Key Hands Part Two

Last month we talked about how to play AK in tournaments. AK is one of the trickiest hands, but there are many others which are worth discussing. Here are a couple of them:

Playing small pairs

This depends very much on stage of tournament. Early on try to get in cheap. Later on, be prepared to give them up when calling is too expensive or where you cannot get a raiser off a hand, but play them strong occasionally, re-raising if you can make a raiser pass and think you are probably in an evens shot. Another classic tournament tactic when you think you are up against a big Ace is to take a flop and move in if there are no scare cards.

Playing a ‘Rag Ace’

A ‘Rag Ace’ can be defined as an Ace with any kicker lower than a ten. Don’t waist chips by raising to pass with this hand. Neither should you get into the habit of limping with it. Against a late raise you can sometimes come over the top, and you may make your opponent pass a similar holding. A Rag Ace is no hand except in very late position or in the late or short handed stages of a competition.

Playing a ‘Suited Rag Ace’

The fact than an Ace is suited makes very little difference to it’s value, particularly if all or most of the action is pre-flop as you have a less than five percent chance of making a flush. However, if you can get in cheap with little prospect of a re-raise there is additional implied value. Having said that you should be wary of getting yourself into a position of chasing a draw against a made hand. People often go broke with suited Aces for just this reason.