Playing Pocket Eight-Six and Below in No-Limit Texas Holdem

Playing 8-6, 8-6 suited and below in No-Limit Texas Holdem.

None of these hands, 86, 85, 84, 83, 82, are playable in Texas holdem. Other than the 86s, which is covered in a different section, the suited hands in this group are also unplayable. This advice is for both limit Texas holdem and no limit Texas holdem.

Unlike many hands we cover that can be playable with many players in the pot, making the reward when you do hit a hand large enough to cover all of the times they will lose, these hands will not win enough to make up the difference. And to make matters even worse, these hands can trap you into losing a large pot even when you do hit a big hand.

In the case of the suited hands, consider all of the possible hands that will beat you even when you hit a flush. Any hand containing two of your suit and a 9 T J Q K or A will beat you, but if you hit the flush, it will be almost impossible to fold. If you are fortunate enough to hit a straight, you will be in much the same situation, as your straight will rarely be the best possible hand. These situations both require you to play the hand somewhat passively, which lead to smaller pots when you do win. The only way to avoid these situations is to avoid playing these hands at all.

I do play a few of these hands in the blinds. Please see the blinds section below.

Early Position

Do not play any of these hands from early position.

Middle Position

None of these hands are playable from middle position for a profit either.

Late Position

Though many hands are playable from late position in certain game situations, I do not play any of these hands in any game. They are just too weak to show a profit.

Blind Play

In limit Texas holdem, I will call a half bet from the small blind with 85s and 84s. The other hands should be folded, and all of the hands should be folded from either blind if there has been a raise. In no limit Texas holdem play, I do not recommend playing any of these hands from the small blind and you should also fold all of them from the big blind if there has been a raise.