How to Play Ax Suited before the Flop

Once you add A-x suited to the arsenal of hands you play, you need to pursue this hand within certain constraints:

  1. A-x suited is not a hand you would ever want t o call three bets with before t he lop. P erhaps if your hand is A-10 or A- suited, and you're i n the big blind, t hen it's OK (recall t hat we covered A-Q and A-K in Chapter 3). But with only a very few exceptions, you don't ever want t o call three bets with A-x suited.
  2. When no one else has entered the pot in front of you, you should usually make it two bets with this hand. This way your raise seems to be representing a strong hand, and you may just end up winning the blinds if no one calls your raise. With these types of weak hands, picking up the blinds is a good result.
  3. When anyone else has already limped into the pot i n front of you (just called one bet), you should call that one bet. For the intermediate-level player, this play is slightly better t han making it two bets. I f you t hen hit the flop, you can play your hand hard, but if you mis the flop, you can fold your hand, having lost only one bet.
  4. If s omeone r aises in front of you, then j ust call the two bets. The one exception is that you could three-bet a jackal with A-10 or A- suited.

I don't think giving you any more examples of what t o do before the flop with A-x suited would help very much at this point. You now have the basic principles. (I hope, by the way, that I 'm not driving you crazy with all these rules followed so closely by all t hese exceptions! That's j ust t he way poker i s. P er-sonality and relative hand strength are always factors.)

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