Kicker in poker can make the difference between winning or losing. Never underestimate the value of it. After reading this blog, you’ll be surprised how many Texas Holdem poker hands are tied to a tie with the kicker.
A kicker describes the remaining cards as soon as the players have made a hand. It determines the winner of a hand where both players have the same cards but still have cards left to make the best 5-card hand. If the two players have the same hand with 5 cards as a straight, a full house or a flush, a split-pot situation will arise and the kicker will not be used.
The inexperienced players do not consider a kicker when judging the value of a hand. You can live or die by the river and your kicker can quickly stab you with a knife. The only time you do not have to worry about kicker is when you’ve flopped a quad. So if you have four doubles and a three-player kicker, you win the hand with the highest percentage of time.
That’s why you do not want to waste your money and time playing suitable hands like 8d, 2d. The eight is the kicker in the flush draw. If you even ignore the odds of winning, 90 percent of the time you will not end up with the flush at the end of your hand. Some players come with 9d, 3d, at which point you will lose.
The hand control leads you to the best course of action in a tight game. You should check and call if someone is seated. You should not call if there is a bet and a raise, although it turns out that checking and calling a raise instead of a fold to a raise is not a big mistake. On average, it only costs you a few cents.
In a casual game, this popular wisdom is not tenable. Put your hand straight into a very loose game, and calling when someone raises will twice make money in the long run as a check and call. It is not a folk wisdom. Some online poker players even feel uncomfortable using and topping this top pair with a weak kicker if the flop has no draws that someone may raise. However, betting and calling is the right thing against a field of casual or very casual poker players.
In typical games, the two games, bets against checking and calling, are equivalent in terms of the amount of money. It is probably the best game to check and catch a typical game. It makes the same amount of money as betting and with a slightly lower risk.
Play more aggressively with your top pairs in casual games, while playing in tight games with top pairs with weak kickers. This is a major difference in the way a common situation should be played under different conditions.