Playing Ace-King in Texas
Everyone who plays Texas Holdem knows that Ace-King is one of the very
best starting hands. But, it is just that, a starting hand. It�s only 2
cards of a 7-card equation. In nearly every situation, you want to come
out firing with A-K as your hole cards. (The exception would be when faced
with a big raise from an early position bettor.) When the flop comes, you
need to reassess your hand and think things through before you just assume
your overcards are best.
Like many other situations in Texas Holdem, knowing your opponents will
help you gauge your situation when you hold A-K and see a flop like 9-8-2.
Since you bet preflop and were called, you assume your opponent is also
holding good cards and the flop may have missed them as badly as it missed
you. Your assumption will often times be correct, but they could be
holding a pocket pair and be leading in the hand, or worse yet have pocket
9s, 8s, or 2s. Also, don�t forget that many poor players wouldn�t know
good cards if they tripped over them and could have called with A-x and
paired the board.
If your opponent checks, you could check and see a free card or make a
bet and try to pick the pot up right there. If they bet, you could raise
to see if they are for real or fold. What you want to avoid is simply
calling your opponent�s bet to see what the turn brings. If any card other
than and Ace or King hits, you won�t know any more information than you
did after the flop. Let�s say the turn brings a 4 and your opponent bets
again, what do you do? To call a bet on the flop you had to think your
hand was the best, so you must surely think it still is. So, you call a
bet on the turn and one more on the river to find out that your opponent
was holding 10-8 and only had second pair after the flop. At that point,
it dawns on you that a raise after the flop could have won the pot right
then. Instead, you called and lost 3 more bets in the hopes of catching a
miracle card or that your Ace high would hold up. If you would have raised
on the flop and been called or reraised it would have only cost you 2 bets
to learn more about the strength of your opponents hand.
Ace-King is a beautiful thing to see in your hole cards. Just be sure
you play them wisely and they can bring you great happiness at the poker
For more information, check out www.4TexasHoldem.com.
Writer for 4TexasHoldem.com