WPT Global: Top Five Strategy Tips To Get The Most Out of Pocket Aces
It's always nice to see two aces in the hole. However, strong as they are before the flop, pocket aces still require savvy play after the flop to avoid turning your best starting hand into an expensive mistake.
To help you acquire that savvy, WPT Global has put together a list of five important strategy tips.
Mistake 1: Slowplaying Pocket Aces Preflop
Pocket aces are the preflop nuts. It can be tempting to get tricky with aces, limping in to disguise your strength. However, this just allows more players into the pot, which will put you in much more difficult spots once the community cards come down.
When you get aces in a cash game, make sure you bet them hard. This does two things. It puts more money in the pot while you're ahead and makes it more likely you'll find yourself short-handed on the flop. Aces are easier to play against fewer opponents, so push for those two or three-way pots with preflop aggression.
The exception is when you're all in preflop. In that scenario, although your odds of winning drop with every caller, your expected value increases. So, feel free to try and talk more players into joining you in that scenario.
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Mistake 2: Failing To Slowplay Pocket Aces Preflop
You're not misreading that. There are spots where slowplaying does work. These tend to be in tournaments where stacks are short and the odds of getting an aggressive move out of another player are higher. If there's a loose-aggressive player on the button, or your table reliably squeezes limpers, you might limp in to induce that play.
This play is strongest short-stacked and short-handed (ideally heads up) against aggressive players. Use sparingly, but do use it.
Mistake 3: Overplaying Paired Boards
A paired board feels ideal for pocket aces. You've been given two pairs and there's a nice chance that someone with an ace or worse pocket pair might feel in good shape.
However, paired boards are bad spots to get too creative. Your opponent has fewer ways to both connect with the board and be worse than you. Trips or a full house are a real possibility, and many of the hands that have missed are unlikely to give you much action. This is a bad place to build a big pot without being confident in your reads.
Opt for caution in this scenario.
Mistake 4: Going Broke Postflop in Multiway Pots
Pretty as they are, you are going to have to fold pocket aces from time to time. A classic place to get in trouble is multiway pots, the kind of play that leads to multiway pots usually puts a wide range in your opponent's hands. This can make it hard to figure out the best play and can disguise when one of your opponents playing mid-value semi-connectors has hit two pair or a flush draw.
Preflop, aces are the nuts, but it doesn't take much for aces to turn into a mere bluff catcher on the flop. Beginning players are more likely to overplay their aces, don't be one of them.
Mistake 5: Missing Out On Thin Value
While aces are easy to go broke with, it is also important not to swing too far the other way. Aces are a strong pair and so has showdown value in most spots. If you read your opponent as drawing, bluffing, or playing a lower pair for thinner value, don't be afraid to make them pay for their next card or the showdown.
The better your read on your opponent, the thinner the value you can try to eke out.
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