Playing Pocket K8 and Below in Texas Holdem

Playing pocket King Eight Off suit and King Eight Suited and below in Texas Hold'em Poker.

K8 and all of the hands below it are completely unplayable with the exception of the big blind in both limit and no limit Texas holdem. There is just no way to show a long-term profit with these hands. Even when you are able to see the flop for free from the big blind, if the flop does not improve your hand a great deal you will need to get away from the hand. In the small blind, if everyone else has folded a King high hand does okay against a random hand in the big blind, but if at least one other player is in the pot, it is best to fold.

These unsuited hands of K8 and below are hands that if you fold them every single time you have them, you will be a more profitable player in the long run. With the exception of making quads or a King high flush with the Ace on the board, both very rare and somewhere well under a 1% chance, you will never have a hand that can't be beaten.

The suited hands of K8 and below can show a small profit over time if you are careful about the situations you play them in. Please understand though that in the situations described below where you can play them, if the flop does not help you it is best to fold to any aggression after the flop.

I do not play any hands K8 and below in no limit Texas holdem, whether suited or not. Every hand I enter the pot my goal is to take an opponents entire stack. This is just not possible with these hands, as you will always have to play timidly or take large chances. For this reason, the advice below is directed towards limit Texas holdem, and only the suited versions for the reasons mentioned in the second paragraph.

Early Position

I do not recommend playing any of these hands from early position in any situation. The long-term profitability will be negative, no matter how good your play is after the flop.

Middle Position

In perfect situations, you may be able to play the suited Kings from middle position, but probably less than 5% of the time. You must have control of the table and be able to read your opponents well. I do not recommend limping into the pot. You must represent a strong enough hand to get your opponents who are yet to act to fold Kings with better kickers. This is not possible in some games, so the correct choice is a fold.

Late Position

You should follow the same advice as that in the middle position section, except you may be able to play them 10 – 15% of the time. Do not call a raise with these hands.

Blind Play

I do not call raises with these hands from the small blind, and rarely do so from the big blind unless the raiser is a very poor player. In this case I may re-raise to isolate him or her.