LearnWPT Poker Hands of the Month - Playing Aces
Ok, so you know Pocket Aces are the best hand you can be dealt preflop...
BUT do you know:
➟ When to hold 'em?
➟ When to fold 'em?
➟ When to walk away?
➟ When to run?
Practice your decision-making skills with everyone's favorite hand by reviewing this collection of Poker Hand examples featuring the illustrious "pocket rockets":
A♠A♦ on the Turn
In a Cash Game, you raise from Under the Gun with A♠A♦. It folds around to the Small Blind who calls. The Big Blind folds. The Flop comes K♣2♥6♠. The Small Blind checks, you bet, the Small Blind raises. You call. The Turn is the 9♥. The Small Blind checks.
🡆 Do you Check or Bet?
A♠A♥ vs a Flop Check-Raise
In this cash game scenario a UTG+2 player calls, you raise from the hijack seat with A♠A♥, it folds around to UTG+2 who calls your raise. The flop comes 2♥6♦9♠, the UTG+2 player checks, you bet, and UTG+2 check-raises.
🡆Would you fold, call or reraise?
A♦A♥ on the River
In a Tournament, you are dealt A♦A♥ in an early position and you raise. It folds around to the Big Blind who calls. The Flop comes Q♣Q♥5♠. The Big Blind checks, you bet, and the Big Blind calls. The Turn is the T♦. The Big Blind checks and you check behind. The River is the Q♠. The Big Blind checks, you bet, and the Big Blind raises All-In.
🡆What do you do here?
Trip Aces vs a River Bet
In a Tournament, the UTG player raises preflop, MP2 calls, you call with A♣5♣ and the other players fold. The flop comes A♥A♦4♣. UTG and MP2 check and you bet. UTG calls and MP2 folds. The turn is the K♦. UTG checks, you bet, and UTG calls. The river is the Q♠, and UTG shoves all-in.
🡆Action is on you, what do you do?
Set of A♠A♣ vs a Check-Raise
In a Cash Game, UTG+1 calls and so does UTG+2, both Middle Position players, and the Hijack. You are in the Cutoff seat with A♠A♣. You raise and it folds around to MP1 who calls. All other players fold and it’s heads up to the flop, which comes K♦A♦7♦. MP1 checks and you bet. MP1 raises. Facing this raise from MP1, what is your play?
🡆Do you fold, call, raise or go all-in?
When playing a poker hand, it's very important to look at all the hands in your range and not just the hand you hold. Pocket aces are the strongest hand in the game preflop, however sometimes it’s pretty obvious that your hand is behind postflop and you need to be present and engaged enough to know when you are beat and fold.
Understanding and mastering strategies such as fundamental 1-Pair Betting Lines, Relative Hand Strength Postflop, and Pot Odds, will give you the opportunities to exert skill edge against your opponents and play your aces effectively.
The concept of betting lines is crucial to understanding your overall game plan.
A betting line is the plan of actions taken across multiple streets, the blueprint of how to play various types of hands. If you have good betting lines that you use in your game plan, you shouldn't think street by street or find yourself on the turn without a plan for the hand.
With 1-Pair hands, specifically a top pair or an over pair, it's important to know when to continuation bet postflop, up against a single opponent and when to take a cautious approach. If you are just focused on the specific hand you hold and not on the situation, you may end up trying to get three streets of value where it's not profitable and find yourself up against much better hands by the time there's a showdown at the river.
Relative hand strength refers to your hand strength changing based on the situation, so your goal should be to start seeing poker situationally and pay attention to the number of opponents that saw the flop with you.
Number of opponents is key to relative hand strength because the more players that see the flop, the stronger the average hand at showdown. You should also pay attention to how coordinated that flop is, for example how many draws are present, how close together and rank those cards are.
Board texture will influence how likely it is that anybody has hit the flop. It’s also very important to note how position can change from preflop to postflop, where from the blinds for example, you can start the hand as last to act preflop but have to act first after the flop.
Stack depth is another crucial factor that you need to consider in every hand that you play, as the deeper the stacks are, the better hand you need to get all your chips in the middle.
Tying all these concepts together, in every single hand that you play postflop you should pay attention to estimate of opponent hand ranges based on actions taken. Note how your opponents played the hand thus far and what type of hand ranges would you put a reasonable opponent on that took those actions.
Lastly, when deciding whether to continue in a hand it’s essential to look at the Pot odds you are being offered in a hand to determine appropriate risk/reward.
Pot odds refers to how much is already in the pot for you to win versus how much you risk in order to win it, or in other words how much is already in the pot compared to how much you have to call in order to continue in the hand. As a quick reference you can always remember that you are facing a one pot-sized bet, the pot odds are 2 to 1, and if the bet is half-pot sized, your pot odds are 3 to 1.
We hope you enjoy these hands and that the strategies you learn will have you singing instead of crying the next time you are dealt the mighty pocket aces.
🗣️🎶 You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done 🎶
(Sorry we got carried away....)
Keep on practicing!
PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game. Members have access to over 150+ scenarios like this to practice their decision-making skills!
How are these scenarios helping your game?
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