Wanted: Home for Poor Poker Strategy – Aces On The Button

Pocket Aces are by far the best Starting Hand in Texas Hold’em, often the cause of fluttering heartbeats and rejuvenation of a poker player’s emotional state. Any veteran of the game would hide this reaction well, but it’s more difficult to subdue. The fact is, in a game of probabilities, Pocket Aces always get the highest win percentage Pre-Flop.

In this poker strategy article, we’re going to discuss how to play Pocket Aces on the Button. Let’s briefly define these terms:

Pocket Aces = A Pair of Aces in the Hole.
One The Button = When you are sitting in the late Dealer position.

‘One the Button’ is considered to be the best position in any Hold’em poker strategy. You have the privilege of seeing each player act, and observing their behavior in the process, while avoiding the forced bets of the Small Blind and Big Blind. So, to hold Pocket Aces in this position is even more beneficial.

Playing Aces On The Button – Pre-Flop

At this point, you definitely want to see the Flop. Your actions should depend upon the actions of your opponents. You don’t want to scare them away, unless it’s worth it. If players are merely limping in, a large Raise from you may result in Folds. A small Raise would be better. If they are Raising and Re-Raising, feel free to Raise right back. Doing so will either result in them Folding, giving you a worthwhile pot, or a Call that may become even more profitable.

Be careful not to put everything on the line at this point, however. Pocket Aces are a great hand Pre-Flop, but once the Flop comes down, everything can change. You want to see the Flop before making such a game-altering decision.

When the Flop comes down, determine the Nuts immediately. This will help you decide how to play Aces on the Button.

“Slow Playing” Aces On The Button

All actions depend on the Flop and the behavior of the opposition. In the example below, a player would do well to ‘Slow Play’ Pocket Aces.

Example Flop: Kd-7h-5c

In this example, you’ll see that there is no chance of a Straight or Flush according to the Community Cards visible. This gives your Aces a much higher probability of winning. That’s excellent, but don’t get too excited.

The Nuts at this point would be a Set of Kings. It’s highly unlikely that anyone has a Set of Kings, but size up the competition and their betting habits throughout the following round to be sure.

If players are limping in, you’re safe. Even a moderate Raise at this point is safe, but be careful not to scare them off. A Flop like this doesn’t keep a lot of players in the pot, so once most of the Fold, you want to keep the active players around for as long as possible.

Bet low, bet slow and keep them Calling for as long as you can.

“Raising” Aces On The Button

We just discussed when and how to Slow Play Aces on the Button. Now let’s cover the fun topic – when to go for it all!

Example Flop: 2h-Qh-Ac

There it is, you hit the Set of Aces. There’s no chance of a Straight and little hope for a Flush. What you want to see, however, is other players betting high and raising often. This kind of Flop often instigates high wagers because of the high values involved.

Pocket Qs would assume they have it made with the Set. One Ace in the Hole would feel confident enough to stay alive. An A-Q in the Hole would be very Raise-happy at this point, but you’ve got them all beat.

If the opposition is Raising confidently, Raise it right back at them and take everything you can. Your chances of losing this kind of pot are so marginally small; it is worth claiming every chip you can when you get such an opportunity.

 “Folding” Aces On The Button

Who would ever consider Folding Aces on the Button? A smart veteran poker player with plenty of poker strategy under his belt. Yes, there is actually a good time to Fold Pocket Aces on the Button.

Example Flop: 8h-9h-Jh.

There’s an obvious Straight / Straight Draw and even more dangerous Flush / Flush Draw waiting to happen here. In this case, you again observe your opponents. If heavy Raises are coming in, you’re going to have to swallow your excitement and Fold the Pocket Aces.

“Fold Pocket Aces?! Are you insane?” you ask.

Yes, Fold them please :)

As beautiful as the hand may be, the Flop did not help you, but it likely gave someone else the Nut Straight, Nut Flush, or a Nut Draw at the least.

The idea of any poker strategy is to “maximize profit” and “decrease losses”. If that theory, that ultimate goal, is to be successful, you must follow the odds and probabilities, which tell us to Fold the Aces.