Joined: Jan '08
Age: 44 (M)
Being dealt pocket queens in no-limit Holdem can be a double-edged sword. On one hand you have a hand that is very likely to be the best at the table, conversely many flops can be dangerous for your pair. This article looks at playing pocket queens both before and after the flop. Depth of chip stacks and tendencies (and number) of opponents are just 2 of the critical factors discussed to help you maximize your profit when playing pocket queens. We will start by looking at why pocket queens prefer as few opponents as possible and why this hand should be raised strongly before the flop. Next we look at the scenario when over-cards appear on the flop. Finally stack depth and opponents are brought into the discussion.
While queens are usually the best hand at the table before the flop, the type of hands that opponents are likely to play make this hand potentially vulnerable after the flop has been dealt. Many players like to play hands which include high cards such as aces or kings which can put you to a difficult decision should one of these cards come on the flop. The ‘standard’ play for queens should thus be to raise strongly to thin the field to just one opponent. If you are in later position you may also have the opportunity to re-raise, which will help to ensure that players yet to act are less likely to enter the pot.
Putting in a strong raise before the flop with queens has an additional advantage. If your opponent does not have over-cards in his hand then he may well fear that you do – meaning it may be possible to win the pot with a continuation bet those times that an ace (for example) does appear on the flop. Post flop play with queens will largely depend on where you act in the order of betting and what cards come on the flop. Your raise before the flop is unlikely to be flat called by a pair of aces or kings – meaning that if you flop an over-pair you are very likely to have the best hand. However, if an ace flops and an opponent re-raises your continuation bet made from out of position your hand is likely in trouble and a fold may be the prudent move. Against most opponents a bet will have a positive expectation, even those times when over-cards come – this will also help to balance your play, for example to enable you to build a pot on later hands when you hold a monster.
The depth of your chip stack and those of your opponents will have a marked effect on the way you play a pair of queens both before the flop and afterwards. If you re-raise an early position raiser with your queens and then face a large re-raise again you can narrow your opponents holdings considerably. The most common hands you will be facing here are aces, kings or ace-king. Whether you choose to ‘race’ against this range will depend on how many chips are in the middle and your situation (for example in a tournament). After the flop a check-raise from someone with a deep chip stack when an over-card flops may be less scary than from a shallow stacked opponent. For example an aggressive opponent may be testing your strength while still leaving room to fold. The past actions of the specific opponent will help you decide the likelihood that they are doing this with a hand weaker than the top pair. A shallow stacked opponent will be aware that this same move commits them to the pot and is less likely to be a bluff.
Opponents should be factored into decision making when playing a pair of queens. Inexperienced opponents are far more likely to call raises before the flop with hands such as weak aces or suited kings – these same players are also far less likely to fold top pair hands after the flop. If you are called by multiple opponents then the chances that your queens are beaten when an over-card flops increase exponentially – caution is advised. To summarize, pocket queens are a powerful holding in no-limit Holdem and should be raised before the flop both for value and to reduce the number of opponents. Being the aggressor in the hand will allow you to represent an ace when one flops – however if you encounter resistance it is often prudent to fold. Depth of chip stacks and the tendencies and number of opponents also need to be taken into account when playing pocket queens.
Joined: Jan '08
Age: 42 (M)
I´m usually very cautious with QQ´s. Although at the moment you see them you get excited, having a K or A on flop can turn that feeling into a night mare. I guess rarely were the times when I went all in pre-flop with a hand like that.
Joined: Jan '08
Age: 36 (M)
i play my ladies fairly aggressive... and they usually come out on top... but i also play my pocket queens the same way lol.... yea play them fairly agressive pre flop but not to much you dig yourself a hole.. then usually a continuation after the flop depending on position, whats on the board and how others reacted the flop... its hard to say how would you do this or do that with out knowing the other people at the table and their styles.
Joined: Jan '08
Age: 38 (M)
the mystery article writer really sums it all up quite nicely only he forgets one thing the best thing that can happen. flopping a set (or quads off course but that usally kills the action) if queen is the highest card on the flop i usually slowplay unless there is a flush or straight draw then i raise a little giving him odds to draw so i know what i''m up against. if queen is not the top card i just fire away. considering three queens are gone he won't have one (unless you are very lucky) and he's called preflop. hence he should have the king or ace that's allso there and he'll pay bigtime
------------ the mystery article writer really sums it all up quite nicely only he forgets one thing the best thing that can happen. flopping a set (or quads off course but that usally kills the action) if queen is the highest card on the flop i usually slowplay unless there is a flush or straight draw then i raise a little giving him odds to draw so i know what i''m up against. if queen is not the top card i just fire away. considering three queens are gone he won't have one (unless you are very lucky) and he's called preflop. hence he should have the king or ace that's allso there and he'll pay bigtime
Joined: Jan '08
Age: 42 (M)
Ok, I posted this in another thread, but thought it would also be appropriate for this one.
Posted by thefodz: Ok, ring game, 6 seater, I've been sitting there for about 45 minutes, folding mainly, stealing some blinds, and ok, I've got my eye on an american fella, probably in his late 30's if his nickname that ended with 71 means the year he was born in. So i'm watching this guy bully and bully, and bluff, and bully a little bit more time after time. He had around half of what I had.
I'm not going to say the value of the blinds nor the stacksizes because you all are going to think I'm insane for doing what I did, and if someone was writing this I'd say the same, but ok.
I get QQ, everyone folds, I'm SB, I simply call, thinking and wishing this guy to try to pull something funny on me. It happens, this guy raises me about 3x BB like I've seen him do it all night long. So I play dumb a little, a wait little while and I re-raise him minimum I can.
So now I'm letting him know that I'm on to him, that his bullying is not going to be tolerated, that I have something here. Guess what, the poor idiot goes all in!
Ok, any other time, against any other player in that table, I wouldn't think twice about throwing the hand away. But it was him, it was this guy that I have gotten inside his head, I know how he's operating at the table. Not for one second did I think he even had 1 card higher then my QQ's.
So I call............
My QQ's are open and guess what he had? JTs
I said to myself, I knew it! Well, so I don't start writing obscene things here in the forum, I'll go straight to what happened.
Flop comes 7 8 9 and I don't even remember turn and river!
So now he's writing in the chat... YEAH, SWEET!
At this point I was about to catch a plane to the US and bust a cap on his a**, but I didn't... you know why? because I only lost half of what I brought to the table and I'm not leaving until I recover that.
So I did recover, not from that guy because he folded a couple more after and left.
Moral of the story, I followed my knowledge and my instincts and this guy probably followed a crack pipe, but hey... that's poker!
I love this game, and I love to hate this game sometimes too!
Joined: Dec '07
Age: 35 (M)
wELL my way how to play quenns is to get some bigger raise preflop if flop show K or A and i dont hit set , if i act like first i checkraise some 1/2 pot if some one call or reraise me iam tight and then i sometimes fold them ofc if i have read or know that player might bluff i try to play them anyway ...
of course QQ is a monster at pre flop, but you should remember that it is only the 3rd pair, so if i see a lot of action at pre flop and on the flop in 80% i fold it, even the flop is whith out Aces or Kings
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United States
Age: 52 (M)
well i would bet three times the big blind to try and isolate a little. then i will hope that no king or ace comes on the flop. also need to keep an eye out for flush and straight. but no overcard and it is a strong hand.