how to play pocket aces

Texas Hold em Starting Hands » Pocket Aces

Knowing how to play pocket aces is an important part of a complete Texas Hold'em strategy. Like pocket queens or pocket kings that get dealt out into your pocket, pocket aces are really exciting--and even more exciting than those excellent deals, because pocket aces are the best out of all of them.

Now, keep in mind, however, that pocket aces are still just a pair. A really great pair to start the game, and full of possibilities, but just a pair nonetheless. But just as with KK or QQ, you want to come out strong and aggressive. You don't limp in with these (unless you have reason to believe that you are playing with some hip-shooters who are rarely or never tight; then you may want to limp in with pocket aces just to let them clean up and sweeten the pot for you while you mitigate your risk; but this is all dependent on how much you know about how the other players play). With pocket aces, the main strategy is to attempt to win hands before the flop. You can be confident before the flop that you have the best hand, and you can raise, re-raise, and keep on going until you've whittled away at the other players until you're in a showdown pre-flop or even take the pot without a flop being dealt!

Of course, this isn't necessarily going to work, as other players may figure out what you've got and be willing to call until you give in. They will then try to build a hand that beats what you've got in the pocket. You will have to look for draw down hands that beat a pair of aces and watch carefully to determine if other players likely have KK or even QQ so you can figure out if they've got cards that could build a winning hand against yours. But the good news here, again, is that cards that help them are likely to be cards that also help you.

Now,if you think that you're sitting at table with other players who might not be cowed, you can do some semi-bluffing and limp in, never hinting at what you have. Now these other players are likely to start going at it with each other. They will raise and re-raise trying to intimidate others while they build the pot as much as possible. Meanwhile, you could continue to just call or even check down if you're in middle or late position...and then, pounce when they haven't been paying attention. But once more you will have to be very wary and observant of the board the whole time.

If you want to semi-bluff with limping at first, the time to become aggressive is after a round of betting on the flop. This should tell you what you need to know about the other players and their probable hands. At this point, if you keep getting re-raised, look at the board carefully. Does the other guy have something like AK? If he does, can he build a hand that beats yours from the board? If it seems possible and he keeps re-raising you, don't be shy about folding. Every hand can be a loser--especially a pair.

Of course, if you trip up or get a straight or rainbow board of your own, especially on the flop, you may want to just go for the shove. But once again, the best Texas Hold'em strategy concerning how to play pocket aces is to be aggressive early and often.

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