Playing Trash Hands in Texas Hold’em

Posted by Dave on March 4th, 2011 filed in Poker Strategy

It often happens that you have take risks in poker. Of course, betting always involves risk, but the risk becomes much more when the cards you are betting on trash. Trash cards are the cards of very low value, which have meager chances of winning. But as you are on the table and have make the initials bets, taking the risks is often the right decision.

The important thing to keep in mind here is the right time when you should take this risk. You have to make up a strategy. As your odds of winning are less, you win will totally depend on luck. If luck does not favor you, you can keep on playing trash hands a hundred times and lose in row.

So, avoid such a thing from happening, what you need is an alert mind and a sound strategy. You don’t have to fold every time you get a trash hand. It’s not only the hand that wins. If you take the right risks at the right time, you may just end up being lucky.

Strategy for Playing Garbage Hands


A garbage hand is anything that you see in green on the chart above. This is the standard chart used if you want to play your hand by the books. This doesn’t mean that you should always fold A-2 unsuited, you should just be wary of playing it as if it were a strong hand.

I wouldn’t call a lot of the unplayable hands in this chart “trash hands” exactly. This shouldn’t stop you from trying to bully other players into folding the blinds. Just make sure that you have a backup plan if you get re-raised.

The one time to bet aggressively is when the other players at the table seem timid to bet. This is the best way to try to pick up free blinds. Even if someone re-raises your raise, at least you will know that someone is lying about their hand initially.

And important thing to learn is to recognize hands are weak by their value but have the odds of winning. For instance, if you consider the card combination- Q-4. This hand is very weak, but in case you opponent happens to have a card with only a Q in it with something of value lesser than 4, you will win.

No matter how low the chances of this being the case may be, but they cannot be totally over-ruled. Your opponents may have a stronger hand that you. The more the number of opponents on the table, the more are the chances of your losing.

But as I said before, such risks should be taken at the right time. If you are alert, enough you will get a rough idea of the type hands in the possession of your opponents and you will be able to make the right moves accordingly.

Playing weaker starting hands

Some cards are trash individually but make good connecting cards. Cards that are suited usually are good options for such sets. However, you should mind the gap between such cards. If there just one card missing between the connecting cards, the chances of this gap being made up are good.

But in case the gap is two or more, then you should not think about trying to connect them, as the chances of having the right cards being dealt are extremely less. You can’t make it straight if you need 2 or more cards and so it is not advisable to keep waiting for something like that to happen.

You should prefer pairs which are smaller. Pairs are thought to be trash by some people but they are not all that useless. You can indeed make successful flops with such pairs, but the timing of such flops has to be right. If you have such a pair in your hand, don’t wait too much, because the more you wait, the lesser your winning chances shrink.

In Texas Hold’em poker you get to know if your trash hand is good enough or not, at the flop. To gain the most, you should observe the hands of your opponents after the flop. Look at the kinds of hands that they had and make a comparison of these hands with yours.

In case you find that your trash hand is better than your opponents are, take the opportunity to raise your bet. But, in case you see that your trash hand really deserves to be called trash, then stay tight and don’t hurry into making the bets.

The final and the most effective solution for avoiding losses due to trash hands is to fold. Don’t be egoistic and play on just for the sake of completing the game. If you don’t see yourself winning, fold. After all, poker is all about grabbing the chips and so there is no use of playing on if you don’t see yourself being able to do that.

Playing bad hands online

My favorite place to play currently is Full Tilt Poker. I like it because there are a lot of beginners that play their after watching the commercials. Some of these players are very easy to push around because they play strictly by the books. Here are Full Tilt Poker downloads so you can sign up with Full Tilt if you haven’t already.

You always have to be wary of playing bad hands online. The simple fact of the matter is that there are a lot of “calling machines” that will call any of your bluff bets. It is a lot different than playing people at a table.

You better get a feel for your opponent before you try pushing another player around without the cards to back it up. It only takes getting exposed one or two times before the other players start calling against you every time. If you have the option to muck the cards, make sure you do. If you don’t, you shouldn’t have been in the hand.

Here is a Full Tilt Poker review that I did a little while back. Have a look if you are interested.

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