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*Any two cards put together from Ten-Ace (T-A). It originates from the T-J-Q-K-A straight that is called a Broadway or Broadway straight.
*An Ace, King, Queen, Jack, or Ten; any card that could be used toward making the hand Broadway, an Ace-high straight. Derived from the term broadway straight = ace high straight.
When to hold’em and when to fold’em
So-called ‘Broadway’ hands are those that contain any two cards Ten or above but not an Ace. For example, K-Q and J-T are Broadway hands. These types of hands are often misplayed in no-limit tournaments because of the inevitable problems they throw up in postflop play. This, however, doesn’t mean you should never play them, as there are also some inherent strengths to these hands – especially in heads-up situations.
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What are the strengths of Broadway hands? Here are a few of the major ones:
*They play extremely well in heads-up situations, either by hitting a pair or better or by allowing you to represent a stronger hand and picking up the pot with a semi-bluff or bluff.
*If they miss the flop, Broadway hands are easier to play than a hand like a medium pair or A-K where you might feel you still have the best hand.
*If you hit a ‘Broadway’ straight (A-T), you’ll often find yourself up against another big hand (because the board will contain all big cards) so you’ll often get paid off.
*Broadway hands have good opening value as most of them are in the top 10% of playable hands.
What about the weaknesses? Again, here are a few of the major ones:
*In raised pots, hitting a pair will often lead to kicker problems – for example, hitting a pair of Kings with a hand like K-J, you could be up against a hand like K-Q or A-K.
*The decisions you will have to make postflop will be more difficult if you do hit a pair. Many players have a hard time folding when they hit top pair and Broadway hands lend themselves to uncertainty and doubt. Does your opponent have a better kicker, set, overpair, or is he bluffing? It’s a set of questions you will be forced to ask frequently when you play Broadway hands.
*The hand has little showdown value unless you hit a pair or better, unlike a hand like A-K or A-Q where Ace-high can often win the pot unimproved.
*You will be dealt Broadway hands a good percentage of the time in a poker tournament and after a slew of hands like 7-2o and 9-4o, a hand like Q-J can seem like a monster. This leads some players to make poor decisions with Broadway hands, both pre and postflop.
Falling in love
Now we’re going to look at when and how you should play them in a hold’em tournament. The first point is that there is no definite answer. A big part of your decision will depend on what stage of the tournament you are in, your stack size, and who your opponents or probable opponents are. There are certain situations; however, where playing Broadway hands is generally a profitable play. Here are a few of the situations in which you should consider playing them:
*First to act in middle position or later
The cards often don’t matter in this type of situation, but having a hand with decent strength that can easily improve is a definite bonus.
*Calling or reraising a late-position raise from the blinds
The decision to defend your blinds obviously depends on who your opponent is, and against tighter opponents a fold is usually the best course, but in other instances calling or reraising with Broadway hands can be a viable option. If you then hit the flop, you can fire out a bet or check-raise your opponent to pick up some additional chips. Cards can be largely irrelevant when three-betting, but the reason there is value in a Broadway hand over something like 8-3 offsuit is that if you are called you have the potential to hit a strong hand.
*In late position in a multi-way pot, especially early in a tournament
This can be tricky because too many players will commit themselves to a marginal one-pair hand postflop in these situations. You should be playing these situations because of the implied value, which means you are looking to flop a much bigger hand than just one pair. See the flop cheaply and keep the pot small unless you have the nuts or close to it.
*Short-stacked late in a tournament
If you find yourself imperilled late in a tournament Broadway hands are great to shove in with. Think of the range of hands that will call a ten big blind all-in. Small pairs and hands where you are a 60/40 dog are in play here, as well as some hands that you will have dominated. By the same token, if there has been an initial raise and you think you can get it heads-up against this player, moving all-in is a good play, as the initial raiser could have an even wider range of hands than those that would call an open-shove!
KIck ’em to the kerb
So far so good, but Broadway hands can also get you in a lot of trouble and many a tournament life has been snuffed out because of them. Understanding when you should fold a Broadway hand can be one thing that helps you get deep in a poker tournament. Here are some obvious folding situations for you to consider:
*When there has been a raise and a reraise before you.
Even early in a tournament when there is implied value, there is just too much uncertainty in these situations to make this a viable play. Not only is there is a chance the initial raiser will put in a third raise, but there’s a strong likelihood you will face some difficult postflop decisions if you hit a piece of the flop.
*When a tight player has opened in early position.
Tight players typically play two types of hands – big Aces and pairs. You might be ‘racing’ against the smaller pairs but more often than not you are going to be behind in these situations. Unless you are calling to take the pot away from the tight player postflop (in which case your hand doesn’t matter), you should fold.
*In a raised, multi-way pot in the mid to late stages of a tournament.
While calling in these situations is often correct earlier in a tournament, later in a tournament it’s a mistake because the percentage of chips you have to call has more of an impact on your stack size. For example, early in a tournament calling a three times big blind raise when you have 60 big blinds (the average stack) is only 5% of your stack. Later in a tournament when the average stack is often in the 15-20 big blind range, a call can be nearly 20% of your stack. Save your chips for a better situation, especially when the only way you will usually win the pot postflop is to hit a miracle.
*When you are unsure.
This goes without saying. If you aren’t certain what your opponent is holding or what they will do in response to your call or raise, then err on the side of caution and fold.
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Poker Dictionary : Broadway Card