This is a discussion on Big slick within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; How does AK rate an 84% favorite pre flop ranking when it is also only a 33% chance you will connect to the flop? My
How does AK rate an 84% favorite pre flop ranking when it is also only a 33% chance you will connect to the flop? My experience with AK is closer to a coin toss, maybe 60% on a good day, chance of winning. Even if I raise pre flop, I will invariably get called by anyone holding a pocket pair, even 22 or anybody holding faces like JQ. I will miss completely and the pair will win or the weak hand will hit to pair up and an A or K will never show up. Is it just me or how does this hand rank as the third best starting hand even over QQ?
Without verifying your percentages, and I'm sure someone will chime in with a more in depth answer, but mostly AK is strong since, aside from having an ace with the best kicker, or from pairing the flop which gives you top pair top kicker, you have draws to the best 2 pair hand, the best straight, the nut flush with the ace (and your even closer to it if suited AK), second best flush with the King (if it's AK offsuit), and the royal flush possibility with suited AK.
I find with AK I win small pots and lose big pots, usually up against Ax that connect with with the board. It's almost impossible to isolate a player in micro limits, no matter how much you raise your almost Garenteed to get 3 or 4 callers. I've even stated to muck big slick pre flop if there's to much action
I confirm you have about a 35% chance of hitting an A or a K on the flop. As a result, 65% of the time, you will find yourself in an awkward position. AK is a hand often criticized, as evidenced by its most famous nickname: 'Anna Kournikova', according to the former tennis player with a dream physique, better known for her physique than her results! because it's very pretty, but it doesn't often win. to use this hand profitably it therefore comes down above all to knowing how to play it when it has not touched the flop.
It is worth mentioning that not only AK but also AA do not guarantee you victory. Better not to greatly raise preflop bets and wait for the flop and / or turn. So you can calculate your chances much more accurately.
in this thread: more cc members completely undervaluing ak.
ak is monster of a hand. looking at complete all-in situation, ak:
is only behind kk+
50/50 vs 22-qq
~65/35 vs non paired hands, no a or k
crushes a/x, k/x hands
plus, you block aa, kk combos so, in most situations, you flip or you're ahead. also, preflop, ak can comfortably 3bet in a lot of situations or even 4bet in some situations. how many of you are 3/4 betting with 22 pre. it is better than ak, right?
in post flop situations, ak can comfortably c-bet majority of flops, with the exception low-mid suited connecting flops when ak doesn't have flush equity. when you hit flops, you have tp/tk. when you miss, you have fold equity when you c-bet, as well equity to hit on the turn if you're called or on the river when you both check the turn. on dry boards, ak has decent showdown value.
what flops can 22 comfortably c-bet on? what flops can 22 comfortably call a c-bet on and expect to have any showdown value by the river? not very many. you dont need to hit flops with ak to win or maintain your aggression. the same can't be said with 22, even though many like to claim 22 > ak.
Watching pros, I see that they try to get it all in pre-flop with AK. For a long time, I liked that strategy, but I am starting to change my mind. If you have position, I think it is better to call a 3 bet with AK and see the flop. If the better has AQ or AJ, KQ or the like and hits, you can do very well. If you miss you can get away pretty easily, against pocket pairs and the like. Especially in a tournament, I want to protect my tourney life - call me whimpy, but I win more with this strategy.
A lot of things factor into how I'm going to play AK. But generally I want to go to a flop heads up. Even if they have a pocket pair that isn't KK or AA you arent in too bad of shape. AK v lower pocket pair are roughly a 50/50 against each other. Pair has the slight edge but kot by much.
I'm pretty inexperienced but have found AK very profitable in the micro stakes, and relate to everything ohshootmybad has said - so many ways to win whether you are ahead or not.
I think the biggest factor that underpins my win rate with it is in the microstakes SnG people playing far too loose early on and the number of people who run AQ, KQ, AJ or KJ into your AK is unbelievable - that was one of the biggest decisions I made in playing tighter pre-flop.
In summary, I really like AK and find it profitable if played aggressively - drives out the chancers but leaves in the people just loose enough. Even get some people with medium pocket pairs who can't get away from it if they have say JJ to one A or K overcard - they overplay it and give up loads of money.
Think this is the first time I've found a contrast to others as normally agree that hands I expect to win, don't!
In contrast, I seem to be getting my AA cracked every other time at the moment, but that's just bad luck and I can live with that variance as it is so clear!
The power of AK is in potential power. 1. We have two blocker, which reduce the probability of AA and KK from the enemy. 2. Each subsequent street of trade can destroy a pocket pair (QQ-22) if it has not strengthened to a set. 3. On the flop we have the advantage of proiv any unpaired hands out of range of the enemy
AK is a great hand starting hand. You are ahead of any non-paired hand and only slightly trailing any pair besides AA or KK, which are less likely as you eliminate half of those possible hands by holding one of each. You still need to be able to adjust to your opponent and the board.