AK suited or unsuited is a very strong hand preflop and you should be raising/3betting preflop with this hand as often as you can. Like most big hands, you want to limit the number of players that see a flop against you, so raising to isolate is what you're looking for. Against almost all players, playing AK aggressively is much better than playing it passively.
Hitting and missing flops with AK:
AK is going to pair on the flop about 1/3 of the time, always giving you TP/TK which is often times the best hand at show down. Even if an A or K hits on a dry board, you should still c-bet as the aggressor because your opponents will call you with much worse on really standard c-bet looking flops. For example 88 might call a c-bet on an A 2 7 flop.
AK is going to miss the flop 2/3 of the time, but they still have equity to win the hand. If the flop is J 3 7, even though AK missed, being the aggressor and c-betting can easily pick up the pot. And if the opponent calls, you have a ~12% chance to hit the turn. ~24% chance if you can see a turn a river if you shove and get called, for example.
So, c-betting most flops with AK is going to earn you the pot more often than not even if you do miss it, but you have to keep in mind your opponents raising and 3bet calling range. The tighter the range, the less equity you have against them when c-bet on missed flops. The wider the range, the more equity you have.
AK vs other hands:
I think a common misunderstanding a lot of newer players have are the preflop odds
to win with AK vs other hands.
67 is 40% to win against AK's 60%, but it only applies if you are guaranteed to see all 5 cards. Otherwise, AK has much more equity over 67 on most flops when both miss and even when 67 hits a single pair after calling a preflop and is facing c-bet aggression. Even on flop of 6-Q-2, it could be hard to call a c-bet with MP/WK since the turn can bring a lot of over cards that can shut it down, especially if AK fires a 2nd barrel.
The same goes for 22 vs AK. Yes, this is a classic race situation, but again, that only applies if all 5 cards are seen. AK as a lot of equity against 22 because 88% of the time over cards are going to flop. So, even if AK misses, it's very hard for 22 to continue on a 5-8-10 flop facing a c-bet.
A member said that 22 and QQ against AK is practically the same thing and this is not true at all. Yes, AK vs QQ is 50/50 preflop if all cards to be seen. However, AK doesn't have as much equity on a missed flop against QQ as it does 22. A 3-J-7 flop is going to be very hard for 22 to continue against a c-bet, but it's very easy for QQ to continue. Again, the tighter the raise/3bet calling range your opponent has, the less equity you have on missed flops.
Shoving vs calling shoves with AK
Aggression is the key when playing AK because you can either win it by having the best hand or by getting your opponent to fold. So, you would rather be one to be betting/shoving than being the one calling shoves on missed flops.
AK, on a missed flop, has ~24% chance of hitting on the turn or river when facing a shove. So, you'll need to be getting over 3.15:1 pot odds
to make this call a profitable one. However, if we flip and we're the one's shoving with AK on a missed flop, say 7-J-3, we still have equity to hit when called, but make it hard for some hands to call with, like 55, so we gain when they fold. Being the aggressor gives us 2 ways to win vs only 1.
Whether you should standard c-bet missed flop or shove it with AK depends on effect stack sizes. If stacks are deep, then you're better off making a standard c-bet. You'll either win the pot uncontested and if your opponent calls, you can re-evaluate on the turn. However, with deep stacks, you don't want to shove on a missed flops because your opponent is still folding if they miss, but they're only calling your shove with hands that have you beat. Even with your ~24% to hit on turn or river, you're not getting the right pot odds to make this type of play profitable.
One thing I've started doing in the mid-late stages of MTTs where blinds and antes are high is open shoving and 3bet shoving with 30BBs and less preflop. It might seem like overkill to open shove AK with 30BBs, but you're getting called by a ton of weaker hands that you dominate (weaker AX/KX hands), in 50-50s vs 22-QQ, 60-40s vs all other non paired hands (that don't include an A or K), still have 30% equity vs KK, and only way behind AA. So, if you get your money in and getting called, you're very rarely in a terrible situation. I prefer doing this in the later stages when antes are big because the times you do pick up the pot uncontested, it's a more significant pad to your stack. Without antes, I drop down to shoving 20BBs and less with AK for the same reasons above.
On top of that, you're also gaining max value with AK when you do shove and get your opponent to commit their chips preflop. Again, you're very rarely in a terrible situation when you get your money in preflop with AK. Lets say you open shove 25BBs UTG with AK and you get a call. With blinds and antes, the pot is ~52BB.
-VS weaker AX/KX hands, you're picking up this pot 70% of the time.
-VS 22-QQ, you're picking up this pot 50% of the time
-VS non paired hands without an A or K, you're picking up the pot 60% of the time.
-VS KK, you're picking up the pot 30% of the time.
-VS AA, only 10% of the time.
So, if you can get your opponent to commit 25BBs with AQ preflop, this is great for you because you're winning that pot most of the time and picking up an extra 25+BBs. Compare this to standard raising say 3x BBs and your opponent calling. 2/3 of the time, your opponent misses the flop and is folding to a c-bet, so you only pick up a ~8BB pot and lose out on picking up on the other 22BBs your opponent would've committed preflop.
The same goes if your opponent has a hand like 55. They're only making a set 1-in-8 times and over cards are flopping most of the time vs small pairs, so they're likely folding to any c-bet and you're picking up a small pot. However, getting your opponent to commit their chips preflop and you being in a 50-50 with AK situation is great for you.
So, do what it takes to get all of your and all of your opponents chips in preflop, because, again, you're very rarely in a terrible situation when you do.