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Arrow  Playing with an Ace
About 15% of the time, one of your hole cards will be an ace. That's about one out of every seven hands, six times an hour, or fifty times per eight hour playing session that you'll be dealt an ace with another random card. It's very important that you learn to play correctly when you have an ace, as this one aspect of the game alone has a huge effect on your hourly rate.

If you're in a certain situation as many as six times per hour, and you have a chance to put as many as four or more big bets into play each time, then you can see what an impact playing your aces correctly can have on your hourly rate. When you're betting as many as twenty-four big bets per hour, you'd better know what you're doing if your long-term goal is to win one to two big bets per hour.

Here is the golden rule of playing with an ace: Every other player at the table also gets an ace one out of six hands. Getting an ace is no big deal, so there has to be something special about yours. Following are two tables of ace-related odds that will be helpful to you:

                                                   ODDS THAT YOU WILL BE DEALT

At least one ace


AK (not suited)


AK (suited)






In a ten-handed game


If you do (ten-handed)


If you don't (ten-handed)


In a five-handed game


If you do (five-handed)


If you don't (five-handed)



Looking at this second table, you can see that in a ten-handed game, someone will be dealt an ace 86.7% of the time, if you have an ace, another player will also have one 74.7% of the time, and if you don't have an ace, someone else will have one 84.4% of the time. You can see the importance of playing your aces correctly.

Most low limit players see the flop every time they have an ace in their hand. Most low limit players are also losers in the long run, and I can tell you that this incorrect play of aces is one of the reasons. A player who learns to play his aces correctly will have a fixed big leak in his game. With an opportunity to make an expensive mistake as often as once every six hands, it is positively worth your time and effort to learn to play correctly.

If you're one of those players who likes to play every ace, and you're looking to improve your game a little bit without too much work, the best advice I can give you is: don't play your ace unless your other card is either a 10 or higher or the same suit as your ace. This will plug a big leak in your game and help keep you out of trouble if you're presently playing more hands.

How you play a hand depends on the situation you are facing when it is your turn to act. A correct play in one instance might not be best the next time you have that same hand. My main purpose here is to make you think about your aces, so you don't automatically play all of them every time. 


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