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Gaming Guru

 

Texas Hold'em A to Z: N Is for the Nuts

28 October 2011

When you play poker and have a hand that cannot be beaten it's called the "nuts." Every player hopes to flop the nuts because they are guaranteed to win the hand, but how much money they win will depend on how they play the hand.

When you are playing Texas Hold'em, you should be able to look at the cards on the board and determine the nuts.

Look at this example. If the cards on the board were:

Jack Hearts - Six Clubs - Two Hearts - Three Hearts - King Spades

And you hold the:

Ace and Ten of Hearts

The best hand possible is a heart flush. Since you hold the Ace of hearts, you have made the highest flush possible. You have a nut flush. In an ideal situation, your opponent will have a lesser flush and give you plenty of action.

Betting versus Checking

When you have the nuts you want to get as much money in the pot as you can. If you have players in the pot that you know will bet, you can go for a check-raise. If you are in a very passive game, and the players are likely to check along, then it would be better to bet it out and hope that one of the other players raises you. Then you can re-raise. In most instances I prefer to bet in this situation. Many players try to get fancy when they have the nut hand. They will try for a check raise only to have the other players check along with them. Unless you are in a very aggressive game, it will usually be better to bet a hand then to check it. The decision will be up to you and your read on the other players in the game, however my philosophy is: "When in doubt, bet it out!"

Not Quite the Nuts

There will be situations when you have the very best hand after the flop. Some players mistakenly identify this hand as the nuts and will bet it without giving any regards to the cards that come on the turn and the river. This can be a costly mistake when it happens.

I was playing in a game and limped in from late position with:

Queen and Ten of Diamonds

There were several players who called the pot, but there were no pre-flop raises. The flop was:

Ace Clubs - Queen Club - Ten Spades

Two players checked, then the next player bet and I called with my bottom two pairs. The player to my left raised the pot and the two players who had checked folded. The original bettor and I called the raise. The game had been fairly loose and the player could have been raising with a pair of Aces. By reading the cards on the board, I knew it was possible that he could also be holding an Ace-high straight.

The turn card was:

Queen of Spades

This gave me a full house of Queens and Tens. The player to my left bet and I raised. The player who had previously raised, re-raised me and the original player folded. The best possible hand on board was now Aces full of Queens. The other player could not have four Queens as I held one of them. I did not think he had pocket Aces because this player had previously raised before the flop with any pair from any position. I re-raised and he re-raised me back. I called because I knew that my hand was strong but it was not the nuts. The river card was a three that did not help at all. I bet and he merely called me.

I turned over my Queen and Ten and he turned over his King and Jack. He looked at my full house and was shocked. He said, "I flopped the nut straight! I thought you had a straight as well and we were going to split this pot."

Another player quipped, "You may have had the nuts on the flop but you forgot about the turn and the river cards!"

By thinking that he had the nuts, he re-raised in situations where he should have just called. He admitted later that he misplayed the hand. There will be situations when you will flop the absolute nuts that won't change, but there will be other times when you have to be aware that the turn and river card may change the best hand on the board.

You won't draw the absolute nut hand too often but when you do, make sure to play it for the most profit you can get. Pay attention to the other players at your table so you can capitalize on your unbeatable hand.

Until next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets

> More Books By Bill Burton

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets

> More Books By Bill Burton