Slowplaying Pocket Aces
at Online Poker Tables
Written by Haunted Poker for exclusive
The truth is, most of the time you're usually going to
either win a small pot or lose a big one with Pocket
Aces. It's a big hand. The biggest hand (before the
flop, at least). It's a very tough hand to lay down, and
it's very tough to know when you're beaten. The key to
playing pocket Aces is: Don't get greedy and never
slowplay 'em! Well, almost never slowplay 'em. There are
a few situation where you might consider it, but I'll go
into that later. If you follow my advice you will cut
down on bad beats considerably. You might be playing in
smaller pots, but at least you'll be winning most of the
So, let's begin with our first piece of advice when
holding pocket Aces: Don't get greedy. A win is a win.
What is the only reason to slowplay a hand? To make more
money by trapping your opponents in for additional bets
when you have a big hand. That's sound in theory, but
Aces are a very vulnerable hand. You should rarely
slowplay a hand at a point where it's still vulnerable.
Think about all the hands that can beat you after the
flop - two pair, trips, a straight, a flush, a full
house, etc. Do you want to let a garbage hand in cheaply
that can hit one of these hands?
Poker, especially online poker, is filled with players
who like to gamble it up. They throw caution to the wind
when they're holding 5-8 offsuit and will call the
minimum bet without hesitation. You can make a case (not
a very strong one, but a case nonetheless) for them,
too. If it's so cheap to get in, why not play every hand
hoping to flop a monster? You and I might not think that
way, but plenty of people do. You'll also be playing
with a good number of people who have a lot of money and
are playing poker for kicks. They'll play every hand
because the money doesn't mean much to them. Do you want
to make it easier on them?
Raise your Aces!
You should raise your Aces preflop most of the time,
especially in online play. You wouldn't be making a
mistake if you raised them EVERY time. If you're playing
NL, raise at least 3 to 4 times the big blind. By doing
this, you're making it at least that much harder for
your opponents to call you without a hand. You'll still
get bad players who will call you without any cards only
to break your hand, but at least you're making them
think twice about doing it. Don't get greedy. If
everyone folds to you, you've still won the pot, right?
I'll take winning a small pot over a losing a big one
every day of the week.
My second is: never slowplay 'em. You've already raised
preflop, so when 3 rags come out on the flop, bet or
raise it again! Your opponent still might have you
beaten, but he could also be on a draw. The worst thing
that you could do is check - giving your opponent a free
card that could complete his draw. How many times have
you been burned by slowplaying your Rockets? Vow to
never to do it again! It's just too much trouble. The
rare time when I would suggest slowplay is when you hit
a full house, quads, or top set without a draw on the
board. If you hit one of those, you probably should
slowplay and give your opponents a chance to catch up.
Take the following no-limit hand as an example of why
you should play your Aces strong. I was on the other
side of it this time, but I haven't always been. I had
4-5 suited and I was on the button (last position).
Three players called ahead of me and I called the
minimum bet. The small blind folded and the big blind
checked. Our flop was 3-6-7 rainbow, giving me the nuts!
The big blind bets for the minimum, the other 3 players
fold, and I raise it to the size of the pot. He
immediately reraises and puts his whole stack in! I have
him covered and so I obviously call his bet. The turn
and river were inconsequential and I drag a huge pot. I
had the 4-5 this time, but how many times have you had
the A-A in that situation? You must raise your Aces
because I fold everytime with my 4-5 to a good-sized
Don't get greedy and never slowplay your Aces! Follow
these two simple rules and you won't suffer nearly as
many bad beats.
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