There have surely been innumerable times you have sat at a table hoping and praying to whatever divine force you believe in for just a pair of aces. Even though the odds of getting dealt pocket aces are slim, knowing how to play aces in Texas Hold’em poker is a skill you need to have in your arsenal.
We say this because a pair of aces can pave your way to victory at the tables.
Despite aces being such a strong hand, it is said that there are still woe stories that flit around the poker world about players losing and getting flustered with a pair of aces. To remedy this situation, we are here to help you play this amazing pair with so much potential so that the next time to get the opportunity to play a pair of aces you are armed.
Every poker player has at least once in their pokey journey dreamed of revealing their pair of aces at the showdown and bagging the pot with sheer confidence and a smug face. We want to make sure that this dream of yours is seen to fruition.
Now, remember that the way you play aces depends completely on the setting in which they are. This could be a cash game or a tournament. Your position, early or late, also affects the gameplay. However, there is a general strategy to play aces too, so don’t fret. Usually raising aggressively in the pre-flop and then betting and raising till you reach resistance works well for most players.
With the basics out of the way, let us get into the details.
How to play aces in Texas Hold’em poker
When you play Texas Hold’em poker there are ways to play your aces in a profitable way. Aces can become tricky because in poker no hand is invincible. That is the beauty of the game. No matter the hands you are dealt with if you do not play skilfully, you can still be at the losing end of the table.
Before you start sweating it, read our guide to acing your aces when you play Texas Hold’em and make sure you take home the glory of the pot with your pocket aces.
We will discuss some of the ways, in which you can make sure you make the best use of your pocket aces.
Aces play better in smaller fields
Aces should be played aggressively because even though they are the strongest pair they don’t perform that well in larger playing fields.
Against a couple of hands, you will shine, but against four players your Aces really could become underdogs.
However, if you raise pre-flop, you can eliminate players and become the strongest hand.
Pick up your pace
When playing pocket aces, you need to ditch the temptation to play slow and steady. Granted that raising with aces and then getting no action at the table can be annoying but unless you know that some other player will raise for you, playing slow is a complete non-point.
This is mainly because playing slow can backfire. When four or more players are calling, then you will have to fold your aces right after the flop.
There is a time to slow play aces too. This is when you know your opponent and can mix up things to keep them guessing. Or you can play slowly against a player who has raised pre-flop but folds extremely often to a three-bet.
Overall you want to raise or re-raise with pocket aces most of the time that you play them. This turns out to be the most profitable way to approach pocket aces.
Don’t raise the minimum
In poker, the amount you bet tells a story. So, when you choose to bet the minimum, it is a huge blunder. You are conveying to everyone at the table that you want action. Your goal should be the opposite. Giving players a cheap ticket to the front row of the flop is not your aim with a pair of aces, is it?
You should instead be thinning the herd down to two or three players at max.
Post flop play with Aces
You will likely face a tough decision when the board has a flush, or a straight draw that is peering at you and your opponent is playing aggressively with a ginormous bet. What do you do here? Is there even a right decision? Should you fold and cut your losses, or should you try to come on top of your opponent’s raise by making sure that he or she does not have the correct odds for the draw?
In almost all cases, you will want to bet on pocket aces. Especially when playing low stakes, this is a lucrative option. Players who play low stakes have two main qualities, passive play and willingness to call. If these players have any hand that they like they will call so making default bets with pocket aces can be very fruitful. Take the leap.
Take into consideration the board texture
When playing aces in Texas Hold’em , the board texture should play a key role in your decision.
Getting raised on a six of hearts, eight of spades and a nine of clubs is very different from getting raised on the king of diamonds, king of spades, and a deuce of hearts.
In the first case, there are many draws on the boards. Whereas, on the second board, there is almost nothing with a raise.
If you get raised on the first board by an aggressive opponent, you can consider re-raising or at least calling. Then you can play aggressively later when you are at the turn and the river, depending on the cards.
On the other hand, against a tight player, you should be more cautious and even fold.
In the second case, you can call regardless of the player you are up against. Re-raising in this position will get you in a spot where you will get action from strong hands and the weak ones will fold away.
Playing pocket aces is tricky and definitely requires some experience. Having these basic pointers to help you make your decisions will lead to a more profitable play overall.
Just to recap:
Aces play better in smaller playing fields
Aces should be played at a fast pace
Raising the minimum with pocket aces invites trouble
Betting in the post-flop is a good idea
Aces should be played keeping in mind the texture of the board and the type of player you are up against
This was our quick guide to playing aces in Texas Hold’em. Check out our interesting blogs on Spartan Poker for more such helpful guides.
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