Boarderline HandArticle By: RuffPoker.com
Playing too many borderline hands is something that can get a poker player into a lot of trouble. Why? Because borderline hands are borderline hands and there is usually a better hand out there. Now sometimes it’s ok to play a lot of borderline hands, you have to pick your spots. For instance, if you are sitting at a table full of weak or tight players, you can play border hands all night but if you are sitting at the table with some aggressive players or some semi-aggressive players then you are probably going to get beat more often than not and lose a lot of that chip stack.
Hands like Queen/7 or King/9 are extremely borderline, and you will lose more often times than not. Even Queen/Jack is a borderline hand when you play it out of position. What many people don’t realize is position helps decide whether your hand is borderline or not. You should never play hands like King/ten, Queen/8, or something similar (even Ace/2-5) unless you have good position and it costs relatively cheap to join in on the hand.
If you think you have the skill to play many poker hands, then by all means do it. However you will find that you will probably making the correct reads when it is necessary to do so and usually ending up folding your cards to an opponent that has a better hand than you. One rule that you can go by is to never play in a hand where you have borderline cards unless you are last to act and you just limp in. If you limp in all of the time you will find that you will be committed to a lot of losing hands. However if you are the last to act with a borderline hand like queen/Jack then you should probably raise to represent a little bit better of a hand. Some professional poker players, like Phil Gordon, think that you should never limp in and either fold or raise every time you want to participate in a hand being dealt.
You have to be the judge on whether or not it’s a good idea to play your borderline hands. How has the night been going? Who are you in the game with? Sometimes it is good to have a little bit worse hands than borderline hands. For example, some professionals prefer to have 7/8 instead of 9/10 because when you have 9/10 and you are in the hand with a couple of people and a straight on the board comes up, you are usually catching the short end up of the straight while if you catch a straight with 7/8 then its usually the higher straight that will win all of the time.
Knowing how to play your starting hands and playing them wisely is very important in the game of poker. There is a reason for the big blind and that’s so you can’t just wait for Ace/Ace to come around every couple hours to play a hand. Would anyone even call you if you did? The truth is you have to mix it up. You cannot be too tight and you can’t be overly aggressive. It’s a good thing to limit your borderline hands but you still should play some of them depending on situations.