It’s always nice to win a poker hand no matter the stakes or opponents. But a lot of poker success is dictated by how much value you can get out of your great hands. For example, flopping a nut flush and immediately going all-in is likely to cause everybody to fold and rob you of maximum value. This being said, it’s important that you be aware of some different factors when trying to get the most out of your good poker hands.
Be aware of your Table Image
The first factor you need to consider when trying to get value out of good hands is how the table views you. For example, if have you been extremely loose-aggressive, then suddenly slow-play your As-Ts combo on a board of Ks-Js-3d-8s, there’s a good chance that players are going to know something’s up.
The same thing can happen if you’re tight-passive and begin raising like mad when you’re holding the nuts. So whatever your table image is, you need to understand how opponents see you and bet accordingly to keep up that image without tipping off your excellent hand.
Consider Uniform Preflop Raise Sizes
Based on what we just discussed, it’s important to throw opponents off and avoid being predictable when trying to get max value out of strong hands. And a good way to accomplish this goal is by keeping uniform preflop raise sizes. For example, any time you decide to play a hand, you could always open with a 3xbb raise. This way nobody can get a read on your hand based on specific raise sizes.
Ask yourself if you really have Best Hand
Sometimes you’ll think that you are extracting value from a superior hand, but it turns out you don’t really have the top hand. This is common with two pairs (opponent has set), sets (opponent has better set) and a nut flush (opponent has quads or better). In these situations, it’s always nice to have studied other players so you can make a smart laydown. After all, knowing when to fold is just as important as getting value out of great hands.