AK how to play before the Flop

I've already mentioned that I'd rather have Ace-King than either a Pair of Aces or a Pair of Kings. A lot of players will probably find that surprising. But it's not. You'll soon see why.

Of course, I know that an A-K would never outrun A-A or K-K if you played them against one another hot and cold. An A-K couldn't even beat a Pair of Deuces. I know. On a proposition bet, I once took the Deuces and two other guys took the A-K. The proposition was to play the two hands against one another hot and cold. We simply dealt out five cards to see which hand would win more times. It was an even-money proposition. . .and we bet $500 a hand. I won several thousand dollars before they quit.

They weren't convinced the first time because we did it two or three different times. They'd lose some money. . .and then they'd quit. They'd go away. . .come back (after doing some "homework") and then we'd do it again. And I'd beat them again.

But, I'm not talking about playing hot and cold here. Now.. .I'm talking about playing Poker.

An A-K is a "better" hand than two Aces or two Kings for two very important reasons:

  • 1) You'll win more money when you make a hand with it; and
  • 2) You'll lose less money when you miss a hand with it.

And I can't think of two better reasons than those to prefer an A-K over the very big Pairs.

The reason why you can make more money with an A-K than with two Aces (or Kings) is because it's a drawing-type of hand as opposed to a made hand. I mean, you don't have anything with an A-K unless you flop something. So you can get away from it real easy. You're not tied-on to it like you might be with a Pair of Aces (or Kings). And that's why you'll lose less money with it.

Another reason why you can make more and lose less with A-K than with the very big Pairs is because when you have A-K and you pair the Ace or King on the Flop. . .it's much harder for your opponent to make his hand if he's playing something like two connecting cards. For example, if someone's playing a 7-6 and the Board comes A-9-8, he hasn't made anything yet. . .because when you pair one of your hole cards — there can be only two cards that'll help him.* But, if you had two Aces in the pocket. . .the Board could come 9-8-5 — or any three cards that could help his hand (such as a Pair and a draw). That one extra card considerably improves his chances of cracking your Aces.

*The exception to this would be when the Flop is three to a big Straight with maybe two to a Flush, like: A4k-JQ?-104 or KO-JO-10&.. .and the Ace or King helps both you and your opponent.

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