Why Your Suited Ace Sucks

Sometimes laying down top pair can be hard to do

One staple of the strategy we outline here for playing in low limit games is the suited ace--that is an ace and any other card as long as it is the same suit as the ace.  For example:

Ace of Diamonds Two of Diamonds
Hole Cards

The reason for wanting to play suited aces against a full table is based solely on its ability to make the highest possible flush.  When the kicker (the lower card in your two card hand) is low as it is in the above example then what will most likely do you no good, and by no good we mean either you will win a small pot or lose a big one. Clearly this is a position you do not want to be in.

It's for that reason that you need to make a strong flop against a full table and when you hold the Ad2d in the above example and the flop comes:

Ace of Spades King of Hearts Six of Clubs

and there is action on the table be prepared to often give up your pair of aces.  Although this isn't automatic (it depends on how many people are left in the pot and what sort of draws are available.

Good flops for Ad2d:

Ace of Spades King of Diamonds Nine of Diamonds

[Top pair, nut flush draw]

Two of Spades Ten of Diamonds Two of Hearts

[Trips with ace kicker, backdoor flush draw]

Three of Diamonds Four of Spades King of Diamonds

[Nut flush draw, straight draw, overcard]

Ace of Spades Two of Clubs Ten of Hearts

[Two pair including top pair]

The general idea in the flops above is that you are hitting the flop hard.  At least a flush draw or backdoor flush draw or two pair or better to start.  You like these flops but they are hardly sure things.

Flops where you can see the turn:

Ten of Hearts Two of Clubs Six of Diamonds

[Backdoor nut flush draw, pair with ace overcard (poisoning other aces calling with only overcards]

Ace of Hearts King of Spades Eight of Diamonds

[Top pair, backdoor nut flush draw]

The flops above are usually worth seeing the turn on unless it's going to be very expensive. If you don't improve on the turn (by picking up the second pair, continuing the flush draw, etc.) then you need to drop your hand.

Finally, Suited aces exempt from the above restrictions:

Ace of Clubs King of Clubs
Hole Cards
Ace of Diamonds Queen of Diamonds
Hole Cards