If so yes most Ax are strong preflop hands in 6 max games our V are going to be calling with a wider range So we win with high card Ace often.
Of course we have to play well post flop.
A5 first in CO 9 handed is also playable if the player on the BTN is passive or weak or Tight AGG.
I know you are thinking tight AGG will raise me a lot but we need not worry about folding to a player with a tight range because they are not wide enough to be playing hands were we are folding strong equity when holding A5 off
A5 off is also a very good ISO 3 bet hand versus a straight forward player opening a wider range preflop in EP when in CO 9 handed. It is a great range balancer that we seldom stack off with post flop.
Just one point about the above suggestions.
What stake level you are playing matters. If you are playing No-Foldem Holdem our V do not fold pairs post flop so our steal equity drops with this hand. So post flop we would reduce our steal attempts as low stakes players fold any pair 50% less often than mid-stakes players do. Versus low stakes we raise A5 off and then over bet value our hands instead of stealing. We still steal pots but only the most obvious they will fold runout type of situations.
First of all if we are talking about raising first in, then it does not matter, how many people are on the table. It only matter, how many are left to act behind you. So a CO opening range on a 9-handed table should be exactly the same as a CO opening range on a 6-handed table, since in both cases there are 3 people left to act, who could each wake up with a hand better than yours.
And I will say, that A5o should normally be opened from CO, but it is also near the bottom of our range. Therefore there can be some situations, where its reasonable to not open it. This could include aggressive 3-betters behind or a BTN, who loves to float a lot. It could also be tournament situations, where you have a lot of ICM pressure on your shoulders.
Exactly, as Fundiver says the table size doesn't impact this decision much (besides the total of the ante's being slightly more in a full ring table if it's a very close decision).
For me I would usually fold without an ante in either full ring or 6-max, and play it with an ante. And I agree there are times to fold it against aggressive players left to act or with stacks being unfavorable to us in bubble/payjump spots.
Generally I'd fold it, but it is close as other have pointed out. Even though I'd personally be more inclined to fold it, I am certainly capable of playing any two cards if I think it is a good spot. Maybe the Big Blind is a fish I think I can out-play postflop or the blinds are nitty enough to make my blind steal attempt profitable.
The Ax hand does block AA, AK and AQ - I even have a few more outs with AX suited hands to the flush
Because Ace-rag hands aren't too good, I usually fold them; they certainly aren't good enough to play for value I think. With that said, they do sometimes make good hands to 3-bet bluff with or go after the blinds and antes if you are able to let them go in the face of resistance.
Everyone has their own playstyle though. Just because I would play the situation that way, this doesn't mean it is the only "good" way to play it by any means
A) 6-max ands 9-max don't really differ if you look at it from the perspective of downstream action. ie CO is CO...BTN is BTN...no diff.
B) A5o is at the bottom of our range here
So this gets some of us on the fence, some ready to play and others an easy fold.
So what might cause some of the callers to fold and some of the folders to call? (Note: This didn't way whether it was cash game or tourney. As I play tourneys, most of my comments are with these in mind, but some will apply across the board)
1. Stack Depth / Tourney Stage
When you are short stacked or mid to late game, you need to look after your chips a little more carefully than early game. Early game you may have little or no intel. Around bubble time, it will depend on the tourney and the table. I like stealing around the bubble, whereas many playres like to coast into the money and then get playful again. Proceed with caution.
2. Player Aggression
You should be gathering intel on all players. You should know the likelihood that a downstream player will call/3-Bet/Defend Blinds. In such cases, you might either choose to err on the side of caution and fold. But you cannot bluff a call-station and you cannot reason with a maniac.
3. Player Activity
If you have a HUD, VPIP will give you an idea of how much your opponents will voluntarily put chips into the pot. Broadly, where VPIP is 15 or below, I'll add a "Nit" label. Above and through mid 20-s I'll labbel them "Tight". Above and through 40 -- Loose. Above 40, "Fishy".
I will further label with Passive or Aggressive according to their actions.
When there are Nits and Tight Passives, I will tend to play/3-bet with A5o from CO (with no preceding action). They are more likely to fold or flat.
With Tight Aggressives I am more inclined to fold and wait for a better opportunity. I can avoid the discomfort of having to call a three-bet, a donk-bet and can avoid chasing post-flop.
The trouble with aggressives, even when they are bluffy, is that sometimes they have a hand. And I don't want to be the one paying them.
With Loose and Fish, you basically need to be able to win at showdown. Better off flatting or small bet running into these guys until you are confident you have the best hand. You'll need to pay attention post-flop. These players often play connectors, suited connectors, and almost anything suited -- especially early game.
Bet when you hit. Check when you don't. (Usually). Control the pot size until you have strength.
I'm sure there are other considerations...
But I've gotta run!