Playing The Pocket Aces – Part 1

Introduction

The chances of receiving a pocket pair are almost the 5.88%, while receiving a particular pocket pair (AA, KK or QQ exc.) is: 5.88 / 13 = 0.45%. So, odds of getting the best hand in Texas Hold’em are just 220:1; on 220 hands, you should see the Pocket Aces just once. Even if it is quite rare to  have the Pocket Aces as starting hand, it is basic for all the poker players to know how to play them in the best way possible. In any position, any level of blinds, any moment of the tournament, you have to defend your strong hand. Let’s see, through a short analysis, how to earn as much chips as you possible can.

Playing the Pocket Aces Pre-flop

Early Position

Playing the pocket aces in early position is quite easy; the best way is obviously raising the pot, from 3 to 5 times the BB. If someone re-raise you, you can consider yourself as very lucky, because that would be the right moment to say “I’m all in”, that’s because just calling on a re-raise with A-A is quite wrong, and you could be bluffed on a scary (or not so scary) flop, or forced to make hard decisions. But at the same time, you’ll probably not be called by the re-raiser, who won’t mark your playing as a “position play”; in fact you’re holding the best starting hand. That’s another way of playing: limping and hoping that someone will raise the pot. I don’t really suggest this option; you could find yourself in multiplayer pots, reducing your percentage of winning.

Middle Position

If you’re playing on a table with many aggressive players (very common online), a standard raise (3 times the BB) is the right move to do, you want to get re-raised by players that have position on you. If you think you have very loose opponents, raise 5/6 times the BB, trying to “clear the field”.

Late Position

In late position, your raise can be marked as “steal raise” by other players, obviously that’s a great advantage for you, if you have maniac-aggressive players on the blinds and you’ll sure they will raise you, you can just limp.

The Blinds

Playing on the blinds with the pocket aces is very good Pre-flop, and it’s better if the table is well-skilled and tight-aggressive. Following the “classic strategy” of Texas Hold’em, if no one entered the pot (or just limped), on the small blind, you have to attack, raising 4 or 5 times the BB, this will certainly be interpreted as the beginning of the “blinds battle”, and the big blind would probably shove any pair or any 2 “paints”. On the big blind the way of playing is almost the same.

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