Kicker in poker can mean the difference between winning or losing the game. So, don’t ever underestimate the value of it. After reading this blog, you will be surprised to know how many Texas Holdem poker hands come down to a tie with the kicker as the tie breaker.
A kicker is used to describe the left over cards once the players have made a hand. It determines the winner of a hand where both the players have the same cards, but there are still cards remaining to make the best 5 card hand. If the two players have the same 5 card hand like a Straight, Full House or Flush, then a Split pot situation arises and the kicker doesn’t apply.
The inexperienced players don’t take a kicker into consideration when assessing the value of a hand. You may live or die on the river and your kicker can put a knife in your heart fast. The only time you don’t need to worry about kicker is if you have flopped four of a kind. So, if you have four deuces and a trey kicker then you will win the hand the greatest percentage of the time.
This is why you don’t want to waste your cash and time playing suited hands like 8d,2d. The eight is the kicker in the flush draw. If you even ignore the odds, 90 percent of the time you will not end up with the flush by the end of the hand. Some players may come with 9d,3d, at that time you will lose.
The hand domination leads you to the best course of action in a tight game. You should check and call if someone bets. You shouldn’t call if there is a bet and raise, though it turns out checking and calling a raise rather than folding to a raise is not a large error. On an average, it just costs you a few pennies.
In a loose game, this popular wisdom doesn’t hold up. Betting the hand straightforwardly in a very loose game, and calling if anyone raises makes twice cash in the long run as checking and calling. It is not a popular wisdom. Some poker game online players even feel uncomfortable if they bet this top pair with a weak kicker and got raised when the flop had no draws someone may be raising on. However, betting and calling is the right thing to do against a field of loose or very loose poker players.
In typical games, the two plays, betting versus checking & calling are equivalent in terms of the amount of money made. Probably, the best play is to check and call in a typical game. It makes the same amount of cash as betting and does so with a little less risk.
Play your top pairs more aggressively in loose games while playing top pairs with weak kickers more passively in tight games. This is a major difference in how common situation should be played in different conditions.