Why it is Important not to Overvalue Pocket Aces

There is no denying that pocket aces are the best hole cards in poker. Statistically, they have an advantage over every other hand, so getting them is a big deal, but playing them correctly and not overvaluing them is the only way to make sure you have the best chance of winning with them. Here, we will explore this point in more detail.

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Pocket aces are just a pair of aces

How many monster pots do you see won with an over pair to the board on a tight table? In reality, the only way you are really going to get paid on aces (unless you are up against a chaser) is if you hit a set, hit four cards to the flush or play against somebody with top pair and kicker who is willing to bet big that you have nothing.

In a hand where you have pocket aces and you go to the flop with three other players, the chances of aces taking it down are going to be about 50% or less, and this is something you need to note.

Winning a huge pot with aces is rare

Unless you come up against kings or queens or somebody who is willing to chuck it all in with AK pre flop the chances are that you will not win a monster pot (unless you hit set vs set or set vs two pair) when you have pocket aces. Even though you have a 67% chance of winning (roughly) when dealt aces your chances of winning a big pot are much lower.

The right way to play aces

You should be putting in a good size three times the big blind pre-flop in order to eliminate as many players as possible. Pocket aces heads up against suited connectors will hold up 80% of the time, but as mentioned, against three other players they will hold up less than 50% of the time.

If you are re-raised preflop, then you can only be up against A-K or another big pocket pair, in which case, push all in and go to a showdown. If you are up against a large pocket pair, you will win about 81% of the time, and if you go into every pot with the chance to double up 81% of the time you will be a winner in the long run.

If it goes to a flop, stick out a small continuation bet (if you get the chance) of about 50-75% of the pot to see where you are. If you are called, the chances are you are in front, if you are re-raised, you have to make a hard decision based on the player re-raising you and how the hand has played pre-flop. If you are still in the hand by the turn, then play the hand like you would if you had a pair of aces. By this time, you should have a read on what type of hand the other player has and this will allow you to use your judgement.

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