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Texas Holdem Tips – Avoiding Hand Domination

Elvis Elvis

Hand domination is something that many beginner and intermediate level players often don’t even think about.

Many players will simply look at the cards they have, and if they happen to have big cards like AJ, AT, KQ, KJ, KT, QJ or QT, they will play them no matter what, regardless of the action in front of them or their position. This is a HUGE mistake.

While the hands I mentioned before may be raising hands in late position, as your position moves to being closer to the first to act, the more these hands become folding hands. The reason for this is that these types of hands are in a lot of danger of being trapped by larger hands that have them dominated.

For example, let’s say you have KJ UTG and call. If a person in middle / late position raises it, there is a good chance that you are a victim of hand domination and have a hand that can only be second best. He could have AA, AK, KK, AJ, KQ, QQ, JJ, all of which have you in a pretty bad spot. Now even if you hit your K or J, there’s a really good chance that your hand is no good.

This also goes for calling raises with these types of hands. More often than not, a raiser in early position is going to have these hands absolutely dominated. Even AJ, which would normally be a raising hand, should be folded if facing a raise from a player in front of you (unless you have an absolutely killer read on them).

Texas Holdem Tips   Avoiding Hand Domination

For this reason you should avoid playing these trouble hands from early / middle position. Don’t get yourself in trouble! Have the disciple to get away from these hands when out of position, or facing a raise.

NOTE: In late position these hands can certainly be played profitably. In fact, usually you will want to raise with these hands in late position, especially if you are the first one to enter the pot. Also, if you are comfortable with it, some of these trouble hands like AJ, ATs, KQ, KJs can be raised from middle position onward. Just be aware of the possibility that you are dominated if someone 3-bets.