Big Slick has the reputation for being a MONSTER hand...
a hand that most players LOVE to get dealt.
And with good reason.
After all, it's got a TON of potential.
Think about it:
If you have Big Slick and a King or Ace hit the board,
you've automatically got top pair. And not only that, but
you've also automatically got the highest kicker possible.
Big Slick is connected, which means it has the POTENTIAL to
become the highest STRAIGHT on the board.
Then again, if you're an experienced poker player, then you
KNOW that Big Slick is often HIGHLY OVERRATED by most
amateurs and beginners.
Because if you REALLY think about it, Big Slick by itself is
NOT a good hand.
By itself, it's an Ace high with a King.
It can be beat by just about ANYTHING... from a flush to a
3-of-a-kind to a pair of deuces.
What Big Slick has is the POTENTIAL to be a great hand...
but that doesn't mean it IS a great hand.
And this distinction is VERY important in order to learn how
to play A-K properly.
If you play Big Slick the RIGHT way, you can with it about
75% of the time. If you play it the WRONG way, you'll end up
losing all your chips and whining about your bad beat...
The decision is yours.
So let's approach our strategy for Big Slick with LATE
positioning... which is the equivalent to GOOD positioning,
as you know.
Since the hand can get run down easily, your strategy is to
GET RID of as many players as possible BEFORE THE FLOP.
In other words, SCARE AWAY everyone who doesn't have a pair
or face cards...
If you let too many players stay in, someone with rags is
bound to catch great cards on the flop and steal your chip
But if you go up against players with face cards, then YOU
have the advantage and the odds
are in YOUR favor.
This is accomplished, of course, with a pre-flop raise,
which will also give you control over the table... as you'll
see in a minute.
Let's use a real-life hand I played to demonstrate... this
is from last night, actually.
I was in a $1-2 no limit cash game with some friends and got
A-K on the button. Don was first to act and made it $7 to
The action went around the table and every single one of the
next five players called.
Now the action was to me.
How would you handle this situation?
Call, raise, or fold?
The correct answer is RAISE.
"Make it another $50", I say.
And here's why...
Let's say I call. That means there's SEVEN guys in the hand.
Amateurs might say, "Oh, that means there's more money in
What seven players means is that I am virtually GUARANTEED
to have my A-K run down... because EVEN IF I catch a King
or Ace, there's a good chance someone else will hit a flush,
straight, trips, or two pair.
And besides... CALLING doesn't give me any idea where I
stand in the hand, and it doesn't allow me to know what to
put my opponents on.
So I make the pre-flop re-raise.
The other players fold, and Don calls.
That means I know he has a real hand... he wasn't just
bullying the table.
It also means he probably doesn't have cowboys or rockets,
because if he did he would've come back over the top of
me... maybe with an all-in.
So now I've got a read on my opponent, and I've forced out
all the other guys, which means I don't have to worry about
someone getting "lucky" on the flop.
AND, I've achieved something else here:
I've taken control of the table.
Instead of Don coming out firing after the flop, he'll
probably check to me... to see what I do.
This gives me control. If I miss on the flop, I can do one
of two things:
1. I can see a free card.
2. If I'm confident with my read on Don I can try to buy him
out by representing a big hand.
And sure enough... the flop hits:
What an UGLY flop, right?
Actually, I kind of like this flop.
Because I'm pretty sure Don doesn't have any of these cards
on the board.
He could be holding pocket 9's, but I can't put him on 4's
or 2's, because of my strong re-raise before the flop.
I'm putting him on two over cards or a pair. It actually
wouldn't surprise me if he has Big Slick, just like me.
Anyway, now it's time to find out, because Don taps his fist
against the table and checks to me.
Just like I expected.
I COULD see a free card here, but I'd rather play this
aggressively and find out EXACTLY where I'm at.
If Don calls a strong bet from me, then he's probably got
trips or a high wired pair. If that's the case, I'll back
off after the turn card and minimize my losses.
I throw out a $100 black chip with my Ace high.
Don looks at his down cards for a few moments and then
decides to muck his pocket 8's for the world to see.
"Yea... I had Kings", I say as I turn my cards face down for
NOBODY to see.
Don replies, "Yup, that's what I put you on" and he nods his
Little does he know, his 8's had me beat, and I just stole a
That's how you play Big Slick the RIGHT way in late
position... You've got to:
1. Scare away as many players as you can before the flop.
2. Take control of the board and action.
3. Find out where you're at in the hand.
Even if Don (or anyone else) came back over the top of me
after my pre-flop raise, I'd be okay... Because then I could
put my opponent on Aces or Kings, muck my Big Slick, and
live to see another hand without catching a "bad beat."
So play A-K aggressively when you've got good positioning,
and back up your pre-flop raise with a post-flop raise, even
if you've hit nothing on the board.
Of course, you can't play Big Slick like this in every
position... this is simply how you play it with good
I'm working on another newsletter that will show you how to
play A-K in early position... I promise I'll send it soon.
In the meantime, if you want more "step-by-step" guidance on
how to play certain hands, check out SIT AND GO SHARK. It's
my one-of-a-kind software tool that HELPS you play better
poker in real-time.
I'll write to you again soon.