How to Play Ace-King in Poker


Big Slick

There are many names for Ace-King. From Big Slick to Anna Kournakova to my favorite “walking back to Houston.” I learned this expression from reading T.J. Cloutier’s poker book many years ago. If I recall correctly, he wrote that the back-to-back cash games were in Texas. The poker players from Houston would travel to these games and they had one major weakness. They thought A-K was the nuts.

T.J. it was the only time they’d get called with K-K when they were beat. Thus, I got the name “walking back to Houston.” (Let me know if I got this story wrong. It’s been a while.) 우리카지노

How To Play Ace-King in No Limit Tournaments

I have a lot of no matter what, and other players who are just call, never want to risk all their chips.

I must admit that I have misplayed this hand many many many times.

After watching players lose all their chips with A-K, I became a caller with it. But, after watching many Pros accumulated chips with A-K, I switched to pre-flop and tried to get all-in-pre-flop.

After much pain and suffering, I have come to the following conclusion that there are some general rules on how to play A-K correctly:

1. You want to raise with A-K pre-flop.
2. You don’t need to have all your chips in pre-flop with A-K.
3. If you hit your hand on the flop and get a caller, keep the pot small by checking the turn. You don’t want to lose to a player called you raise with the worst kicker.

Why is this the right approach for playing Ace-King?

1. You want to eliminate the number of opponents, and hopefully, simply win the blinds without a fight.
2. If you move all-in with A-K and get called, you are most likely to be behind. Your opponent will have a pair and be favored. And, of course, there are those times he finds pocket Kings or Aces. Doh!
3. Keeping the pot small will minimize your chip loss with a hand that is just one pair. You don’t want to go bust after the flop with just one pair. Don’t do it.

What are the right situations for push with Ace-King?

There are a few exceptions to my rules:

1. If your chip stack is 9 times or less the big blind, pushing with A-K is the right play.
2. If you need to accumulate lots more chips to win the event, pushing with A-K is the right play. For example, if you have 12 times the big blind, a player raises a pre-flop in front of you, and your event is doubling up now.
3. If you have a tell on your opponent that he is weak, pushing with A-K is the right play.


Too many players move all-in with Ace-King without thinking about the situation. It is a hand that you want to win pre-flop with a raise, where you want to keep the pot small if you get resistance on the flop, where do you push to give yourself a shot at winning.

Why am I writing this post tonight? I just knocked myself out of a tournament by overplaying my hand with A-K. I only ran into two opponents pre-flop. One had K-K and the other A-A !! Oh, since it’s online poker, the case King hit the board …

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