Poker Strategy Answers – Playing Ace Jack

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In our continuation of poker strategy answers today I will be addressing how to play Ace Jack correctly. Now to do so we’re going to have to reclassify Ace Jack from a strong hand to a drawing hand. Why, you ask? Let’s find out.

When you raise with Ace Jack at a tight table, regardless of position, you are only doing one thing: allowing your opponents to mask the strength of their hand. If the table is tight the only people who will be calling you will be holding a pocket pair, ace queen, ace king, ace ten, or in 포커에이스 the best case scenario ace something suited. In the majority of these cases you’re behind by quite a bit, with the exception of the ace with a lower kicker.

Let’s say for instance you raise pre-flop with Ace Jack and spike a Jack on the flop. An opponent whose hand strength has now been masked could easily be holding Queens, Kings, or Aces and is way ahead of you in the hand now. If you spike an Ace on the flop your opponent could out kick you with a Queen or a King. For these reasons we must reclassify Ace Jack to a drawing hand, in the same realm as Ace something suited and Ace Ten.

Now with drawing hands you are typically looking for two pair, trips, straights or flushes. Ace Jack suited is a much stronger drawing hand than Ace Jack, but regardless Ace Jack can still be a decent drawing hand. Now you won’t be pushing as hard with a pair of jacks or a pair of aces but rather waiting for two pair or better.

If you understand how to read an opponent correctly, you may be able to save yourself some chips when your opponent out-kicks you. But if you opponent does indeed out kick you it will cost you part of your stack to find out. These types of bets are known as value bets and are executed to see where you currently stand in a hand. Typically value bets are about half the size of the pot or lower in an effort to see who will call, fold, or re-raise. In the case of a re-raise you know you’re way behind. In the case of a call you have to look at how your opponent played previous hands on whether or not you should continue.

If you’re up against an opponent who loves to trap or slow-play than betting on the turn is not advisable. If you’re up against an opponent who loves to draw at hands than by all means you should bet the turn. As with any hand the way you should play it will be defined by the opponents currently in the hand with you.

Now if you’re lucky enough to spike two pair or a straight you should also execute the value bet strategy. An opponent holding Ace King or Ace Queen will, in most cases, not put you on two pair and will either call along to the river or attempt to push you off of your hand. If they try to push you off your hand, come back over the top of them with a strong re-raise. This is the time when Ace Jack will really pay off for you, is heads up against someone who has paired their Ace with a great kicker but hasn’t put you on two pair.

When it comes to pre-flop it’s totally acceptable to fold Ace Jack to a raise. You’re either dominated or drawing, and you don’t want to be in either scenario with your chips in the pot. By playing Ace Jack as though you would a drawing hand, from middle to late position against smaller sized raises or with a smaller sized raise you increase the likelihood of picking up the pot.

 

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