Sure math says it's a pair and pairs have little advantage over AK but it's still coin flip. The thing is, AK is a monster when it comes to cruicial moments when there's 4-5 bets or shoves. I believe most players would pick AK instead of low pairs in a 6-9 table games mostly. You can play this hand like AA or KK but usually you can't go that crazy with low pairs. As far as I saw people (I mean professionals mostly) play millions of dollars pot holding AK. You won't often see someone do that with low pairs. I've seen a lot of players call 3-way allin with AK where most people fold TT/below pairs. Also in a full table tourneys, those low pairs are fold usually in early/mid positions. I've never seen anyone folds AK preflop without any action (except bubble positions or multi-way allins). Now you decide which is stronger.
I do like 33 but the problem is that its a low pair and you're just not sure if that set of 3 is going to come to make that pair 33 more comfortable. But then again with AK none of those cards might not show up.
The biggest difference between having the 33 or the AK is:
If you hold the 33, you have to worry for all 5 flop cards.
If you hold the AK, you have to hope for all 5 flop cards.
For myself, I much prefer to hope rather than worry... and for this reason I always want the AK instead of the 33, even tho I fully understand the 33 is actually a slight favorite over the AK, preflop all-in. This is why I am never afraid to shove all-in with just AK, because it is a hopeful shove. I won't do it every time, for instance it is very stupid to shove all-in during first level of the tournament at 10-20 blinds when we have 35,000 chip starting stack. But if it is a "reasonable" shove, then I have no worry shoving AK, I only have hope!
Much depends on the stage of the tournament. In the early stages, AK is not played by an allin. In the later ones with a small stack, yes. In the middle stage of your choice. And yes, it seems to me that you won me with 33 against AK in the middle stage of the tournament.))
I prefer AK, it's easy to play and enough strong to gamble with medium pairs.
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I think the most productive question would be how to play with 33.
Any preflop pocket pair is interesting. However, low pairs are hands to play passively as there may be another pair on the table and it will likely be higher. Observing your position and attitude towards other players, especially after the flop, is also basic.
If you play very aggressive preflop with 33 and your bet is called, if you don't hit a set on the flop (which statistically is most likely) you're dominated. And then you have to place a continuation bet. By the time he realizes, he'll have put more money on the table than he should.
__________________ Better to fold than to get bad beats!
This is really a stack-size situation for 33, imo. AK is usually a no-brainer when it comes to a flip, but for tres it usually depends on whether you're short-stacked and ready to double-up or you've got plenty of chips and can afford the call. Making a move in early to mid position w/3's is not recommended. Now this really only applies to a trny situation, imo. In a ring-game fkng go for it.
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Depends on whether you're playing a tournament or a cash game. Like in a tourn there are spots from early position depending on your stack where you should fold small pairs.
Then it depends on how your opponent plays. 'Ill take the small pair if I know I'm playing against 1 person late position in a cash game that I can tell plays alot of hands because they'll more than likely have Ax instead of an over pair unlike with some rocky nit and I'm a slight fav. Then it just putting them on Ax and the board is weak.
I’ll take the 33 against multiple opponents and AK against one opponent. AK is less advantageous against multiple opponents since harder to beat more people. 33 just slightly better with multiple in case spike a 3. AK a little better heads up, can fend off 33 with more hand combos.
What most people seemed to have missed is this: 33 V AK is about 50/50 OK. Maybe 33 is 1% or 2% ahead.
Fine if all the hands are face up, play 33 against AK.
But AK is 50/50 against 44, 55, 66 etc all the way up to 99, and even better against 98% of other hands.
But 33 is 20% against most other pairs and still only just ahead of 50% of other random hands.
It is necessary to understand that the range of combinations in AK garazdo is larger. If you won with a pair of threes, it only means that you were lucky and either you got a set or the opponent had no pairs. I don't see anything special in your post. It happens.