How to Play Ace-King Postflop

How to Play Ace-King Postflop

Today I want to share a hand I played early in a $1,000 buy-in World Series of Poker no-limit hold'em event. The hand presents a very common situation — having ace-king and taking the initiative preflop, then missing the flop and having to decide how to proceed with your two overcards.

With the blinds 25/50 and the stacks very deep, it folded to me on the button where I raised to 150 with {a-Spades}{k-Clubs}. Just one opponent called from the small blind, and after the flop came {9-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} he checked.

As I discuss in the video below, it's a mistake just to continuation bet every time in a spot this. You have to think about your opponent's range and how might or might not connect with the board.

In this case, the small blind (with a range that should be tighter than mine) certainly has hands that missed and others that hit. Meanwhile my great preflop hand has become very marginal, and so I checked behind, which is a good choice here.

The turn was the {j-Spades} and my opponent checked once more. Again, I don't need to bet here, and for a few reasons probably shouldn't. What is your inclination at this point?

I'll stop there and let you see what I decided and how the hand ultimately played out.

While many players have a difficult time playing A-K, if you correctly figure out if you have a premium made hand, a marginal made hand, or junk and then play accordingly, you will rarely make a mistake.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,900,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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