It’s one of the trickiest hands to play and most players so tend to struggle when dealt pocket aces. This article is going to touch on various things to remember and ways to improve your win rate when playing AA in poker.
#1 It’s “the nuts” preflop, play it that way
AA is always the nuts preflop, so it should always be played this way. Raise or reraise with it, try to get it all-in preflop if possible. Don’t try to be clever by trapping people into a hand. Don’t limp raise of flat call to trap. If you minimise the value of your hand when holding AA preflop, you are allowing others to take advantage of your superior hand. So make sure you 3 or 4 bet preflop. If you are lucky, another player will make the mistake of reraising allowing you to push with your aces.
#2 Ask yourself what kind of flop it is
It’s not easy getting your opponent all-in preflop, unless they are holding another monster such as KK, QQ and sometimes AK. So, once the flop has been dealt, the first question to ask yourself is what kind of flop it is. If you managed to get in a good raise preflop, then the chances are your stack to pot ratio has dwindled and you’ll be shoving all in regardless. If the raises were minimal and the pot isn’t already huge you don’t want to just shove your chips in at this point, you’ll want to consider some other factors.
#3 Consider your opponent
Who else is involved in this hand? Most of the decisions we make in poker revolve around our opponent and this is no exception. If you opponent is usually a loose player, making calling mistakes often, you can probably 3 bet him to the river and shove or check-raise him all in at this point. However the tighter the player, the more wary you should be. They are probably not going to call you, unless they are beating your overpair.
#4 What is the flop texture?
The best thing about holding AA is that on the flop is that you are holding an overpair, but this is where things can get real tricky. If you flop is showing two cards of the same suit, you don’t really want to give the other players involved too much action. Consider your opponent’s range and how they might usually react to flops of this texture. For instance a tight player will play pocket tens much differently against a Q,8,4 flop than a 9,2,7 flop. If you can gauge roughly what your opponent’s cards are by the way that they bet then you’re halfway there.
#5 Know when to fold
If the size of your bet will only get called by hands that are beating you, then consider checking. You should also check against very aggressive players to try and induce a bluff. If you are raised postflop, it can be confusing. But that is why you need to assign a range to each player in order to estimate the likelihood that they have you beaten. If a passive player raises you on the river, nine times out of ten you will be beaten and should fold.
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