Playing High Pocket Pairs

Playing Pocket Aces, Pocket Kings, and Pocket Queens

The most desirable starting hands in Texas Hold’em are high pocket pairs. We are talking specifically in regards to playing pocket Aces (A-A), pocket Kings (K-K), and pocket Queens (Q-Q). Everyone that plays poker knows the feeling that you get when you get pocket Queens, Kings or Aces. It gives you a feeling like you are almost guaranteed to win. The problem is that if you play poker you also know that a high pocket pair does not always win. There are plenty of circumstances that a pocket pair will get run down and lose to something that is not quite as good. That is why you should play your high pocket pairs a specific way, to avoid losing to other hands.

Playing High Pocket Pairs before the Flop

Before the flop is the most important phase of playing a high pocket pair. A big misconception many players make is that they want to slow play a high pocket pair. If you get pocket aces before the flop you have the best hand possible. If you don’t protect that hand, it will soon be a losing hand. The more players that are in the hand with you, the less valuable a high pocket pair will be. It is not common for a high pocket pairs to hold up against several different opponents.

The best way to play Texas Hold’em is to get as much money as possible into the pot when you are ahead. If you have a high pocket pair before the flop, you are probably ahead at that point. Never slow play your pocket pair; always bet it and protect it. You want to get as many players out of the hand as you can. The ideal situation would be to get a player with AK, AQ or AJ to go all-in with you before the flop. You are going to win in that position almost every time.

Playing High Pocket Pairs after the Flop

After some community cards are dealt, this is where it really gets tricky. You need to put your opponents on a specific range of hands. If you believe that you are still ahead after the flop, you need to once again, get as much money into the pot as possible. If you have not been drawn out on yet, you do not want them to get another chance. For example, say you have pocket Queens (Q-Q) and you are up against one opponent after the flop. Unless you put them on pocket Kings or Aces, you have to worry about an Ace or a King coming up. If it doesn’t, you will have to assume you have the best hand. You then want to get all of your money into the pot at that point before your opponent has a chance to catch a King or Ace.

The whole main idea is to get your money in while you are ahead. Bad beats happen because you let them happen. You can control how well high pocket pairs perform for you. If you play them like mentioned above, you will win a lot more than you will lose.