How to play with AA / KK / QQ / AK?

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analudias

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I don´t know you, guys...but my main loses are with those kind of cards: AA / KK / QQ / AK.
Even in good positions I think I lose much more times with those kind of cards that the others (while I was writing this post, it happened again QQ lost to K3 unsuited). In one day I lost 9 times with those cards and I won just 1 hand.
What is your recommendation for bet in pre-flop, flop, turn and river with those cards:confused::confused:?
 
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Dhendrixon

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Are you keeping the statistics on these hands? Are you losing the all ins that were shoved in pre-flop? Are you limping letting too many people see a flop? Shouldn't be putting much more money in the pot post flop with over cards on the flop. Lot of information you are not giving to give a correct analysis.
 
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dlam

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Are you playing live full ring?
Are you tight ?
Does everyone limps in too preflop raise when you play those cards?
If you say yes then I think players know what you are holding and want to felt you
 
NickeLine22

NickeLine22

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If your stack more then 25bb - raise 3bb or 3-bet. If u have a small stack - push)
 
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suitedsadness

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If you keep getting your Aces cracked for example, I would recommend playing more aggressively, 3-betting, and aggressively betting on the flop when there are draws people might have. This will achieve the effect of either giving people worse prices to call, or forcing them to only play better hands, which may actually be advantageous to you with AA. For example, AdAh has 82% equity against KsQs, but only 77% equity against 6s5s.
In addition, I would also check your stats with these cards, because you probably aren't really losing that badly with them, as that should still be quite difficult to achieve. If you really are losing as badly as you think, consider looking at the 30 day poker course on this website, as it has some really useful tips to improve your play.
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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AA, KK, QQ are super strong hands preflop. They should be profitable against random hands; if these hands are costing you chips long-term, then it is probably because you are not isolating enough. With great preflop hands like these high pocket pairs, you usually want to be raising for value and also to get inferior hands with equity to outdraw you to fold.

AK is another monster hand, but this one is trickier for some people to play because they sometimes overplay it when the Flop turns up nothing and they are just sitting on Ace-high. Generally, same principle here to though - you want to be raising and ideally be heads-up against someone with minor exceptions.

Why should we isolate if we could get value from worse hands joining us in the Flop? This would be a good question - especially since different play-styles might advice different approaches here. However, the danger (regardless of playstyle) in letting too many players stay in the hand is that SOMEONE will probably out draw you.

Let us take this fictional example:

You are on the BTN (Dealer button seat) with QQ in a full-ring game (9 players). Let us now say that UTG position limps into the pot and now everyone else does too. I know this is a drastic example (which may or may not apply to you on a scale anywhere near this), but what could the opponents have? Your QQ is probably the best hand right now. Only AA or KK are ahead and AK is a flip, so you should be betting and raising for value as well as generating some folds.

With 9 players potentially seeing a Flop cheap, probably someone has at least an Ace (even if Ace-rag like A2o) and probably someone has at least a King. If the Flop comes with an Ace or a King, then you are now behind because you let them outdraw you!

Let us say you raised QQ pre-flop instead (how much to raise depends on many factors including play-style, but let us just go with 3X the Big Blind for this example). If you raise with QQ, then how do you think your opponents with K2o or A6o may react? Chances are they will fold, or at the very least they may fold. If they call anyway, then you are just getting value from them when they don't hit.

In our example, let us say that you made it 3X and now only two callers join us. Maybe MP and the BB. The rest in proceeding is poker. Do we c-bet? Do we slow-play? Do we sense weakness and bet? It depends on many factors including play-style again. However, what we continue with is not important for our original question because now we only went 3-ways to the Flop versus 9-ways; this alone should generate a bigger profit than if you hadn't raised - we have QQ, a real premium hand!

Another possibility is that you raised QQ and everyone folds. This is perfectly fine for us. We didn't get outdrawn and we picked up some chips. Getting everyone to fold is almost always a good thing for us :)
 
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zwbb

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Aces, kings and queens are the eldest and best in this most profitable category. Preflop, with such cards, you must put in the pot as much of your money as possible, for this you need to bet and "raise", in the event that someone raised the bet to you.
 
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CSLysander

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It depends on the game. freerolls I would raise, but not go all in unless someone else does. Small stakes is about the same. Being cautious is the name of the game when dealing with stupid aggressive or loose aggressive. Smarter players will fold away when there is aggression and they do not have anything. Also, your stack size should determine your aggression.
 
ivanlt18

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The problem might be you want to snag money from most players, but you actually want to kick them out of the table pre-flop (3-4 betting). If you happen to get 1 or 2 calls, you can try and keep 3-4 betting. beyond that if you lose with those cards, you can consider yourself unlucky.
 
perrypip

perrypip

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They are the best hands you can get. But you still have to play them carefully. AA can be an easy hand to get sucked out with when its beat. Be careful when the board is scary and you face strong aggression.
 
Matt_Burns88

Matt_Burns88

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I don´t know you, guys...but my main loses are with those kind of cards: AA / KK / QQ / AK.
Even in good positions I think I lose much more times with those kind of cards that the others (while I was writing this post, it happened again QQ lost to K3 unsuited). In one day I lost 9 times with those cards and I won just 1 hand.
What is your recommendation for bet in pre-flop, flop, turn and river with those cards:confused::confused:?


Firstly, do you track all your hands? I would take a look at these specific hands and confirm that you are indeed losing over time with them. It is very difficult to not be profitable with the most premium hands over a long period of time. I find a lot of amateur players that don't track their hands convince themselves they lose every time with their strong holdings, when that's not actually the case, they just only remember the bad beats.

Secondly, how are you playing these types of hands, do you change the way you play them depending on your position, opponents and board texture?

Thirdly, you must remember that these hands are not unbeatable; you must keep in mind your opponents likely range in line with the board. If he raised and you 3-bet and he calls preflop and the board come Q-J-T all hearts and you have no hearts, you should proceed very cautiously.

Fourthly, variance is a bitch sometime. You will go on runs where you never feel like your premium hands hold up, but if you are consistently getting your money in good, don't worry about it. variance will swing back your way soon enough and as long as you're properly bankrolled to withstand the swings, you'll be just fine.
 
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Cinhos_2000

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Well as you probaly know these are the best starting cards in texas hold'em. You shoulf usually play them aggresively,you want to build a big pot and not ply against a lot of opponents. Pre flop you should raise these hands and tribet if faced upon a raise. When it comes to the post flop you should have an idea of the range of your adversary, since he called your raise. With that in mind you should play aggresively if you think your hand is still the best and do some pot control if you think you may be behind. Your lost against K3indicates probably that you either were too passive or you opponent too loose. Of course bad beats happen, but you should make a lot of profit with those hands.
 
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gryphon3005

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Lots of great replies to this thread. May I add that getting one of the monster broadway hands can sometimes lull a player into thinking the win is just about automatic. Just stick some chips in the pot and let the suckers call. When I get one of these hands I learn to really focus hard on every detail of the situation like position, stack sizes, tendencies etc. Then I think about my bet. Your bet sizing preflop is perhaps the most crucial of all your decisions. Betting too little is the same as limping while betting too big might lead to either everyone folding and no profit or a shove by an opponent that forces you to gamble your stack preflop. You might be ok with a shove but sometimes circumstances make you quite uncomfortable with that play. If that;s the case you need to find the balance. When I try to gauge a bet size I am looking at my opponents' stacks. Making my bet about 15-20% of their stack can sometimes do the trick. Not enough that they respond with a shove and enough to drive out some of the other players. Takes practice. Best of luck.
 
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analudias

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Thanks, folks! Your tips were very useful. I have read all the tips and I started studying more. I´ll let you know my progress.
 
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CSLysander

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Also remember that the level of the game has a lot to do with this, as mentioned.

Freeroll- People do really stupid all ins because they really do not have any skin in the game. You going all in should only happen if you know you will win.

Micro stakes- This can be quite similar to freeroll with many getting a little less all in happy as the game progresses. Do not go all in till you know you won.

Small to medium stakes- People are more cautious, so these cards have a better chance at an all in preflop. That said, that should be when you know the players and the way they play.

High Stakes- These can be a good preflop time to bet strong preflop and run off the people with lesser cards. These are more likely to have a chance because people are not playing 7 2 os in important and expensive pots.
 
bruno13xs

bruno13xs

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this is normal, my unlucky hand is AA, but not that I will always lose with that hand but it happens
 
diego farfan

diego farfan

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It all depends on the position and making an aggressive re-raise to make the majority fold and you will only get paid those with good hands now it's time to fold if the flop is not positive
 
tazer

tazer

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If you're letting hands like K3o get into the hand you probably need to be betting more preflop. If they call a 3x - 4x bet you are isolating several ranges and hopefully pushing out others to get away from playing multi way pots. I know there is probably people who run the numbers but those hands equity drops significantly in multi way pots. Good luck on the felts.
 
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CSLysander

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If you're letting hands like K3o get into the hand you probably need to be betting more preflop. If they call a 3x - 4x bet you are isolating several ranges and hopefully pushing out others to get away from playing multi way pots. I know there is probably people who run the numbers but those hands equity drops significantly in multi way pots. Good luck on the felts.

Lower stakes have people betting heavily just because they have a face card. This could be lower stakes and the person has the belief backed up by sheer dumb luck that any face card is worth it.
 
tazer

tazer

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Lower stakes have people betting heavily just because they have a face card. This could be lower stakes and the person has the belief backed up by sheer dumb luck that any face card is worth it.

I do agree with you there, but a majority of the time you will come out ahead of K3o so maximizing the pot pre you either A) Get folds and take the pot pre. B) Increase your ROI when you do win with these hands. C) Lose to someone who played his hand badly pre.

IMO regardless of stakes you need to limit the players in that hand. If lots call then maybe it's always a shove pre with loose aggressive players. Just have to read the table and understand what type of opponents you are dealing with and adapt your play.
 
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CSLysander

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IMO regardless of stakes you need to limit the players in that hand. If lots call then maybe it's always a shove pre with loose aggressive players. Just have to read the table and understand what type of opponents you are dealing with and adapt your play.


I was just playing at a freeroll on NLOP. Literally the same 4 went in every hand no matter the chip cost. It was nice when I got a good hand, but they were being ATMs right up to the end. I happened to get a full house with the flop, so I was making them pay for being calling machines. I understand you want to win and hate being called off a winner, but geez, common sense needs to happen. Well... ok, maybe I can appreciate them giving me the chips to make it to the final table, lol.
 
tazer

tazer

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I was just playing at a freeroll on NLOP. Literally the same 4 went in every hand no matter the chip cost. It was nice when I got a good hand, but they were being ATMs right up to the end. I happened to get a full house with the flop, so I was making them pay for being calling machines. I understand you want to win and hate being called off a winner, but geez, common sense needs to happen. Well... ok, maybe I can appreciate them giving me the chips to make it to the final table, lol.

Freerolls are a different ball game. You pretty much throw everything you thought you knew about poker out the window in the early stages and hope you survive lol
 
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Zirkzee

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I always raise and reraise with these hands. After the flop, a C-bet is usually mandatory with these hands. Unless I raised with AK preflop and 3 players called. The flop comes 986s. The flop is very draw-heavy, it helped many players and three players called. Bluffing is a waste of money in this situation. But let's say I raised with QQ, 2 players call and the flop comes AK6r. In fact, the flop is very bad for my QQ. But I raise because I'm the aggressor. It could well be that my opponents think I'm holding something like AK, AQ or AJ. If they haven't hit anything or just small pairs, they will probably fold on my C-bet and I win the pot even though the flop didn't look good for me.
 
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