What are ‘Premium Hands’?
‘Premium Hands’ Explained
In poker, a player’s starting hand is very important, and all players want to be dealt Premium Hands (the best starting hands). These hands include AA, AK, KK, QQ, AQ, JJ, and 1010. With regard to hands such as AQ, the premium of the hand goes up if the two cards are also suited (i.e. both cards are the same suit). With Premium Hands, it is very important for players to use the correct strategy in terms of betting etc.
As an example, say a player has been dealt a premium hand (AK). This player will, in most cases, choose to make a bet. The reason behind making a bet is to reduce the number of players who see the flop (the first three cards). By making such a bet, the player can narrow down the number of possible hands that their opponents have, based on whether they call the bet. In poker, this is called defining the hand(s).
Let’s assume that one opponent calls and the flop is 5, 8, K. If the opponent makes a bet, then the original raiser (the player with the premium AK) can analyse their opponent’s hand more effectively. Because the opponent has called the raise, then the original better (with AK) can come to the conclusion that their opponent has a hand such as KQ. If the opponent had one of the top premium hands, such as AA, then the likelihood is that they would have re-raised the original player’s bet.
So, while Premium Hands are definitely a good thing in poker, they must also be played in the right way. The more players that are allowed to see the flop, the more likely it is that one of these players’ rags (bad cards) will hit the flop, meaning that the player with the premium hand now has little chance of winning.