Poker Starting Hands – “AK Big Slick, Playing It Right”
Ace King … It’s monster hand and you plan to get as much
money out of everyone as you can.
Big Slick is called Big Slick for a reason. Yes its a monster
drawing hand but it is a drawing hand all the same.
IF you hit either an Ace or a King on the flop then you’ve got
yourself top pair with the best kicker. You might get lucky as
is connected to get the nuts straight, if its suited you have
got the table crippled if you draw that flush. It’s worth noting
A-K suited is 5th best starting hand but
A-K off is 9th best.
But this is the thing – when you haven’t seen any cards what
have you got really ? An Ace high … with a King kicker, just
about any starting hand could beat it.
Top players know AK is a great drawing hand but they also
know its can be a killer if it just doesn’t work out. In the
hands of a new player it has 4king bustout written all over it,
quite simply they fall in love with it.
Now here is the next problem with playing AK – OK it’s a
drawing hand so your thinking – don’t play it too hard until
you see the flop and then you can work out how your doing
Limping in with Big Slick is going to make you a big
underdog – It is an easily beaten hand if you let lots of
players see the flop, that ragged looking board could have
given any of them trips, two pair, straights – allsorts.
However AK doesn’t fair so badly against a couple of player
with other high cards.
You have to play big slick hard before the flop if your playing
- Get rid of all the players with low pairs, big draws and junk
– With a big prefop raise you can be fairly sure the one
(ideally) or two players left only have something high or
decent pairs. Then you have the added advantage – you
made the raise and you took control … again.
Dont make the mistake of trying to keep more people in to
make a bigger pot for your “great hands” – thats how to
make your own bad beats.
With most of the players in to see the flop your as good as
giving your chips away – Play it aggressively, raise pre-flop
and then hold yourself back when you see the flop.
But DO NOT go all-in before the flop – remember you’ve got
an Ace high nothing more.
In this situation the only hands that are really going to cause
you concern are AA and KK – but if someone had that they’d
have come right back at your big raise with an all-in before
Chances are unless they hit trips with there good pair (see
what they do) you can fire at them once you pair either the
King or the Ace infact you should fire out a good size bet
even if you dont – remember you’ve already as good as
shouted at them “my hands is a winner”.
Then see what they do – if they come back at you know
they’ve got something, probably trips – then you need to slow
down accept your beat and try to see the rest of the cards
The chances are they will lay down just about most things
that dont hit.
Now this all works well if you were easily able to take control
of the table ie. you had good position to get a big raise in
after you had seen what everyone else did but remember
preflop this is – on the button and the two blinds. The worst
position to be trying to play AK from and indeed any other big
hands like AA KK QQ is when your under the gun – this is the
first seat after the blinds.
Why ? well your first to act before the flop and first to act after
the flop. This seat is tricky especially if you dont hit an Ace or
a King on the flop. Not only are you risking
players limp in, your letting other players get control.
They will sense weakness and have position over you so
you could very easily end up facing an all-in decision after
re-raising a bet and someone coming back at you over the
top all-in with a half decent pair. Then its become a tough
decision with that Ace high of yours (lay it down). No by
raising even in early position you will take control and
narrow the field and against one, maybe two players you
have a good chance to avoid AK becoming that Big Slick.
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