How to play speculative hands in Texas Hold’em tournaments
By Bob Garcia
Speculative hands, when played correctly, can produce strong results at the poker table
In general, it is not surprising to see how speculative hands are the ones that tend to be the winners in big pots at the end of the day. While it’s true that hands like pocket aces and pocket kings are indeed valuable in their own right, the degree of difficulty increases when you’re trying to stack someone with a pair more than when you have the nuts. It has been felt that when playing speculative hands, it is ideal to make the most of the early levels of poker tournaments, especially when it comes to Texas Hold’em. Still, remember that speculative hands are just that, speculative. You should not get carried away by them and you should pay careful attention to know how and when to put them into action.
In order to define a speculative hand, it is necessary to have a self-evaluation of your playing style. However, these hands usually refer to connectors of the same suit and other similar holdings. For example, JQ of the same suit can perfectly become a speculative hand if played in raised and re-raised pots. Many wonder which hands should be played, and some will be much more speculative than others. The first thing to do is to adapt to your own level of competence because if you try to perform complex strategies, following what you see on TV, you will simply be shooting yourself in the foot.
Keep in mind that the actual range of hands that would be ideal to play at this stage of a tournament is quite dense. You should not stray too far from 56+ of the same suit and perhaps the occasional ace, king, and queen of the same suit. On the other hand, there is also the real value of your hand, which is always going to depend on several factors. Be sure to always measure the price it will cost you to get involved, the chances of making a big hand, the probability of winning a big pot, and the position.