Being able to fold a big pair is one of the hardest thing for a new player to learn how to do. It is also a very important skill to develop. Success in playing the game of poker is dependent upon not just winning as much as you can but it is about not losing any more than you have to lose.
As an example, we all know that holding pocket aces always makes a player feel good inside – but hopefully you are only showing this on the inside, as it is a hand that can be easily beaten depending on the board texture and other factors.
You need to be able to constantly reconsider what the value of your aces is based upon the flop and other community cards as well as the action at the table that goes along with them.
Knowing When to Ditch Big Hands (yes, even Aces!)
A♦ A♥ is the best hand that you can have before the flop. With this hand you can be confident that no other player in the hand has better starting cards than you do and that if there was a showdown at this point, the worst that you could do would be to tie to another pair of aces.
Things can change in the value of you hand once the community cards start hitting to board and when they do you need to be able to make a new assessment of your hand and the value that it holds. If the flop comes down 6♠ 7♠ 8♠ then the value of your aces just took a mighty big drop.
This flop has straight potential, flush potential, straight flush potential, and not much help for you pocket aces. Now you hand could still be good and in some percentage of the times it will still be good. But it this flop stirs up a lot of action then you better be able to give up on those aces.
Continuation Betting on a Bad Flop
Making a continuation bet on a bad flop is still probably a good idea. Betting is one of the ways in poker that we can gather information.
On that aforementioned flop you may be getting some information that you do not like – but you also may be able to take down the pot on a very scary flop.
If you raised before the flop then you may have gotten rid of the more speculative drawing hands. If you did then it might be possible that the other players that are still in the hand will put you on an ace king suited and holding the nut flush after the flop.
Which is More Expensive?
Which will do you bankroll more harm?
Laying down your aces when they might still be good even though they are a long shot after the scary flop?
Or calling with them when they are now an underdog and losing money?
Don’t keep your first impression of the hand that you were dealt for the entire hand. You must constantly assess your hand based upon new information and community cards are certainly new information, especially when you hold big pairs!
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