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Poker Article: Texas Holdem Strategy - Pocket Ace King Suited Hand

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Let's say that you are in a Holdem Poker Tournament, and you are on a 9-player table, where seats number 4 and number 5 are the Small Blind and Big Blind. You are sitting at seat number 6, and you have just been dealt an Ace of Clubs and a King of Clubs (i.e., Ace-King Suited). It is now your turn to wager, with 6 other players to follow. At this juncture, should you fold, call the 1,000 chip Blind, or raise your bet ?

As a student of the game, you should realize that your hand of Ace King Suited is a pretty strong hand, but it is not the very best hand you could get. It is the third ranking hand of the possible 169 hands that could be dealt. From the charts, you recognize that this gives you a 68.6 % chance of winning the hand, at this juncture of the game. Even though this pocket hand is strong, it is not prudent to go All-In at this juncture, and without doubt, you should not fold your hand either. Thus, your response should lie somewhere in between an All-In and a fold. This pocket hand gives you the possibility of an Ace-high flush or an Ace-high straight. Also, you could land a top pair, with either your Ace or King, along with a very great kicker card, in either case.

Although none of these hands may materialize, it would be wise to raise your bet, so that you dissuade some of the weak hands from staying in this game. If you do not get a straight or a flush (the odds are against this from occurring), you will need to obtain a pair of Aces or Kings to win the hand. If you do not hit a straight, flush, or the Ace or King pair, you certainly would not want to risk your entire chip stack; hence, a raise to 1,500 chips seems to be an appropriate raise at this time. If none of the remaining players bet after your raise, then you will at least be afforded the opportunity of seeing the flop before committing any further chips. However, if you do get raised, you will be faced with the decision of either having to fold (and losing all of the 1,500 chips) or calling the raise, which in turn, may risk your chip stack and your tournament chances.

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