|How To Play A Pair Of Aces Or Kings Pre Flop
Do not play them wrong
Pocket aces and pocket kings are the two monsters of pre-flop starting hands. Pocket aces are the strongest starting hand bar none, and pocket kings are second only to aces, but as the chances of a player holding pocket aces are roughly 0.45% or 1 in 220, if you hold pocket kings, the odds are that you are holding the best hand.
The correct way to play pocket aces or pocket kings is always to raise with them pre-flop. If nobody raised the big blind, you should raise to 3.5 or 4 big blinds.
If somebody has already raised, re-raise to 3 times whatever their raise was. If somebody has already re-raised, then re-raise again to 3 times the amount of their re-raise. If at any point the amount of your raise or re-raise is more than half of your stack, you should go all in instead.
The overriding point is simple, try to get as much money in the pot as possible, while scaring off the weak hands, but not so much with any single raise that you scare off the strong hands. This is the reason that you will only ever raise 3 times whatever the last bet or raise was. You want to make it seem worthwhile for anybody holding a decent hand to call you.
It may seem irrational for you to want to scare away the weak hands. Itís because of this misunderstanding that some players only limp in (donít raise) with pocket aces and pocket kings. They think that by allowing as many people into the pot as possible, somebody will hit the top pair and think that they are winning, allowing the hidden aces or kings to win more money from them.
The problem with this style, known as slow playing, is that without raising pre-flop, youíll never know what youíre up against. That is the real reason for raising pre-flop and scaring away the weak hands. To define a range of what your opponents are holding.
If you raise per-flop, get one or two callers, and the flop comes 2,2,7, you can be reasonably sure that your opponents donít have a 2, as they wouldnít have called a raise with one. On the other hand, if you and six others had limped in, could you be sure that nobody had a 2?
The same applies to flops such as 3,6,8. If youíd raised pre-flop, you could be reasonably sure that you were winning post-flop, where as if you had failed to raise, and had allowed a few others to limp in, could you be sure that one of the limpers with a weak hand hadnít made two pairs?
The point is, if you fail to raise pre-flop, then raise with your big pocket pair post flop, if the limpers havenít made anything good and all fold, youíll win very little, but if one of them has made something and re-raises you, you could be in a lot of trouble and are left with a very difficult decision. Thereís no reason to put yourself in that situation. By raising pre-flop, not only are there far fewer flops that will scare you, but if when you raise post-flop your opponents fold, the pot you win will be substantially bigger.