Suckouts And Bad Beats in Poker

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Every poker player that has been playing poker for any length of time has experienced a suckout, and usually the first thing you want to do is share the bad beat story with your poker buddies.

You know, hands like this. Playing in a 100nl Texas Holdem 6-max game and you have Ac As in early position and raise to $4. Everyone folds except the small blind who decides to call.

The flop comes down 7h Th Kd. SB checks, You bet $6 and you’re opponent calls. You’re thinking they probably have a K, hopefully AK so you’ll get action to the river. The pot is now $21.

The turn brings 2s. SB checks and You bet $14 and you’re opponent calls making the pot $49. They probably have a K and are fearful that you do as well. You think it must be AK/KQ. You’re fearful right now of KK, a straight or flush completing on the river.

The river bring 2h, the flush card. If you’re opponent has the flush or a set of K’s you’re beat. SB leads out with a $25 bet on the river. You know they probably have to have a hand in this spot but you still want to look them up with your pocket aces. Considering it’s a 1/2 pot size bet on the river, you have to be right 25% of the time so decide to make the call hoping its a thin value bet with a Kx hand or a missed draw.

Your opponent shows Kh Qh and you lose a relatively big pot… Ouch! You just lost $49 with your pocket aces. They had the pair of K’s that you thought they had, but the river card gave them the flush. There is nothing you can do about it. This will sometimes happen in poker, and it could happen 3 times in a row when being dealt pocket aces.

Don’t always expect to win with premium starting hands. Learn to accept the suckouts and bad beats and move on, remembering that in the long run your sound play will win more money than you will lose in these type of situations. In the example above, more often then not the flush card will not get there on the river, so you want to get maximum value when you feel you have the best hand.

Realize that dealing with bad beats without going on tilt a sign of an experienced poker player. If you are consistently getting your chips in the middle when you have the best hand, that’s what you should focus on. You don’t want to rely on being lucky to win a hand. Tilting will just make you spew chips at the table because you begin to play your B game. If you develop a solid technical poker game you will be able to beat the low limit games online, and possibly even move up in limits.