Playing Pocket QT in Texas Holdem

Playing pocket Queen Ten Off suit and Queen Ten Suited in Texas Hold'em Poker.

QT and QTs can be dangerous hands, especially in no limit Texas holdem. It is of the greatest importance to play these hands with good position, as you will need to draw to a better hand the majority of the time on the turn and river. The problem for most players is the inability to get away from the hand when they hit a pair and an opponent is betting and raising. The other problem is that when you hit a piece of the flop it will often give an opponent a draw to a strong hand like a straight. For these reasons, I only play these hands in no limit Texas holdem from late position, and usually only the QTs. These hands are both clear folds against a raise in no limit play.

In limit Texas holdem, you can play both QT and QTs more often in lower limit games, but they are still weak starting hands that will need to improve to win, and often improve quite a bit. Unless the game is filled with loose / weak players, these hands should be avoided from early position.

Though I don't often discuss tournament play in these hand analysis pages, hands like QT and QTs should be avoided in tournaments at all costs. You just cannot play these hands profitably in tournament play.

Early Position

Both hands should be folded from early position in no limit Texas holdem play, as well as QT in limit play. QTs can be played in limit Texas holdem from early position if there are many players to every flop and very little pre-flop raising, otherwise it should be folded as well.

Middle Position

I fold both hands in no limit play over 95% of the time from middle position. The only exception is when I am by far the best player pot flop (which doesn't happen very often) at the table, and even then I won't call a raise with them. In limit play, I tend to play QTs when there hasn't been a raise, but usually still fold the QT. Also, it is very important to get away from these hands after the flop when you don't improve a great deal.

Late Position

If there has been an early or middle position raise, both QT and QTs should be folded, unless the raiser is very loose, and then only with the QTs and if there are no other players. If you folded to a raise every time you would not be making a very big mistake, if at all.

When there hasn't been a raise, it is okay to play these hands, but fold them to aggression after the flop if you don't improve. I raise with QTs about 25% of the time from late position when there hasn't been a raise, mostly to vary my playing tendencies.

Blind Play

I don't recommend playing either hand to a raise in no limit Texas holdem, because you will be in the worst position for the rest of the hand. It is okay to limp from the small blind if there hasn't been a raise. I suggest the same strategy in limit play with the exception of QTs. I often will call a single raise with it from the big blind.