playing with aces

Considered the holy grail of starting hands, when you’re playing with pocket aces, you’ve got a whole lot of power and potential.

Having said that, wielding the best starting hand in hold’em effectively requires a well-thought-out strategy. In other words, you want to make the most of it and not muck it up.

With our guide, you can find out the secret to playing this remarkable hand in a way that maximizes your winnings. And yes, that counts for in-person play and online play (bonus code bet365 if you’re looking for a new online poker room). Sounds good? Then let’s dive straight in.

1. Play aggressively pre-flop

Whether you’re in early, mid or late position, you can afford to play aggressively pre-flop when you’re playing with pocket aces. Your aim should be to build the pot and isolate opponents. Whatever your usual playing style, embrace this aggressive approach and raise the stakes significantly. A substantial raise things out the competition and ensures you face fewer opponents on the subsequent streets.

2. Vary your bet sizes

Okay, we’re going to contradict ourselves a little here. While we did just say a substantial raise is the thing to do, it’s also worth considering mixing up your bet sizes from time to time. This is especially important if you want to slide under the radar and make it harder for your fellow players to guess you hit the motherload and are, in fact, playing with pocket aces. Balancing your bet sizes will enhance your overall strategy. But of course you’ve also got to make sure you’re still getting good value from this excellent hand.

3. Control the action

Throughout the hand, maintain control of the betting action. You should dictate the terms to limit the chances of opponents drawing out on you. Bet assertively on the flop, turn and river, forcing weaker hands to fold. And then extract maximum value from those brave enough to challenge you.

4. Beware of overplaying

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Yes, pocket aces are very strong. But just because you’re holding them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win. Stay level-headed and make sure you don’t overplay them. Keep an eye on what happens on the turn, flop and river and keep watching what your fellow players are doing. If those community cards pose significant threats, it might pay off to adjust your aggression to mitigate potential losses.

5. Utilize positional advantage

We all know it’s important to adjust your playing style depending on your position at the table. And that’s certainly still true for when you’re playing with pocket aces. If you’re in late position, you can be even more aggressive because you’ve got superior positional information. But on the flip side, you should be a little more cautious if you’re in an early position. Keep observing and adjust your strategy to extract maximum value.

6. Don’t forget about those stacks

When you’re playing with pocket aces, you definitely shouldn’t forget about stack sizes. Chips are life, after all. Against smaller stacks, you should apply more pressure and leverage that hand strength. Meanwhile, if a player has a deep stack, you can be a little more cautious. This is because if you do get caught out, it’ll be likely that you’ll make a bigger dent in your own stack.

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