King-Jack Under the Gun: Fold, Call, or Raise?
DECISION POINT: In a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em cash game, you are dealt under the gun. You're first to act...
PRO ANSWER: You are dealt and are first to act from under the gun — do you fold, call, or raise? Although this seems like a simple scenario, many players struggle with the discipline necessary to play appropriate preflop starting hand ranges consistently.
In this hand, we are UTG at a 10-handed table. This is the worst position you can be in and the hands that you choose to play should reflect this disadvantage.
When you raise from early position, you are significantly more likely to encounter a premium hand behind you. In addition, when you do get action, you are likely to be out of position against your opponents postflop. Also, multi-way pots occur more often when you enter the pot from early position.
Hands that make one pair, like big Broadway cards, suffer greatly from this disadvantage. One of the more common leaks that players have is overvaluing one-pair hands while being out of position, especially in multi-way pots.
In this position, you should only be playing hands that perform well multi-way, such as pocket pairs, or very premium unpaired hands, such as ace-king or ace-queen. Your hand, , should simply go into the muck in this spot, every time.
It doesn't matter if this is the best hand you've seen in the last hour — this is a clear fold. Do not fall into the trap of open-raising marginal Broadway hands with so many opponents left to act.
Folding is the best play.
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