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How to Play Pocket Queens in No-Limit Texas Hold'em

Fortune Jack Poker

Pocket Queens, or The Ladies, is third most powerful starting hand in No-Limit Hold'em.

Pocket Queens
Queen of ClubsQueen of Hearts

Preflop Play

The way you play QQ preflop depends on the position you are in. Often, you will be in there raising with your pair of queens. You want to go to the flop facing only one or two opponents.

Early Position

When no one has raised before you, you should make a strong opening raise of about 4 BB to 5 BB. The amount also depends on how loose or tight the game is. If the game is very loose, you may even have to raise to 6 BB or more. Your objective is to narrow the field down to 1 or 2 opponents.

If the pot has been raised, reraise by the amount that is in the pot. Example, if there is an opening raise of 4 BB and two callers, including the blinds, there is a total of 15 BB. You should make it 15 BB to play.

Middle Position

Again, when no one has raised in front of you, you should raise to about 4 BB to discourage weak holdings from calling. Reraise by the amount that is in the pot if the pot has been raised.

Late Position

If the pot is unraised, with only a few more players and the blinds left, you can reduce the size of your opening raise to 3 BB. Again, limit the field with a pot sized reraise if there is a raised pot. Ideally, you want to go to the flop against a single opponent.

Playing the Flop

With a pair of queens in hand, you normally enter the flop strong. However, as with all pocket pairs, the chance of improving your hand on the flop is slim. The odds of making a set is only 7.5 to 1.

Flopping Aces or Kings

This is a flop you don't want to see when holding QQ. When it happens, fire off a continuation bet and hope the other guy fold. If you face any resistance, it's time to fold.

Flopping Undercards

A very common flop and a pretty good one when you are holding pocket queens. With an overpair, you are likely to be holding the best hand. As usual, bet strong here to make drawing hands pay to play.

Flopping a Set

A huge flop for anyone holding pocket queens. The potential payoff is huge. While you still need to protect your hand from drawing hands by betting out, the good news is that even if your opponent manages to make that straight or flush, there is a good chance you can beat him with a full house by the river.

Playing The Turn and the River

As you have only 2 outs when playing QQ, most of the time, you should be folding when there is a reraise on the turn or river.

Your opponent will reraise you when he hit his draw or he has been slow playing his set, or if he is bluffing. However, its usually wiser to lose a small pot to the occasional bluff than to lose many big pots where you have been beaten.

Even if you hit your third queen here, you must be careful that the queen did not make someone else's straight or flush.

All-in Preflop

Unless you are playing a loose live game and your bankroll is healthy, I don't recommend you go all-in preflop with pocket queens. Save your money and do it when you are dealt pocket kings or pocket aces.

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