No Mercy Monday: How to Play Risky Hands

No Mercy Monday: How to Play Risky Hands

In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play,  and it all starts with starting hands.


Knowing how to play your starting hands is part of the very basic strategies in No Limit Hold’em Poker. Over the last weeks, we had a look at the best ways to play Premium hands and Drawing hands. Today, we will examine Risky hands, before continuing next week with an overview of the Mediocre hands.

How to Play Risky Hands

When we talk about risky hands, we are mostly thinking about hands such as A-9, K-J, Q-10, or medium pairs. The reason why these hands are risky to play is that you will often be facing a kicker problem when you do hit your card.

Indeed, when you hold K-J and you hit a King on the flop, there will be chances that one of your opponents does have a hand like K-Q, making it the winning hand because of the Queen kicker. 

A similar problem will occur when you hold a pair of 8s, and the flop comes 2-3-6. Do you have the best hand here, or are you facing a hand like pocket 9s or 10s?

Will the turn card kill your hand if it is something like an Ace, a King, or any other higher card than your 8s? Even worse, a 4 on the turn would give a straight to anyone holding a mere 5 in his hand… 

That being said, remember the famous motto: “you got to be in it in order to win it”.

That being said, remember the famous motto: “you got to be in it in order to win it”. In other words, you cannot perpetually wait to receive premium hands to enter pots; otherwise, your opponents will see right through you.

In No-Limit Hold’em, you continually need to take some risks in order to change gears and stay unreadable. This is even truer in 6 handed games, where you will have to open up your game way more than in full ring games. 

Overall, the secret will reside in your ability to evaluate the dangers of the boards, and to read your opponents in order to understand their betting patterns, especially while playing online!

Join me twice a week in the Hubble Bubble tournaments to practice your skills and try to win my 2,000 CHP bounty!

– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

2 thoughts on “No Mercy Monday: How to Play Risky Hands

    1. Hi cwick,

      Thanks for commenting, and I will make sure to pass it on to Isabelle for future No Mercy Monday posts. Would a more practical guide to specific hands be more informative? Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

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