Key Hands Part Three

For the past two month’s we have talked about how to player certain ‘key hands’ in tournaments. This month we continue the series with four more classic hand types.

Playing AQ

Particularly in a full handed game where there is a lot of play in the chips you should exercise caution against a raise. It is often better to put this hand down against an early raiser than to risk being dominated by AK However it is still a big hand in short handed play, in late position and where blinds are big relative to stacks or you are against a short stack who has to move.

Playing AJ

This is really not much of a hand against a raise, until late in the comp and/or short handed. Although you may well want to play back against a button raise with AJ. It is far weaker against an early raise than AQ and should normally be released.

Playing Big Pairs

Try to get heads up before the flop. Beware of overcards but don’t be too ready to believe sets (particularly against one player). If you have been called you should lead out on most flops. Don’t play kings too weakly just because an Ace has flopped, but be prepared to ‘take a view’ if you are taken on. Flopping a set.

In order to ‘Get on’ when you have flopped big you may sometimes want to lead out. You can win a big pot this way especially if you put your opponent on a big pair and the flop is a rag one. If you think that your opponent may raise you then structure your bet accordingly.