Ace King – [Call/Fold]
Ace-King [A-K] is considered to be one of the powerful premium cards. But is it always practical to call any bets or All-ins with Ace-King? Folding such a strong hand to huge bets may seem like a pain in the heart. But, the stronger range of cards which your opponents could be holding should be taken into consideration before calling huge bets. Hence, Ace King is also considered as a major trouble making hand. There are several things to be considered before involving in huge pots with a hand like Ace-King [A-K]. Pocket Pairs such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, and J-J are potential A-K beaters since it has only 40% equity against such range. Going All-in before pre-flop is most of the player’s first choice when they are dealt with [A-K]. But, better premium cards like [AA-KK-QQ] has higher chances of winning the pot against such a card.
In the long run, there is chance of you getting troubled by a hand like Ace-King. Ace-King is comparatively a good starting hand while playing Texas Hold’em. But, these particular cards are also known by the name money looser. Usually the best hand [A-K] can make after a flop is a pair or two pairs with the best kicker. By going All-in pre-flop, you reduce the chance of other players flopping a better hand like trips, flush etc. Such raises with [A-K] make it expensive for players with possibly powerful mediocre cards to see the flop.
Suppose if you raised pre-flop and got re-raised. The best option for you is to fold your cards since your opponent can be holding [AA, KK] they can even be calling with [QQ, JJ] but still it is better to fold. In case, if you are going against players holding [AA and KK] even the cards in your favour like A or K can initiate you losing. But, Players holding [QQ, JJ] will fold their cards if the flop is not in their favour. Basically, the strength of AK depends upon the flop you are hitting. Hitting A, K or both at the flop makes AK a playable hand, but, the occurrence of that probability is only 1 in 3.
When players call or re-raise on a raise you made by A-K, either he is bluffing with non-premium hands like A-9, K-5, Q-T to make other players fold under pressure while he is still having marginal chances on hitting the pot or he might be having a potential premium hand which could defeat A-K. Note that your image at the table you are playing in is an important factor to be considered while doing raises or all-ins. If you have a tight image at your table, going all-in will be noted by your opponents since, you always play tight. If you have a loose image at your table, your raise or all-in is considered as a potential call by your opponents since, you are involved in most hands.
If the flop granted you with strongest pair with the highest kicker, it is better to make strong bets to which your opponent either folds or calls on it in order to hit a possible draw they are left with. If the flop came up with less powerful cards you can continue betting and wait for your opponent’s move on turn/river since, undercards creates a lot of possibilities for draws.
In case if you are dealt with Ace-King suited, there are possibilities of you to hitting an Ace-high flush on flop itself. If you are left with a flush draw, you can make a Semi-Bluff. If your opponent folds for your bet you win the pot straight away. Even if your opponent calls on your bet you are left with a good chance of hitting an Ace-high flush. But, if you are getting re-raised by your opponent, you have to make a fold unless you are sure that your opponent is making a bluff. Distinguishing a Bluff from strong cards and playing accordingly is one of the best ways to play safe while holding Ace-King.