, it is important that a short handed Texas Holdem player is able to quickly recognize the winning hands and take advantage as much as possible. The game is situational of course, but the following can serve as a general guide.

The factor that will determine the value of a hand in short handed Texas Holdem are the number of players in the game. Because they are usually about six or less in number, winning hands that rely on draws, such as connectors or suited connectors, lose value. This does not mean they are unplayable; they are, under the right circumstances, but nowhere are they as flexible or profitable as in a full ring game.

The winning hands in short handed Texas Holdem are, in most cases, the high pair (of course, the premiums too). With an Ax or Kx (suited or not) one can assume that it is the best hand in the current game. Qx and Jx are also strong, although with these hands, it is much better if you play them when you are last to act.

Depending on the table and players, one gap hands like J9, Q10 and King/Jack can be utilized, because in a short handed Texas Holdem flop they make for a pair, and often, with the good kicker, be strong enough to play for the turn as well.

When playing pocket pairs in short handed Texas Holdem, you will have to consider a number of factors. The first is that with a low or medium pair, your chance of winning will depend on what is on the flop; in other words, you have to pay to go to the flop. Secondly, with fewer players in, the pot odds for hitting the set will not always be in your favor.

However, this does not mean that you cannot win with a pocket pair in short handed Texas Holdem. If the players are loose and there is a lot of money in the pot, you can take your chances. Similarly, if your opponents are passive and weak tight, you can play almost any hand against them and win by raising.

Knowing the winning hands in short handed Texas Holdem, and how to play them, are basic essentials to becoming a competitive player. Take some time to evaluate your hand and position before making any decision, and you will always find yourself in contention for every pot.