How to Play Pocket Aces

how to play pocket aces

by Tony Dunst

Few experiences in poker rival the excitement of looking down at pocket aces. Anyone can look smart by winning a big pot with aces, but the skill in playing them well comes from knowing how to maximize your value, disguise the strength of your hand, and minimize your losses if someone draws out.

The video between Sorel Mizzi and Freddie Deeb is a good demonstration of that first point, maximizing value. The pre-flop and flop action in the hand are rather obvious; Sorel raises, Freddy calls with Kd Jd, and then calls a bet on the 3c Jc 9d flop. Some would check when the Ts lands on the turn, but Sorel knows there’s plenty of hands in Freddy’s range that are still behind, so he makes another bet. That also bloats the pot, so in the event a safe card lands on the river, Sorel can get paid on a large bet (and check behind when more threatening cards land).

Disguising the strength of your hand is particularly important with aces because so many players have trouble doing it; they make calls or raises that they would never make with any other holding. Some players only limp late in a tournament with one hand: aces. Or they 3-bet tiny with aces, but make large raises with every other holding. Or they flat-call a raise with 10 big blinds when they’d shove or fold everything else. Plays like these are a great way to tell anyone paying attention exactly what you have. And since there’s so much upside to cracking aces, people will find opportunities if you communicate your hand.

The last key element to playing aces well, is minimizing your losses when you sense that you’re cracked. Because aces are the best starting hand, many players acquire a certain ‘attachment’ to them, or feel that they ‘deserve’ to win with aces. Those sentiments will get expensive if your hand has been cracked and you can’t find a fold. Take the hand between Freddy and Sorel; although Sorel bet the turn for value, I think he was intending to fold had Freddy check-raised (which he likely would’ve done with better hands, such as a straight or two pair). If you’re paying attention to hand ranges, then you should know which turn and river cards help you and which hurt…and if the river hurts enough, check if you have the opportunity, and fold if you’re facing a huge bet.

 

Tagged with:

2 Responses to “How to Play Pocket Aces”

Leave a Comment

About Texas Holdem Strategy

TexasHoldemStrategy.net is one of the most trusted and reputable poker information websites. We are dedicated to bringing you the best poker strategy articles and coaching videos on Texas Holdem.

Disclaimer

TexasHoldemStrategy.net does not own all of the articles posted on the website. Some of the articles are provided by players from different online sources, if it infringing your rights, please contact us at support@texasholdemstrategy.net.

pokerstars logo
100% up to $600
PokerStars is the largest and busiest online poker room in the world. The site is busy 24-hours per day every day with unrivaled selection of cash games and tournaments. Extremely financially secure.
Play Now
888 poker logo
$88 No Deposit Bonus
100% up to $400
The world’s second largest online poker site and one that is dedicated to recreational players. 888 Poker is known for loose and juicy holdem games. $88 Free, no deposit required.
Play Now
americas cardroom logo
27% Rakeback
100% up to $1,000
Americas Cardroom is one of the most popular online poker rooms to accept players from the United States. Cutting edge and user-friendly poker software with 27% rakeback.
Play Now