How to Optimize Hold Em’s Premium Cards: AA and KK

How to Optimize Hold Em’s Premium Cards: AA and KK

No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, with all the complexity and
psychology that surrounds it, has confounded most
casual players. Even with simple yet powerful hole
cards like AA and KK, intermediates and newcomers
alike misplay them. They don’t understand the
importance of optimizing AA and using KK in a way that
keeps in mind that poker players, especially those
online, love to play A-x.

Playing AA

Beginners literally jump out of their seats when
playing this type of hand. Most of them shove all
their chips in a split second when this shows up while
forgetting the important fact that they must maximize
their profit. Not make sure that a few pennies come
their way.

As players do their customary raises and calls, an
optimal play with this kind of hand is to simply call.
You don’t acknowledge the fact that you have strong
hole cards but ones that are simply “callable”–
drawing cards like A-10 or K-J suited.

Once the flop shows up, be wary of its texture. 8-3-J
with no similar suits is an excellent flop; and given
that there was a raiser before the flop, this gives
him/her an automatic action of making a continuation
bet of around half the pot. Therefore, you shouldn’t
bet when you’re in early position. Not only does a
check indicate a weakness, simply calling a bet that
gives you 3 to 1 pot odds only gives the impression to
your opponents that you only have a pair of jacks with
a medium kicker or better.

Whatever card that shows up on 4th street, you must
over-bet (3/2 or twice the pot) indicating that you
want to steal the pot and acting all jittery, showing
that you are making a desperate bluff. If you’re not
an actor even worthy of a class award, then
over-betting will suffice. When your opponent does see
this, he/she will definitely see this as a sign of
weakness, as seen from the fact that you frantically
tried to block his/her pot odds. With that in place,
the player will be compelled to call your seemingly
atrocious error.

With those plays in place, be ready to joyously eat up
the pot. Trips or a two pair isn’t likely, because
he/she didn’t make a reasonably sized bet in the first
place, which is around the size of the pot. Also take
note that this strategy only works with good players,
not beginners who mindlessly call bets without
realizing the basic concepts of pot odds and outs.

Playing KK

KK should be played differently. In the betting round
pre-flop, you must hammer the pot as much as possible,
making sure that only excellent drawing cards and face
cards will be the only ones that will call your bet.
But stomping the pot doesn’t mean that you’ll go
all-in, a bet around four to five times the big blind
is just right.

After the flop, in the threatening instance A comes,
do not cringe and just check. Rather, as a raiser in
the pre-flop betting round, you should make a
continuation bet. But don’t give rather pathetic bet
of about half the pot, it should be a straight-up
value bet of around 2/3 to the size of the pot. Not
only does it present the fact that you do have a hand,
it also conceals the fact that you only have KK while
making your opponents believe you just paired your
ace. When someone does call, brace yourself because
he/she has either AQ or AK, given that she called your
substantial raise pre-flop. So to speak, don’t attempt
an outrageous bluff on 4th street but be calm and fold
your hand. Remember, poker is a game of making the
least mistakes, not winning substantial pots.