What Is A Cooler In Poker?
A cooler refers to a situation in poker where a player has a very strong hand but runs into an even stronger hand held by their opponent.
One of the easiest ways to identify a cooler in poker is if both players would make the same play with each other’s card. This is the opposite of a suck-out.
Since these situations only come up when both players strongly believe they have the best hand, one player usually loses either all of their chips or a large portion of their stack.
While coolers produce large pots in poker, the reality is that these situations are not as nearly important as most players think. In the long run, you will be on the positive end of a cooler as often as you will be on the negative side of a cooler.
The most important thing from a strategy perspective is not how you play coolers but rather to keep playing your a-game even when you find yourself on the bad side of a cooler.
Poker Cooler Example:
Let’s say you are playing HUSNG and are 100bb deep. You are holding Ks Kd as your hole cards, and you make a raise to 2bb, your opponent 3-bet to 7bb, you 4-bet to 22bb, your opponent 5-bet to 45bb, and you go all in. Your opponent shows As Ad.
In this situation, you have found yourself on the losing end of one of the most common cooler situations. Aces vs. Kings is considered a staple cooler example since both players are confident they hold the best hand in these situations.