It's always an outstanding feeling to glance at your pocket cards and uncover paint - a wired pair of aces, kings, or queens. These three combinations are the top starting cards in the game. Theyíre huge front-runners to lower pairs, and even larger favorites to the top drawing hands in the game. When you see these wired pairs, be prepared to seize some chips. There are, however, a couple of principles you should follow when playing these behemoth hands. Read on to learn more.
Among the largest faults amateurs make when encountering big wired pairs is slow playing. Slow playing can often be an enticing play, but by doing so, youíre acquiring the risk of being drawn out by an inferior or drawing hand. Thereís nothing worse than having your pocket aces or kings brought down by a lucky river card.
You want to eradicate that possibility by firing off a prominent raise - or re-raise - prior to the flop. Many players feel that if they bet too large, theyíll wind up just collecting the blinds. You should, however, have no problem with that. Itís always better to gain a small pot that to suffer a large one. Iíll take that any day of the week.
With any fortune, however, youíll get at least one call. With even more luck, youíll get a raise, in which an all-in move would become the best play - particularly if youíre holding aces and are short-stacked. At this point, youíre most likely - if not unquestionably - holding the better hand. Be confident in what you have, and exude that through your appearance. Remember, chances are good that youíll be leaving this pot with a significant amount of chips; donít let large bets scare you away.
Post Flop Play
With a wired pair of face cards, regardless of what the flop bears, you can
count on being in decent shape. By this point, your large betting should have
cut down a couple of players with inferior pocket pairs or draws. Chances are,
youíre heads up or in a three-way pot.
Lets say youíre heads up with pocket kings and you have position on your adversary. The flop comes with two suited cards and a queen. Your opponent comes out betting aggressively.
What is your soundest course of action, at this spot?
Raise. Chances are, you opposition may have hit top pair with a hand like A,Q,
or heís on a flush draw, trying to lead you off with a big continuation bet. If
heís hit top pair, youíre in outstanding shape, and if heís on a flush draw,
youíre in even more beneficial shape.
With top pair, he in all likelihood thinks he has the best hand, particularly holding the ace kicker. Heíll in all probability call your raise or move all-in. Either way, the odds are tremendously in your favor.
If heís making a continuation bet with a flush draw, more often than not, your raise will frighten him off. If not, observe the turn. If an irrelevant suit comes up, donít give him the chance to see a river - push all-in. Unless heís mad, thereís no way he could call. Youíll be walking off with a nice amount of chips.
Whilst slow playing isnít necessarily the best play for most situations, it can come in handy in a couple of situations, snagging yourself more chips than you'd get otherwise. Here are a few spots when slow playing could be best employed.
Under the gun pre-flop
Weíve all fallen victim to the dreaded check-raise one times or another throughout our poker careers. Itís a move you hate to have occur to you, but love to impose on someone else. If youíve hit a high pocket pair and you are under the gun, deliberate limping in. Chances are, thereíll be at least one raise by the time it progresses to you. Be prepared to re-raise, or perhaps make an all-in movement. This will catch your opponents completely off-guard. Any reads they thought they had on you can be hurled right out the window. By doing this, you are adding additional chips to the pot, and making it much harder for your opposition to call you. Very seldom will you see a check-raise without a great hand, and your adversaries know this. Utilize this move to its highest potential.
In front of aggressive players
If youíre sitting to the right of an aggressive player or two, slow playing will in all likelihood be your most effective play if youíre dealt premium pocket pairs. You can estimate these types of players raising the pot, peculiarly in late position with few calls. These types of players are prone to attempting to steal the blinds, and by limping ahead of them, youíre indicating weakness. If they've anything in the least, you can figure an average to prominent raise. This couldnít be more perfect for you. With a premium starting hand, call or re-raise and take down the pot.