MCU poker tip: If you’re stuck with kings in hold ’em

Don’t make the mistake of routinely throwing away a pocket pair of kings in hold ’em when an ace flops. Rather than being proud because you have the discipline to fold, you should be concerned that, overall, you’re costing yourself money.

That’s because when you have kings and, say, ace-jack-nine flops, bettors can be gambling that no opponent holds an ace. They may be pushing pairs of jacks or nines for profit. They may even hold smaller pocket pairs than your kings, or a straight or flush draw. Or they may be bluffing.

More profit

Yes, you’re going to lose often, but you’ve got to hang in there much of the time with those kings. On average, you’ll make more profit by calling than folding. By folding automatically, you’re giving astute opponents motive to bluff more often. That’s a factor, too.

And when you’re first to act, don’t be afraid to value bet that pair of kings into an ace on the board. Do that often, but not always. Mix it up.

Usually call

Remember, unless you have a solid understanding of your opponents and know they wouldn’t bet without aces or you detect a tell that indicates strength, you usually should call with those kings in a limit hold ’em game and also usually should call a normal-size bet in a no-limit one. — MC.

Published by

Mike Caro

Twitter: FaceBook: Known as the "Mad Genius of Poker," Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority of poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full biography at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Let's make sure it's really you and not a bot. Please type digits (without spaces) that best match what you see. (Example: 71353)