View Full Version : Playing Aces after the flop

07-30-2004, 11:46 PM
I'm never sure how to play after the flop when I raise preflop with Aces then get an unfavorable flop.

Here's an example. Blinds are $.50/$1. UTG starts the hand with $70. Button has $65. I have them both easily covered.

I have A /images/graemlins/heart.gifA /images/graemlins/diamond.gifK /images/graemlins/heart.gif6 /images/graemlins/diamond.gif in the BB. A bunch of players limp. The button raises to $3. He's unknown to me. SB folds. I raise the pot, making it $15 to go.

UTG, a terrible, loose player who earlier called a my pot sized preflop raise with 9666 then lost his whole stack to me on a AJ944 board, calls. Everyone folds back to the button who calls. Three to the flop with about $50 in the pot.

Flop: T /images/graemlins/spade.gif9 /images/graemlins/diamond.gif7 /images/graemlins/club.gif

What's my plan?

07-31-2004, 06:41 AM
are you serios?
its a clear check/ fold

07-31-2004, 07:46 AM
I agree.

07-31-2004, 11:39 AM
Depends how much you like to gamble. Preflop reraise is fine - you want to isolate the button - who could be raising a pretty random hand.
Plan fails because you get called by moron UTG.

If the button had poor odds to call your raise, they've gone up much more with UTG calling.

It's clear that UTG could have anything. This is a flop that could have hit both of of them very hard. However, there is a rationale to taking a swing at the pot one time in X.

After all, that flop is just as scary to them. What if you've got JQKK? Ot TTJQ? Check fold is probably the best play, but if you discount the UTG's holding, you are essentially in a HU situation - and you'd be right to take a swing at the pot more often than just 1 in four times I'd say.

Don't forget that any play you make here feeds through to other plays later in the session. If it goes bet raise fold fold, then that's useful down the road, when you really do connect with flop. People will be more likely to take a shot at you and then you can play for their full stack.

Obviously if you're called, whether by UTG or button, you have to switch off.

I think it's closer than the other posters would have although marginal either way.

07-31-2004, 12:10 PM
Heh. On second thoughts, the amount in the pot vs. the amount in their stacks and yours swings this to the check fold end of the spectrum. Apologies about that.

A $50 dollar pot in a $0.50/1 game on the flop is pretty big. You have to start erring on the side of caution here as you will only have room for one pot sized bet on the flop. On the turn, you'd be all in. FWIW, against two other players with completely random hole cards you are a 28:36/36 dog here. If you are up against just one player you are just slightly worse than a coin flip. The UTG probably offers some additional equit, as he's likely to call when he's clearly beaten. Even so, I think check fold has it.

07-31-2004, 04:12 PM
I thought a check fold was probably in order also, but being new to the game and coming from a hold'em background, that still feels a little uncomfortable to me given the preflop action.

I did check, UTG checked, and the button bet the pot, moving him almost all in. I folded and UTG folded.

Thanks for the thoughts.

08-01-2004, 01:22 AM

Your preflop reraise here is not good. Granted, one of the best situations to be in with AAxx in PLO is to be able to put in a big re-raise before the flop, you must realize that in this case your reraise is not very large, less than 1/4 of the stack of your main opponents. You are out of position with an open hand.

So what are better strategies?

1) Do not reraise, if you hit a good flop you are in good position to reap a big reward.

2) Min-reraise. Usually this does not help your case, but you will not be necessarily put on AA, obviously you can't or you would've put in the big raise. Occasionally, what will happen here is most of the field with call the raises, the button min-raises again and you can make the big push. I was playing in the stars 3-6 game one night when a habitual min-raiser got stubborn with the player behind him who kept min-raising him back, this went back 7 or 8 times before the pot got large enough for the solid player to put in the big raise and get him all in preflop with AA.

Lastly, if you put in occasional reraises with hands less than AA, you have aware enough opponents who know that you are capable of doing this, AND you have good control of your opponent postflop you do not give your hand away postflop. This is more applicable in a large-stakes live game however.

In this hand you obviously check/fold.

08-01-2004, 12:04 PM
Hi Acesover8s

I thought this thread could be interesting /images/graemlins/smile.gif. I agree that if the hand was AAxx then calling would be good. And I'd never thought of doing a minimum reraise here - sounds a good idea if the scenario you envisage pans out and I'll definitely give it a try. I tend to avoid minraises and I've never min. reraised so that's a new idea.

However in this instance, JTG doesn't have AAxx, but aces double suited. They're very rare and a massive money spinner. The side cards are a bit problematic - the K gives you a draw to the nut straight and that's about it while the six on its own is useless. Even so, would it not be better if the hand is double suited to get as much money as possible into the pot preflop?

I checked the figures with Poker Calculator and you are a remarkable 50% + favourite preflop:

Monte carlo simulation results from Poker Calculator
Omaha Hold'em, 100000 combinations tested.

Hand | AsAcKc6s | xxxx | xxxx |
Win | 50246 | 24084 | 24239 |
Draw | 709 | 1091 | 1068 |
Lose | 49045 | 74825 | 74693 |
Win% | 50.6% | 24.63% | 24.77% |

Same cards, but no suits you drop to a 43% dog to the field although still winning more than your fair share.

Even in a nightmare scenario against 6789ds and two small pair, 5533, you are still in pretty good shape:

Hand | AsAcKc6s | 9d8h7d6h | 5h5d3s3c |
Win | 289559 | 226144 | 142305 |
Draw | 0 | 0 | 0 |
Lose | 368449 | 431864 | 515703 |
Win% | 44.01% | 34.37% | 21.63% |

And this scenario will happen incredibly rarely. I agree with you that you have potentially an open hand - by that you mean they put you on Aces I take it. But wouldn't that be another reason why you shouldn't always be reraising with just Aces in this spot, or any other for that matter?

On position, I agree; with a flop like this one, you have dropped a large preflop raise and have nothing to show for it and no room to manoeuvre. But wouldn't the losses in this instance be more than outweighed by the wins?

I'm thinking the parallel may be a bit like AKs in hold em. If the game is PL or NL, then I wouldn't want to be reraising too often out of the blind. But in this game and with weak opposition I think get the money in now and see what the flop brings. After all, if you get a fantastic flop, won't you be kicking yourself if there's just $10 in the pot?

What do you think?


08-01-2004, 02:01 PM

Interesting post. Granted AAKxds isn't exactly 'just' AAxx, the AA component is the strongest part of the hand, and with money left to bet it can get you in a lot of trouble to have that part of your hand exposed.

A majority of large pot situations in PLO involve one (or more) players holding AA, how you play these situations can account for a majority of your profitability in this game.

One could play no hands other than AA and make a decent profit, providing the game was aggressive enough or you had a small enough stack (and large enough bankroll).

A corollary to that is that one can make a much larger profit by finding out players who misplay AA pre- and post-flop and exploiting them. In the proper circumstances, it can be profitable to play nearly any hand against a overcommitted AA raiser.

The problem with what I believe is your point is that in giving away your hand preflop you are putting yourself in a -EV situation postflop.

There are basically 4 postflop situations:

1) You hit the flop hard: ATT, Axx with a flush draw, 22x, etc. You bet out and pick up the preflop money.

2) You miss and give it up postflop, or worse yet, you miss and bet out anyway, your opponent only calls you when you are behind.

3) You hit a flop like 56K with one of your flush draws and get to play a big pot and hope to get lucky.

4) Occasionally, occasionally, you will hit a hand like A77 and your opponent will decide you must have AKQJ and pays you off with his trip 7s, this is very rare however.

Grated, all of this assumes your opponents are somehwhat savvy and have some cardreading ability, which is not necessarily true in games of this size.

08-01-2004, 05:08 PM
This is very helpful stuff, guys. Thanks.

08-01-2004, 05:12 PM
The problem with what I believe is your point is that in giving away your hand preflop you are putting yourself in a -EV situation postflop.

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Or put it another way, if I "knew" you were right, I would change my thoughts immediately. This is the crux of the matter and is almost impossible to evaluate without a sizeable database of hands. The only source for this from online hands would be a PokerStat db for games on Stars or Paradise. I have a (very) small collection of such hands and as such the results are meaningless. Ironically, of this sample, I am winning more out of the blinds with Aces than I am in other positions. The hands in the blinds include a good deal of preflop raising (if strong sidecards) or reraising to get HU.

The only other prospect is a simulation - but there are no simulators for PL; or to do it by hand using guesstimates. The latter would be a lot of work and possibly pointless due to too many false assumptions. But I'll mull it over.