Trash hands comprise most of the hands in Texas Hold'em. This article will teach how they can be played with utmost efficiency.
In Texas Hold'Em, let us have a rundown of the hands which are considered playable:
(1) Pocket pairs: A-A to 2-2
(2) Ace-King (A-K), Ace-Queen (A-Q), Ace-Jack (A-J), Ace-Ten (A-10)
(3) Ace-any suited or King-any suited
(4) Any two face cards (K-Q, K-J, etc.), preferably suited
(5) Any face card and a Ten (K-10, Q-10, J-10), preferably suited
(6) Suited connecting cards (like 7-6 suited, 10-8 suited) with at most one gap
By taking position into consideration, we may play these hands in some situations (mostly in late position, or when just calling with a few more chips when we are at the blinds) or we may throw them away (esp. in early position, unless our hand is really good or unless we want to impress the strength of our hand upon others). All hands other the ones mentioned are colloquially referred to as trash hands or garbage hands, because - well, they're trash or garbage. Their hand values dictate that they're simply unplayable.
For many players, it's an automatic fold, unless they are at the big blind and everyone just calls. You check, then you hope to hit the flop very hard with your trash hand, and no one else has an idea! Just beware: if you have a trash hand in the blinds which you just check, then expect the other callers to have a more decent hand than yours', such as A-x suited or even an offsuit connector. For instance, if you have a trash Q-4, then Q-7-4 is a strong flop with which you can move your trash Q-4 all in with. It's not likely that someone had a Q-7, or a 7-4, but you should fear someone who has the 7-7 or 4-4 (but it's really moot, because they might as well have raised with pairs, and you can fold in a flash).
There is the ideal bluffer's question: When should you raise with trash preflop? Of course, in late position, when someone raises, you can immediately reraise with any hand if you think the raiser is weak. The raiser might think that your reraise indicates a monster. Or you can play the trash hand as if you're playing Pocket Aces: just raise with it in early position, then once you get reraised, you can four-bet back. When your raise isn't reraised and is just called, then just try to represent something as well as you could postflop. For instance, the flop may be A-6-9. If you suspect that someone has a small pocket pair somewhere, you can fire a continuation bet with trash, and even K-K will fold. If the flop is 8♥-9♥-J♣, then someone with A-K may not even consider continuing once you fire a substantially large bet (unless it's A♥-K♥) even with trash.
Playing trash hands is a matter of representing as well as you could and reading players as superbly as your mind could handle. Since your hand, by itself, is nearly valueless, you don't play the hand - you play the other player's wits - unless you somehow hit a monster with it. However, don't play trash hands just for the fun of it. You can move all-in with it occasionally, especially when you are shorthanded, in danger of blinding out, and getting impatient, but do not get too cocky with trash hands if you have a safe stack - someone might show the nuts to you and you have no decent chance of fighting back. When in doubt, do not play trash hands - that is the best way of playing them.