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Creative Poker Hands

The game is Texas Hold’em, where you are dealt two starting cards, often called pocket cards, that you get to keep secret unless someone calls you after the river card is dealt, or you and all the other players are All In on a hand. One of the first things a new player tries to learn when studying Hold’em is, what constitutes a good starting hand? What two cards in combination are good enough to risk money on, and which ones will turn into dust fairly quickly? While they may not realize it, poker players, even pros, spend the rest of their lives with that question, although admittedly in different ways.

The Ace is the highest single card in poker, and so a pair of aces should be the best starting hand, right? Right. They are nicknamed “Pocket Rockets” for a reason, as they mathematically offer the best odds of winning a hand; but they are by no means a guarantee. In fact, many time the biggest, most important hands are won with what are considered, mathematically, the worst hands around. Poker players who play these like to call them “creative” hands. It sounds much better than “worst.”

Why are they creative? Because often a player is not going to expect you to bet or raise heavy with something like a 3 and 4 of diamonds, for example. Yet when the three community cards hit, they may come out to be something like 3 Ace 3. Now you are holding a set of threes, and you are hoping your opponent stuck around with an Ace King, because he is now thinking his pair of aces has you dominated; after all, there is no way you would have stuck around after he re-raised you if you had a three in your hand, right? The moral of the story is: sometimes you have to get creative to win big.

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