How To Play Pocket Queens Pre-flop In Texas Hold’em

In this article I am going to teach you how to play QQ before the flop in no-limit Texas Hold’em. I will do my best to give training on as many different possible situations you may end up in holding QQ pre-flop. In order to lend my advice credibility let me first explain that I used to be a professional Texas Hold'em player for 6 years. I did this as my sole source of income for 5 of the 6 years. So you know that this advice is from an educated, experienced, and highly profitable poker player.

Breaking things down

I will be splitting up and organizing the information presented the best I can to properly go over most hand types. It is very important for you to understand that the information will only be applicable to roughly 90% of hands. The reason for this is that poker has tons of different factors that go into making every hand unique. Some factors include: Type of players you are facing, your perception of their play style, those players view on your play style. Your understanding of what those opponents think your play style is, their perception of what they think that you view their play style as, position of play, stack size, current emotions, recent history of hands, etc…. I mean the list goes on and on. What I am doing here is giving my best “rule of thumb” guide on how to play pocket Queens before the flop in most the common situations you will find yourself in. For other spots you are going to have to play them by ear.

This information is assuming that 7 or more players are at your table. If there are less than 7 players at the table you will need to view the “short-handed articles”. To help organize this info, I will be splitting it up into categories based on factors including positioning in the hand (in or out of position). For example, I will go over how to play QQ when you are early to act, late to act, as well as when you are the blinds which are a difficult positioning for some players to grasp. In position is defined as acting last and out of position is defined as acting before your opponent in-case you were unaware. Okay, now that that has been taken care of, we will dive right in!

Pocket Queens (Q,Q)

Pocket Queens are a somewhat solid poker hand because when played against any other random hand in the game from start to finish it is slated to win on average just under 80% of the time. This statistic is not even adding in those times when you force your opponent to fold their hands. Q,Q is an awesome hand and should usually not be folded. Only fold Queens if you feel strongly that another player has Kings or Aces in their hand (since these are the only two hands you are statistically losing to at that point in time. Since this is not very often, most of the time you will not fold Queens, and should you run into pocket Kings or Aces, you shouldn’t get frustrated about it since there really is no way to be certain they have A,A or K,K without them showing them to you.

So now that you can see just how valuable pocket Queens are, I will teach you how to play them properly to increase your profit and safety in the hand.

Playing Pocket Queens before the flop at a 7 or more player table

You can play pocket Queens a handful of different ways and it is always important to keep in mind your table image. For example, if you have recently been folding every hand and never betting much and then all of a sudden you decide to bet really big, your opponents are probably going to realize something is amiss. Most players take large bets as a bluff, or a strong hand like A,A or K,K. That is not going to be an issue as long as you realize that they are probably going to make this assumption.

With that in mind we will first learn how to play pocket Queens, when you are in position.

Q,Q Playing In Position

When you are going to act last you have a great bluffing opportunity since you will be able to see and react to everyone else’s play. Certainly you should take advantage of your positioning by placing larger bets from this spot. I will typically will bet the total value of the pot times two or three (you must include the blinds in this assessment) based on how others have been betting. Your goal is to bet so that your opponents take it as a bluff, but also not too small as to not be able to properly defend your Queens. So as an example, if you betting last and only the blinds are in the hand with you, you would bet $9 at a $1, $2 blind game. If two players had come into the hand for the minimum $2 each before you, then you would instead bet between $15 and $21 instead. Alternatively, If the first player in raised the bet to $8 and all others folded around to you, you would instead raise between $22 and $33 in total. The general rule is that you bet big in these spots with your Q,Q. If anyone ever raises you after you have bet, you then have a decision to make since Q,Q is strong, but not likely a winning hand against someone who is willing to raise very large amounts pre-flop. Unless you put them on a bluff or an incredibly reckless player you will have to Fold your Q,Q in this situation .

If no one raises your bet, you hope to be called, and then go to the turn where you will almost always bet around the size of the pot to further defend your hand. If everyone folds when you bet pre-flop that is not that bad either, you won money with very little risk. It is far better than simply calling the $2 and then losing all your chips to some weak hand your opponents got to play for free from the blinds and then really connected with well on the flop.

How to play Pocket Queens Out Of Position

When playing Q,Q out of position (acting before your opponents), you want to simply come in for $2 to disguise the power of your hand or to play a small pot safely. If someone ever raises and it isn’t large enough for you to place them on A,A or K,K then you will re-raise to 3x or 4x their total bet. Assuming they just limp in for $2 and then nobody raises, you are happy to see a flop and then play the turn cautiously. When you limp in with Queens, you are expecting to play a small pot unless you hit a third Queen. Now if someone bets with you and you have a third Queen that is when you profit well. Otherwise, if the opponents decided to raise the bet pre-flop, they usually assume you are weak because you had only come in for $2, so when you raise them back, they might not believe you and lose a big hand to you. An example of this would be that you limp in for just the $2 and then someone else makes it $9 behind you. At that point you would raise them back to between $27 and $36 total (three to four times their bet). If anyone raises big or re-raises your bet you will most likely have to put them on A,A or K,K and fold, but it is your call to make. If they fold when you re-raise that is good because you won some decent money like $15 in a spot where if you had raised yourself they probably all would have folded anyway, netting a win of only $3.

How to play Pocket Q,Q From The Blinds

When you are in the blinds things will be different because you will act last before the flop, but otherwise be acting first on all future betting rounds. For this reason, I have decided to make this section on playing Q,Q before the flop from the position of the blinds (big blind $2 and small blind $1). When you are a blind you will want to play very aggressively with your Q,Q because it is a position that many players will usually bluff from and that can be taken advantage of. You also have somewhat of an edge in the hand since you will be going last before the flop and everyone else who was willing to play already put their money into the pot for you to hopefully take.

You really only have one good move, you take the total amount of the pot and multiply it by three for your bet (unless you really think someone has K,K or A,A in which case you fold if it was raised big. If you get raised or this puts you all in, then you say ALL IN and bet every chip you have. It is very simple to play Queens from the blinds (at least before the flop that is). So to reiterate, if nobody has come in the pot leaving just you and the other blind you will be betting $12 at a $1, $2 NL game because the total pot size was $4 when it got to you. If two people had limped in for $2 each you instead bet $21, and if someone had bet $8 and another called the $8, then you would bet $57.

Reviewing Pocket Queens

With Q,Q your goal is to either play big like you have A,A or small like you have nothing. Not anything in-between. If you play a big pot you should never stop betting until you end up all in or the other players fold. If you play a small pot you are to play defensively and not risk too many chips. Assuming you base your play on what I have just taught you before the flop, the rest of the hand pretty much plays itself… If you had bet a lot pre-flop, then continue betting, if not, probably check it down or bet small as a test bet. If people start betting large amounts in a small pot and there was no pre-flop raise, you are normally going to have to fold the Q,Q.

Please check back because I will probably be posting more info on poker hands including how to play JJ, 1010, 99, 88, 77, 66, and AK + AQ before the flop and perhaps eventually get into post flop play with these hands as well. Until then, GOOD LUCK!

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