Trouble Hands and Kickers

To newer players trouble hands appear to have tremendous strength. They are good hands. The trouble is they will often make a strong hand that is second best. And should therefore be folded if there is a legitimate pre-flop raise.

There is nothing wrong with playing these hands in the right circumstances. And raising with them is much different than calling with them. The number one time to pass on these hands is when there is a legitimate raise pre-flop. Especially if you will be playing heads up.

The main tip here is if these hands are behind before the flop by sharing a kicker the hand is a trouble hand. KQ is an awesome hand. But against AK ,AQ, QQ you are in the worst type of trouble possible in texas holdem. The only thing worse is if they have KK. 

I will raise almost every time I have KQ and play it very aggressive. But if someone raises that I know doesn't mess around I just fold it. That is they key.


Quick List of Problem Hands

  • The most common misplayed problem hands are AJ and KJ.
  • Then A10 and K10
  • And the most dangerous hand QJ.
  • AQ and KQ are also a borderline trouble hands.

All of these hands are underdogs against any legitimate raising hand. And in serious danger of making a strong hand that will be second best & cannot easily improve.


The times it would make sense to play any of these hands is

  • it is a multi-player pot and the hand is suited
  • the game is short handed
  • you suspect someone is on a steal
  • against a weak player
  • against a maniac

Other than that never get into a confrontation with any of these hands. Passing on these hands in most spots will separate you from the rest.


Throughout my playing career I have made the most money off people calling me with KJ and AJ. More than any other hands. Playing better hands than your opposition is the easiest way to get their money.


Texas Holdem Starting Hand Home

Texas Holdem Poker Strategy Home


Top of Page