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How to Play Queen-Ten Offsuit in Cash Games

Queen-Ten offsuit is far from a premium hand, but it can still be a money maker for you…

…IF you know the right ways to play it.

That is why, in this article, I am going to share with you:

  • How to play Queen-Ten offsuit before the flop
  • 3 tips for playing Queen-Ten offsuit when you hit the flop
  • 3 tips for playing Queen-Ten offsuit when you miss the flop

Let’s get started!

How to Play Queen-Ten Offsuit Preflop

Unopened Pots

Queen-Ten offsuit is a pretty strong hand relative to all other starting hands. That being said, the suited version of Queen-Ten has much more playability postflop.

Because of its lack of suitedness, Queen-Ten offsuit:

  • Cannot call a 3-bet preflop (whereas the suited version often can)
  • Won’t flop flush draws nearly as often (which reduces its ability to realize equity)

For these reasons, this hand cannot profitably be open-raised from every position.

In standard cash games, you should only open-raise with Queen-Ten offsuit from the Cutoff, Button, and Small Blind. Just fold it from the earlier positions unless you have a very good reason (like a passive table, low rake, or an ante in play).

Against a Raise

When faced with a raise before the flop, most of the time you should simply fold Queen-Ten offsuit. The only time you should call is when you are in the Big Blind (since you already have 1BB invested).

You shouldn’t 3-bet with this hand since its equity and playability are too low to make it profitable.

Against a 3-Bet

Queen-Ten offsuit is too weak to call any 3-bet. While it is a solid hand, it’s usually going to be one of the worst hands in your initial raising range. Therefore, you can fold without fearing exploitation.

Side note that applies to all starting hands (and even postflop hands): it’s almost always correct to fold when facing aggression with the bottom of your range.

Note: Discover how to play any hand in every common preflop situation in less than 10 seconds. Get instant access to extensive preflop charts (for cash games and tournaments) when you join the Upswing Lab training course and community. Lock your seat now!

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The Advanced Solver Ranges for cash games — one of six sets of preflop charts in the Upswing Lab.

3 Tips for Playing When You Miss the Flop (As the Preflop Caller)

The following tips are for when you defend your Big Blind with QTo.

Tip #1 – Play tricky with your gutshot straight draws (slow-play sometimes, fast-play sometimes)

Gutshot straight draws are disguised hands that can take your opponent by surprise at times (hence the name). With only 4 outs to a straight, these draws are not the strongest, but they still have a solid chance of hitting on the turn or river (around 16% of the time). 

You should include these hands in both your check-call line and your check-raise line so that both those ranges have that hand class when it hits.

For example, suppose you defend your Big Blind with against a Cutoff raise. The flop comes , you check, and your opponent bets. In this situation, you should play a mixed strategy — sometimes raising and sometimes calling — with your gutshot straight draw.

Tip #2 – Two overcards can sometimes be strong enough to call a bet

Two bare overcards are not enough for a profitable call when facing a c-bet. However, having a strong backdoor flush draw and/or a backdoor straight draw (or two) will turn a losing call into a profitable one. 

You should also be attentive to your opponent’s bet size. The smaller his bet is, the more frequently you should defend with your hand.

For example, let’s say you have on a flop after defending your Big Blind against a Button raise. In this scenario, you should always continue against a bet size of up to 75% of the pot.

If you have , on the other hand, you should probably fold against a 75% pot bet. This is because the strength of your flush draw is not sufficient to give you enough implied odds to make a call profitable. But you could call with that hand against a smaller bet (like 33% pot).

Tip #3 – With a flush draw on monotone flops, you should always check-call

Example: You have or on a flop.

Whether you have the Q-high or T-high flush draw, your hand is too weak to check-raise as a semi-bluff and too strong to check-fold on a monotone flop.

Thus, your best option is to check-call and take a turn to hopefully get a check-back there and see the river for free (and hit the flush).

3 Tips for Playing When You Hit the Flop

These tips are for when you raised with QTo before the flop and connect with the board in some way.

Tip #1 – Lean heavily towards c-betting with your top pairs 

Top pairs are strong hands on the flop. You want to lean toward betting whether you hit the Queen or the Ten top pair. Betting while having the equity lead (which you will almost always have as the preflop raiser) will ensure that you are building the pot while being the favored one to win. It’s the main way to win in poker — building the pot when you have a good hand.

So, let’s say you are in Middle Position and the Big Blind defended against your raise, you should c-bet with your on a flop or on a flop.

Tip #2 – Play it slow and check back with your second/third pairs

These hands can’t extract much value from your opponent’s range. Furthermore, they are not happy facing raises and check-raises. For this reason, it’s best to play these middling hands passively, looking to pick up bluffs from your opponent’s range and to protect the weak hands that you also check with (they still have a tiny bit of equity).

So, if the flop is something like , you should (mostly) check back with your .

(Note: More vulnerable second/third pair hands, such as on , are more reasonable bets because they benefit so much from protection. For more on playing second and third pair hands, read my article When Should You C-Bet with Middle or Bottom Pair in Cash Games?)

Tip #3 – Slow playing strong hands is for noobs

Slow-playing your super-strong hands is something you should do extremely rarely in No Limit Hold’em.

When it comes to flop c-betting in position, you should (almost) never do it. The one exception is when the board is monotone or when you have top set, specifically.

Not betting on all the other boards will mean you will end up winning smaller pots on average. Not building the pot with your good hands lowers your expected value (EV).

So, don’t make the noobie mistake of checking with a hand like on a flop!

Wrapping Up

Bam, wham, shazam! Your 5-minute guide to playing Queen-Ten offsuit has been served.

The ball is in your court now. Are you going to act on it? Or are you going to keep making the same old mistakes?

That’s all for this article! If you enjoyed it, let me know in the comment section down below! Also, if you want me to cover any other hand, also let me know in the comment section down below.

Read this next: How to Play Middle Pocket Pairs After Calling a 3-Bet (6 Tips)

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

Note: Poker players like you are improving their skills every day in the Upswing Lab training course and community. Don’t get left in the dust. Learn more now!

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