Poker is a game that combines familiar classics and original rules in its 150 variations, big wins and high-profile losses, strict poker academies and slang that is almost familiar to all players. Some conditional, let’s say, designations have deeply and seriously entered the vocabulary of the game – this article will be devoted to one of them, or rather, the term Nuts.
There is no consensus about when the term “nuts” appeared in poker and what gave the name to the best combination in the hand. Many connoisseurs associate the name with the well-known candy. Others prefer to cultivate a version of an earlier origin, transferring the term’s origin to the Wild West. The fact is that one of the translations of the word nut is “nut”. The gamblers of that time often staked their property, which basically turned out to be a means of transportation – a wagon. In order for the bet to be accepted, and the payment to be guaranteed in case of a loss, the players unscrewed the nuts (nuts) from the wheels of the cart and unloaded them onto the gaming table. It is worth noting that in the days of cowboys, poker was not the way modern players are used to perceiving it. There were no community cards, so the certainty of winning was very weak, and large bets were extremely risky.
Nuts in poker is by far the strongest combination at a certain stage of the game. And we’re not referring to the coveted King’s Straight Flush, we’re talking about an ordinary Straight or even a Set (Three). Sometimes an average, but promising hand can also be considered a “nut”.
The participant who gets the Nuts most often wins and takes all the pot of the game. Professionals are able to optimally extract their value from this situation – that is, fill the pot with opponents’ chips as much as possible before winning.
The best course of action here is to be in slopplay mode, deciding to check, call and make small bets before the river and then try to bet more later, provoking your opponents to waste their stack.
Let’s look at an example of what the Nuts or Nuts hand in poker is. Let’s start with the turn – let’s say you have two Queens (QQ) in your opening hand, and your opponent has two Sevens (77) – the following cards come out on the board – Queen, Seven, Eight, Eight (Q, 7, 8, 8) – it turns out that both of you have collected an excellent full-fledged combination of Full House, but at the same time, the Nuts hand is the one that has Queens. Now your opponent has a chance to win only if his out comes to Four of a Kind on the river – that is, if the total Seven comes on the table.
Note that Nuts on River Street is already a guaranteed victory if you do everything right and do not go to Tilt with joy.
- Let’s assume the following situation. The player’s pocket cards are two nines (diamonds and hearts). On the board were the remaining two nines (clubs and spades), two fives (diamonds and spades), and the king of hearts. The nut combination in this case will be four of a kind nines, since a stronger combination will not come together in any case. The next strongest hand after the nuts is a set of kings.
- The player’s personal cards are 8 clubs and 10 spades. On the table were 3 of hearts, 9 of spades, 7 of diamonds, 6 of clubs and an ace of hearts. The nut hand will be straight. A straight in this situation is possible if the player has 5 and 8 cards in his hand, but this combination will not be the nuts, since a straight with 10 high wins. Above the straight, it is impossible to make a combination with the listed cards.
- The player’s pocket cards are the ace and jack of clubs. Community cards: 10, 4, 3 clubs and king and queen of diamonds. In this case, the nut hand is an ace-high flush, since there will be no higher hand in this hand.
The nuts in poker have two separate classifications – the Absolute Nuts and the Current Nuts. The first option is the Nuts hand at the River stage, when the board already has all the community cards and there will be no more “surprises” or outs – this Nuts is the best possible option.
Combinations that are suitable for this category are – Four of a kind (four unsuited cards of the same value / denomination) at the Flop stage; a combination of a full-fledged Flush (five cards of the same suit out of order) at the Turn stage; Straight Flush combination (five cards of the same suit, going in exact order) with the condition that there is no out card for your opponent. And, of course, ideally, all of the above sets should be made up of high cards.
The current Nuts is the second variant of the best combination, but already at one stage or another of the game – for example, on the Flop or Turn. Accordingly, on the following streets, the situation with the advantage has risks that will not change for the better, since your opponent can get the outs necessary for his strengthening and you will lose your “nuts”.
The goal of any hand in poker is to get the maximum benefit, in the specific case of the Nuts, it is to get value. As in other situations during the game, you need to carefully monitor the behavior of your opponents or opponent, consider your position at the table and choose your style of play. There are two main options for playing the Nuts hand – aggressive and passive.
By opting to play aggressively you will need to be confident in your advantage over your opponents, either by betting heavily or by busting, which can provoke your opponents to fold or raise doubts about the strength of their hand.
Passive Nuts is about quietly luring opponents into the game, with the aim of luring them out of as much of their stack as possible by betting back. Call or commit a check – you need to lull their guard a bit and not immediately show your Nuts. And, of course, there’s no point or need to fold Nuts.