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Poker is all about decisions. As in anything, some poker decision will be quite easy to make compared to some which will make you feel that you are against the wall. In most cases, making the pot size really large makes the decision making process tougher. Keeping it small though also makes the decision process easier.
In poker tournaments, it will be wise to keep the pot size small when you have a marginal hand. You do not want to crack your brain out of its shell thinking why you are risking all of your chips when you only have a top pair and a not so good kicker. It is not a good move to build a big pot. Even when you are holding a good hand, poker decisions will be a lot more manageable when you keep the pot small with some checks and calls.
Let us say the action is on you as the big blind and the small blind have folded. What you have is a King and Jack. You call a raise and is met by the button putting you on a heads up on the way to the flop. The flop shows 3-9-J two of which are diamonds. Yes you got a top pair and a pretty strong kicker but your opponent may be getting a straight or a flush given the cards.
Decide to be conservative and check. The button puts in about two thirds of the pot. The turn gives a 5 of clubs, and this most likely will not help your opponent. Still keep the pot small and tap for a check. This will be a wiser move since you are still waiting what the other player will do. In case you bet and the opponent got a monster then he will do everything to push you out of the pot.
The river gives you a 2 of hearts. Clearly, there is no flush nor a straight for your opponent. But still try to keep it low and just check. This will save you some headache in case he has made two pairs or a set somewhere.
This safe way of playing is ideal when you have marginal hands. Don’t make life tough for you and keep that pot in the middle small.Share on: