Anybody familiar with live or online poker will tell you that it’s undoubtedly one of the most competitive and popular casino games. Not only do poker players dedicate countless hours to perfecting their strategy and analyzing poker hands, but they’re also on a never-ending search for secret weapons to help them gain the upper hand over their opponents. While many poker hands have been brought to the forefront over the years, there are other lesser-known hands that may be worth exploring.
Underrated Poker Hands
Certain hands are already expected to lead to success in poker, but unexpected wins and gameplay are the ones that go down in poker history. With the effective use of these underrated hands, you could make a name for yourself in poker — gaining acclaim for your keen eye and ability to see potential in hands that often go unnoticed. This is true for both online poker game enthusiasts and those who enjoy playing at land-based casinos.
1. Pocket 9s
Pocket nines are also known as “99” and may be overlooked because they aren’t as strong as some of the best poker hands around. But that’s not to say that they aren’t worth playing. In fact, pocket nines may very well be the secret weapon to your success. Understanding that poker is a game of strategy and tact, you need to give some thought to how to best play this hand, as it can be somewhat vulnerable to stronger hands.
It’s better to play this hand when the stack size is small, and you should avoid playing it aggressively if there’s a deep stack size. You should also be mindful of your opponents and their pre-flop gameplay; if they keep raising or calling, that’s a green light to play more aggressively. However, if it’s a tight table, practice caution to avoid putting yourself in an unfavorable position.
2. Pocket Jacks
Although categorized as a premium hand, pocket jacks (alternatively referred to as just “jacks” or “hooks”) don’t always get the acclaim and recognition they deserve. As with most types of poker hands, it’s all about knowing when and how to play them if you want to play them successfully. Jacks are a great starting hand. Contrary to popular belief, they should be played aggressively preflop, but some players opt for passive preflop gameplay to hit a set postflop. While this might work with other smaller hands, it’s not advised for a premium hand such as pocket jacks.
Playing and raising more aggressively preflop can also be a good way to pinpoint weaker opponents. Postflop, it’ll do you good to remember that you’re dealing with a premium hand and you should find comfort in knowing that there aren’t too many hands that are better than yours, so you can actually double down on value betting pocket jacks.
3. Ace-5 Suited
Alternatively known as A5s, ace-5 suited is a hand with a lot of potential for flushes and straights — but only if you know how to play it correctly. A prime example of this is using ace-5 as a semi-bluffing hand, where even though you don’t have a strong hand yet, you could end up with the best hand as the game progresses. When opting for the semi-bluffing strategy with your ace-5, you could either win by getting your opponents to fold or you could enjoy delayed gratification at a later stage and potentially enjoy a bigger pot when you get called.
4. Jack-9 Suited
Also known as J9s, jack-9 suited is a poker hand that can be useful in forming straights and flushes. It’s also best for postflop gameplay, where it can be quite profitable. A hand like a jack-9 is a pretty sneaky one that can be concealed and not easily identified by your opponents because of its implied odds. Essentially, jack-9 is a great speculative hand and can be most profitable when played from a late position.
5. King-9 Suited
Possibly not as revered or hailed as much as aces, suited kings deserve a bit more recognition than they get — and so does the king-9 suited. This poker hand can be profitable when played from a late position and has the potential to form straights and strong flush combinations. Preflop, you can play king-9 as a bluffing hand to confuse and deceive your opponents. Moreover, king-9 also has blocker power to decrease various strong combinations from your opponents’ range and possibly help you get ahead instead. These are just some of the key reasons why king-9 is suitable and best for aggressive preflop play.
Put Your Skills to the Test at BetMGM
With a better understanding of these potentially lucrative poker hands that aren’t known by many, you could put yourself at an advantage. The poker table isn’t for the faint-hearted, and the stakes are high. But with this newfound knowledge at your disposal, you could walk away as one of the biggest winners at poker tournaments. If you’re ready to play poker online, register at BetMGM today. Access an exciting world of poker, where you can put your skills to the test with classic poker, video poker, or other innovative variants.