Slow Playing big pairs
For this blog post we’ll define big pairs as pocket kings and aces. Some might include queens. They very well could be seen as a big pocket pair. But, we’re just going to focus on kings and aces here.
It’s rarely a good idea to limp in with a big pocket pair. A lot of players think they’ll trap people with them. There will be several callers and then the betting will get crazy after the flop. This is a very bad strategy. Unless you plan on the possibility of folding your pocket pair at some point in the hand.
The more players in the pot the more chances of someone beating your big pair. That’s just the fact. A lot of players like to see flops with suited hands or connectors. By not raising you very well might be playing with people that have hands like this. You want to avoid playing against these people at all cost. It would be better to raise it up and have everyone fold. At least then you’d pick up the small and big blind. It sure would be better than going broke because someone hit their flush.
Bet on the flop if you do decide to limp in. You can’t let people check it to the turn or river. That would more than likely spell disaster for your big pair. Sometimes slow playing big pairs can trap aggressive players. But, it’s too risky.
If you check it all the way down to the river you won’t know where you’re at. You won’t know if you’re aces are still any good. You could throw out a bet and someone could raise you. There’s no way you can put them on a hand. No one gave any indications preflop or after the flop what they may have.
What’s the best way to play a big pair? Raise it up. Don’t be afraid to go All-in. You always want to get in the most money with the best hands possible. It doesn’t get any better than kings or aces. Sure, someone can have aces if you go All-in with kings. But, you have to gamble. No one ever won a tournament folding their way to victory. You’ve got to take risks to win. That’s simply the nature of gambling.
What happens if someone else raised it up before you? You’re going to want to raise it again. Especially if there were multiple callers. All for the reasons we spoke about above. Your go is to isolate one person and play them heads up. You want the best odds for your aces from start to finish. The only way to do that is to make sure there are as few people in the pot as possible.
Be aggressive when you have a big pocket pair. Your goal is to get chips. That’s the one thing you never want to lose sight of. You very well could end up losing chips if you slow play your pocket pair. Which is exactly the opposite of what should happen when you’re dealt two of the best hands in poker.