How strong is AJ off?

In your opinion, how strong is AJ offsuit at a full table?

  • I play it like AQ off. (Semi-strong)

    Votes: 10 45.5%
  • I play it like AT off. (Almost Ace-Rag)

    Votes: 9 40.9%
  • I play it like a 2-gap, offsuit connector. (Weak)

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Doyle likes AK, but I like AJ.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I play it like PlayDoh. (????)

    Votes: 2 9.1%

  • Total voters
    22
Stick66

Stick66

Legend
I've been getting my butt kicked this month in Limit Hold'em ring games, so I decided to look for leaks in my PokerTracker. Turns out the hand I've lost the most money with since October 1st is AJ offsuit.

-Dealt to me 51 times.
- " " " " " " " in a blind 13 times.
-Win % with it = 35%
-Cold-called a PF raise with it only twice.
-Folded it preflop only 6 times.
-Lost the most (hands & amount) in SB and Position 5 (UTG+1).
-PF raise % with it = 51%
-Raise 1st in with it = 37%

I always thought AJ off was pretty strong and AT was the tricky one. What is your opinion of AJ offsuit ??

Here's my 3 biggest losses of the 51 with AJ off:

STAGE #463372154: HOLDEM NORMAL $1/$2 - 2006-10-06 20:45:28 (ET)
Table: DUNDEE DR. (real money) Seat #9 is the dealer
Seat 9 - GOSSE ($43.32 in chips)
Seat 1 - BJONG ($39 in chips)
Seat 2 - FRENCHBOY ($20 in chips)
Seat 3 - CYBERTILTING ($100 in chips)
Seat 4 - PDSTICKER ($42.25 in chips)
Seat 5 - JAYJAE80 ($17.25 in chips)
Seat 6 - DGRIFF1971 ($182.59 in chips)
Seat 7 - BRASSMONSTER ($20.50 in chips)
Seat 8 - FRUGAL FISH ($34.50 in chips)
BJONG - Posts small blind $0.50
FRENCHBOY - Posts big blind $1
CYBERTILTING - sitout (wait for BB)
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to PDSTICKER [Ac Jd]
PDSTICKER - Calls $1
JAYJAE80 - Raises $2 to $2
DGRIFF1971 - Folds
BRASSMONSTER - Folds
FRUGAL FISH - Folds
GOSSE - Folds
BJONG - Folds
FRENCHBOY - Calls $1
PDSTICKER - Calls $1
*** FLOP *** [Qc As Kh]
FRENCHBOY - Checks
PDSTICKER - Checks
JAYJAE80 - Checks
*** TURN *** [Qc As Kh] [9c]
FRENCHBOY - Checks
PDSTICKER - Bets $2
JAYJAE80 - Raises $4 to $4
FRENCHBOY - Folds
PDSTICKER - Calls $2
*** RIVER *** [Qc As Kh 9c] [6d]
PDSTICKER - Bets $2
JAYJAE80 - Raises $4 to $4
PDSTICKER - Calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
JAYJAE80 - Shows [Kd Kc] (Three of a kind, kings)
PDSTICKER - Mucks
JAYJAE80 Collects $21.50 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($22.50) | Rake ($1)
Board [Qc As Kh 9c 6d]
Seat 1: BJONG (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: FRENCHBOY (big blind) Folded on the TURN
Seat 4: PDSTICKER HI: [Mucked] [Ac Jd]
Seat 5: JAYJAE80 won Total ($21.50) with Three of a kind, kings [Kd Kc - B:Kh,P:Kd,P:Kc,B:As,B:Qc]
Seat 6: DGRIFF1971 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 7: BRASSMONSTER Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 8: FRUGAL FISH Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 9: GOSSE (dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS

******************************************************

STAGE #462695492: HOLDEM NORMAL $1/$2 - 2006-10-05 20:21:04 (ET)
Table: GERONIMO DR. (Real Money) Seat #4 is the dealer
Seat 4 - HILLCLIMBER ($23.50 in chips)
Seat 5 - EASYMIKE1 ($100.25 in chips)
Seat 6 - NAKEDJOKER ($61.50 in chips)
Seat 7 - MSNAKE ($144.50 in chips)
Seat 8 - PDSTICKER ($31.50 in chips)
Seat 9 - DJBPKR ($67 in chips)
Seat 1 - COOLBREZZE1 ($9.75 in chips)
Seat 2 - CHARFMAN84 ($18.75 in chips)
EASYMIKE1 - Posts small blind $0.50
NAKEDJOKER - Posts big blind $1
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to PDSTICKER [Jh Ad]
MSNAKE - Folds
PDSTICKER - Raises $2 to $2
DJBPKR - Folds
COOLBREZZE1 - Folds
CHARFMAN84 - Folds
HILLCLIMBER - Calls $2
EASYMIKE1 - Folds
NAKEDJOKER - Folds
*** FLOP *** [2c 2s Ah]
PDSTICKER - Bets $1
HILLCLIMBER - Calls $1
*** TURN *** [2c 2s Ah] [5d]
PDSTICKER - Bets $2
HILLCLIMBER - Calls $2
*** RIVER *** [2c 2s Ah 5d] [7d]
PDSTICKER - Bets $2
HILLCLIMBER - Raises $4 to $4
PDSTICKER - Calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
HILLCLIMBER - Shows [7s 7c] (Full house, sevens full of twos)
PDSTICKER - Mucks
HILLCLIMBER Collects $18.75 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($19.50) | Rake ($0.75)
Board [2c 2s Ah 5d 7d]
Seat 1: COOLBREZZE1 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: CHARFMAN84 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 4: HILLCLIMBER (dealer) won Total ($18.75) with Full house, sevens full of twos [7s 7c - P:7s,B:7d,P:7c,B:2s,B:2c]
Seat 5: EASYMIKE1 (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: NAKEDJOKER (big blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 7: MSNAKE Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 8: PDSTICKER HI: [Mucked] [Jh Ad]
Seat 9: DJBPKR Folded on the POCKET CARDS

****************************************************

STAGE #470416932: HOLDEM NORMAL $1/$2 - 2006-10-16 22:29:52 (ET)
Table: PEORIA (Real Money) Seat #9 is the dealer
Seat 9 - 5THSTREETHOG ($24.87 in chips)
Seat 1 - STACKED_13 ($30.75 in chips)
Seat 2 - JOEONTHEROAD ($59.25 in chips)
Seat 3 - WHEATBOY ($58 in chips)
Seat 4 - CWTHUR2 ($76.50 in chips)
Seat 5 - 1HUSKERFAN ($46.50 in chips)
Seat 6 - ALPHACHIC ($105.38 in chips)
Seat 7 - TOULOUSE ($26 in chips)
Seat 8 - PDSTICKER ($33.25 in chips)
STACKED_13 - Posts small blind $0.50
JOEONTHEROAD - Posts big blind $1
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to PDSTICKER [Js Ah]
WHEATBOY - Calls $1
CWTHUR2 - Folds
1HUSKERFAN - Folds
ALPHACHIC - Folds
TOULOUSE - Folds
PDSTICKER - Raises $2 to $2
5THSTREETHOG - Folds
STACKED_13 - Folds
JOEONTHEROAD - Calls $1
WHEATBOY - Calls $1
*** FLOP *** [8s Kc 10d]
JOEONTHEROAD - Checks
WHEATBOY - Checks
PDSTICKER - Bets $1
JOEONTHEROAD - Calls $1
WHEATBOY - Calls $1
*** TURN *** [8s Kc 10d] [10h]
JOEONTHEROAD - Checks
WHEATBOY - Checks
PDSTICKER - Bets $2
JOEONTHEROAD - Folds
WHEATBOY - Raises $4 to $4
PDSTICKER - Calls $2
*** RIVER *** [8s Kc 10d 10h] [5c]
WHEATBOY - Bets $2
PDSTICKER - Calls $2
*** SHOW DOWN ***
WHEATBOY - Shows [Qc 10s] (Three of a kind, tens)
PDSTICKER - Mucks
WHEATBOY Collects $20.50 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($21.50) | Rake ($1)
Board [8s Kc 10d 10h 5c]
Seat 1: STACKED_13 (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: JOEONTHEROAD (big blind) Folded on the TURN
Seat 3: WHEATBOY won Total ($20.50) with Three of a kind, tens [Qc 10s - P:10s,B:10h,B:10d,B:Kc,P:Qc]
Seat 4: CWTHUR2 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 5: 1HUSKERFAN Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: ALPHACHIC Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 7: TOULOUSE Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 8: PDSTICKER HI: [Mucked] [Js Ah]
Seat 9: 5THSTREETHOG (dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
 
Last edited:
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
I was about to give you slack about all your minraises......then I realized it was limit.

Man I'm drunk :D

And it's only wednsday :eek:
 
Stefanicov

Stefanicov

Legend
AJ is a hand tht looks good when yu get it but it is almost always either dominated or gonna miss the flop leaving you screwed i play it like a weak ace for tht reason tho the time you get it does change things somewhat
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
Hand #1 - Why are you leading the river after he's raised you on the turn and a blank has hit? Check/call, probably lead the flop too, and folding UTG preflop isn't terrible unless you're playing with weak players.

Hand #2 - Umm this is fine, bad beat board is thaaaattaway ---->

Hand #3 - Check the turn. Two players called your flop bet, at least one of them has a hand, if they have Kx or something like JJ you're getting called down, if they have trips or better you're getting raised. There's absolutely no value in betting the turn. There's a difference between playing aggressively and chip spewing, and this is the latter imo.

As for the general question, "How strong is AJo?", the answer is "It depends". Certain situations (UTG at a full table of LAGs) call for playing it like 73o, other situations (Button 4-handed where the blinds are weak) may call for playing it like AA. The hand is as valuable as the situation you're in allows it to be.
 
blankoblanco

blankoblanco

plays poker on hard mode
Between those choices, I picked that I play it like an AT (almost A-rag), although that's not entirely true. I'm more likely to raise AJ in MP than I am with AT. And of course it's much better shorthanded, as most hands are. With 8 or 9 players at the table, I'll never play AJ in EP. I don't even like AQ that much, and I consider AJ in a league below that hand.
 
Vintage82

Vintage82

Guest
I'll limp in mp with it, or raise it towards CO or the button, but I'd be extremely careful calling raises with it in limit.

Hitting TPTK and you could be behind to an overpair or hitting the ace & your behind to AK/AQ.

Go by feel & reads.....
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
It's not very strong, although you can open for a raise in middle position, in NL at least.

I don't think the hand examples really show why AJ is weak. In the first two it wouldn't have made a difference if you were playing AK instead. If this were NL you'd probably have lost less with AJ as it would be easier to lay it down in this situation. In the third, well, I'm not sure what you were thinking here... but even if you hadn't been bluffing at the pot and had AK, you'd still have lost.
 
buckster436

buckster436

Cardschat Hall of Famer - RIP Buck
Awards
2
In my opinion its like A 10 if you flop 2 pair out of it your ok, otherwise its a toughy,, 50-50>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.. buck
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

Suckout Queen
AJ is an okay hand. Your hand selection here and limit game shows more of the problems than the hand itself.

First hand bet for info and to set the tone of table. No bet here is a sign of weakness. Since he raised your bet he gave you lots of info. Use it. I wouldn't have put him on the set but AQ or AK. Either way you are beat. Fold it.

Second hand was just a bad beat, move on.

Third hand he gave you the info. You had nothing; dump it.

AJ is not a bad starting hand. It's better in NL than limit though. Play it for what it is. An A with a semi strong kicker. But remember, it's not gold, even a pair of 2s can beat you if you don't catch something.
 
gord962

gord962

Legend
These honestly aren't good examples of why AJ is't a strong hand. Each is up against trips or better, not much of a chance here for you. You would have lost WAY more money with AK in all 3 of these hands.
 
Stick66

Stick66

Legend
Hand #1 - Why are you leading the river after he's raised you on the turn and a blank has hit? Check/call, probably lead the flop too, and folding UTG preflop isn't terrible unless you're playing with weak players.

Hand #2 - Umm this is fine, bad beat board is thaaaattaway ---->

Hand #3 - Check the turn. Two players called your flop bet, at least one of them has a hand, if they have Kx or something like JJ you're getting called down, if they have trips or better you're getting raised. There's absolutely no value in betting the turn. There's a difference between playing aggressively and chip spewing, and this is the latter imo.

As for the general question, "How strong is AJo?", the answer is "It depends". Certain situations (UTG at a full table of LAGs) call for playing it like 73o, other situations (Button 4-handed where the blinds are weak) may call for playing it like AA. The hand is as valuable as the situation you're in allows it to be.
Great breakdown, DM.

In hands 1 & 3, I was trying to take advantage of my tight table image. I had been running into more players than usual folding the turn or river. I guess those previous results had clouded my mind and had me thinking it would continue if I rep'd a big hand (results-oriented?). Yes, I ended up playing those and others badly.

I know every hand or situation can be answered with "It depends." But I was wondering if AJo was more like AT it-depends or AQ it-depends. Still not sure if I'm over-aggressive with AJo or just plain playing it wrongly.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I screwed up and voted for "play like AQ" when I meant to say "play like AT".

AJo, in limit, is a hand that I'll openraise with, 3-bet against a steal with and call a bet from BB with, but will fold if anyone else has raised. Just like I would with AT.
 
O

OneMoreBust

Rock Star
Yeah those hands are horrible examples of why not to play AJ

One hand you kept betting when someone represented a hand, the other two trips / fh cant be touched.


Find the hands where you lost with a pair of aces but lower kicker :)
 
Stick66

Stick66

Legend
Yeah those hands are horrible examples of why not to play AJ

One hand you kept betting when someone represented a hand, the other two trips / fh cant be touched.


Find the hands where you lost with a pair of aces but lower kicker :)
Good point. I just looked and I couldn't find an out-kicked loser. I'm just finding more beats by trips & 2 pair. But I DID find that I folded quite a few on the turn or river. Still puzzling.
 
O

OneMoreBust

Rock Star
Good point. I just looked and I couldn't find an out-kicked loser. I'm just finding more beats by trips & 2 pair. But I DID find that I folded quite a few on the turn or river. Still puzzling.

I would say the another reason you could lose with them is lack of confidence....

Or a by product of not being able to force hands out in limit..


If you dont have the confidence to bet the draws out because it is a weaker kicker, that can lose you some pots.
 
R

RNguyen

Guest
I hate A-J myself! 8 out of 10 times i'd lose holding A-J. if i hit 2 pair i lose to straights, if i hit triple aces, i get popped by a fullhouse (ace-low kicker) it's so annoying. I can go on forever... and then there's PP Jacks... i think i just hate jacks all together... argh!
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

Legend
cmon now, last week it was a thread about A-9,A-rag and now A-J, two different posters.
What's next week? Is A-Kos really that strong of a hand or is it overrated?:)....lol.
IMO, A-J is only weak when you don't hit the flop and when too many players are in the hand, I usuall fold if I don't hit a solid flop.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
AJo, in my database, is a just-above break-even hand for me. I make a little money off of it, but it's a matter of cents, not dollars. That said, there are reasons to play it even if its value is marginal, and that reason is that you have to give some action to get some action.

Don't kid yourselves, the majority of the players at $1/$2 and up these days have pokertracker up and running. They know how often you raise preflop, and they know which range of hands that translates to. I may not get many cents out of AJo, but I get a few more cents out of AQ, AK, QQ, KK and AA as a result from me playing it aggressively and often.

But there are other reasons to play AJo (and ATo) when no one else has raised: For practise. The best way to improve your game is to place yourself in tricky situations and try to think rationally. Playing marginal hands is how you do this, even if it costs you a little money at first. Make no mistake, AJ and AT can be winning hands. It's a matter of practising until we learn in which situations to play them and how, to get to that point. I sometimes play these hands perfectly, and sometimes I tilt and decide to three-ball them against a tight opponent.
 
gord962

gord962

Legend
Well, you only lose to 2 kickers and beat 9, so there has to be some strength there. If it has been raised twice to you by two TAG players, fold. Otherwise you should do okay with AJ depending on what cards get flipped over, just like any other decent starting hand that isn't made PF.
 
beardyian

beardyian

Scary Clown
Awards
2
I Hate AJ

If ever you raise big and the flop always seems to bring KQ and boy does that bug me :mad:.

Seriously AJ is not a great hand as your still relying on an ace hitting really and even then you could be out kicked by K or Q :(

As much as in my world i like JJ and TT, i know where i am usually when playing these, AJ just seems to sit there and do nothing, do you push it or slow it down or just slap it in the face and muck it when the bets start to come?

Yes i hate AJ
and him from the Sopranos :)

Enjoy and Peace
 
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