Here is the question I asked last night: How would you play Pocket Jacks in a no limit poker tournament? Assume 1st hand of event. You are first to act after the big blind, $25-$50.
Here are the answers--you need to click on the photo to enlarge the visuals:
My favorite answer is from trishwebb who tweeted: "Of course, there are just 3 ways to play jacks and they are all wrong.:)"
I think pocket Jacks is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult hand to play in no limit poker tournaments. A main reason it is so hard to play is that you will usually get a flop with a card higher than your Jack--it's like 65% of the time.
Pocket Jacks is a premium hand, and you don't want callers. I believe you must raise in this situation. But not a big raise. If you make a big raise you may be committing yourself to call a re-raise. (A lot of times players in this spot will raise 5 times or more the big blind to protect their hand--which may signal you have a pocket pair like 9's, 10's or J's.)
If you like small ball raise 2 1/2 times the big blind. If you want to tell people you are strong, bet the standard 3 times raise. If you really don't want to commit, raise 2 times the big blind. My objective with pocket Jacks is to eliminate opponents and keep the pot small.
Just don't call. It is hard enough to play against one opponent when you have this hand. To invite more callers, well, is that much more difficult.
Thanks for your response.