In a tournament, A-A is very strong preflop because you can move all-in with it when you are short-stacked and you can call someone with it after someone moves all-in, which happens frequently to avoid the danger of blinding out ignominously.
A-A enjoys about a 19-to-1 edge over A-x (and this includes A-K and A-Q), a 17-to-3 edge against any two unpaired cards, and a 4-to-1 edge against a lower pocket pair.
Of course, K-K and Q-Q are the biggest casualties here; even big stacks in a torunament explode because of these two hands facing A-A.
However, postflop, A-A seems to have less and less of invincibility.
Consider the following AA examples:
1. If the Flop comes K-Q-J, you have a Straight draw, but someone may have a made Straight, or even Two-Pair.
2. If it comes 8-5-2, a player will not be in there with you unless the player has 8-x (and don’t expect that player to continue betting big unless that player has 8-8) or 7-6.
If the Nine or the Four comes you and your Aces will be drawing dead.
3. With a Board of 9-Q-Q-10 you should be scared of the extra Queen especially if the other player keeps bashing on you.
And, since you are holding A-A, it is psychologically difficult to give up.
It would not be as hard as to give up smaller Pairs (like J-J).
Do not hope of building up a large pot with A-A beyond the Flop.
At the end, if A-A is the only hand you have, then do not be surprised once they get racked by a Straight, a Flush ot Two-Pair – It is once mentioned that Two-Pair is the average winning hand in Texas Hold’em.
> A player does not hope to be in there unless he has a premium strength made hand or at least Two-Pair, and players, at the end, do not play top pair strongly.
> Thus, in a board of K-10-6-5-3, if you want a large pot with A-A, you should have played strongly at the Flop and gambled that your opponent had K-Q or K-J.
> If both of you get all your chips on a Board of K-10-6, this is what you want with your A-A.You are still the favorite at this point.
> Whereas, if the Board reaches K-10-6-5-3, your opponent might not play K-Q or K-J strongly, and so will just call small bets and fold to large ones.
> Perhaps your opponent will suck you out – with a 6-5.
Finally, the last weakness with A-A is that it breaks down in the presence of a Set.
Because a Set is difficult to read, if you have A-A in a flop of 10-5-2 (all relatively rags), your opponent plays strongly.
You suspect 10-x or an overpair, and then and you suddenly play A-A more strongly and your opponent calls – with a 10-10 or 5-5.
You’re almost finished. There are no overcards, so you will not be tempted to fold, (K-K does not suffer from this defect in that in a flop of A-x-x, it will be easy for you to give up K-K or play is slowly.
Both of you – the one with the 10-10 and you with A-A – should get their chips in preflop.
If 10-10 wins, it’s just bad luck for you. If, postflop above, if 10-10 wins, it’s both skill for him and bad luck for you.
Of course you want a large pot preflop with A-A. Just move all-in and hope that someone has a strong hand like Q-Q or A-K to call you.
> That is the most probable way to win a large pot. If everyone folds, still the pot is yours.
> Postflop, control the size of the pot (unless you hit a Set or a Full House).
> Try to win a small pot.
> Big pots postflop should be typically won with complete five-card hands like Straights or Flushes.