Pocket Aces, the weapons of mass destruction, everyone’s favorite hand, but why do people keep losing with them? The biggest problems with amateurs playing pocket aces is they either A) play them to slow or B) play them to fast where they cannot get any equity out of the hand.
Depending on the situation of the table, there are many ways of playing Pocket Aces, but there should always be one rule that you follow. RAISE!!! As a player playing pocket aces, its always important to raise and take complete control of the hand. Without raising you will never have an idea of what your opponents are holding. Also, getting information isn’t the only beneficiary of raising, the chance of getting re-raised is also good. The best scenario for you would to be able to get it all in pre flop against one player. The flip side to raising is, if you do not get raised, you will pick up a small pot, and move along.
Keep in mind these plays are thought to be right around the 35BB-45BB range.
Now there are other fancy ways to play aces in different positions to disguise the size of your hand and potentially win you alot of chips. The best times to only call raises or call the big blind is 1) when a very aggressive player raises in the hijack/cutoff/or button and you are in the SB or BB 2) when you are in the small blind and the big blind is an aggressive player. These are typically the only two scenarios that you want to call with this hand, and raising in this position is not improper as well.
Now, you raised preflop, and got called by a semi-tight player. Knowing he is a semi-tight player, you can bet any flop and will likely just get called or folded to. The actual worst case scenario here would be to get raised a large amount. Against these players, play fast, bet according to the pot, and be content with taking down a medium sized pot.
In this situation, you raise preflop, and get called by an aggressive player. His range is huge, which may make it easy to trap him. The flop comes 10d 7d 2s. You continuation bet, and he raises. This is typically the best situation for your hand because you know your opponent is an aggressive player and will usually make this raise with a top pair or flush draw. If this type of player is a gambler or a loose cannon, you can typically raise and hopefully get it all in against a likely pair of tens. Play very fast against this player in these situations. Take full advantage of his insanely fast play to take down large pots.
Finally, you are in the small blind and call the big blind. The big blind is a solid aggressive player that doesn’t raise in the big blind, as are you. The flop comes Qs Js 8d. You check, he bets. Now, you are in a very difficult position here. The flop comes super sequenced and you have no idea what he has. The best play to do here is make a small raise, or just a call. The reason for the small raise is if he does have a hand like Q3 or J5, he is likely to just call behind and relinquish control of the hand to you. Yet, if he flopped a monster with Q10 or J10 or Ks8s, he will likely reraise you and try to get more value for his big hand/draw. Against this player, play slow and methodically, more often than not, you will take down the minimal or lose the minimal.
There are many ways to play pocket aces, but only one real sure fire way of winning with them most of the time. RAISING. Situations can be avoided by raising your premium hand, and not getting cute with it. Keep raising, be aware of your opponent, take down pots.