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.
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.
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.