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Pocket Kings Strategy

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Pocket aces are the stronger starting hand in poker Texas Hold'em and pocket kings are the second best hand before the flop. However, if you are not careful the "cowboys" can be a problem at the poker table.

The main problem with Pocket Kings is that, as opposed to pocket aces, there is always the chance that another opponent holds a higher pair. In this article you'll find strategies that will help you get as much profit as possible from pocket kings in each hand.

Basic pocket kings strategy

Pocket kings are a vulnerable hand because there is always the risk that any ace that comes up in the middle can pair with an opponent's card and make a higher pair than yours. Even though your opponent does not hold an ace, just seeing an ace in the middle can be scary enough to prevent you from betting max and earning as much as you can with the hand.

The chance of an ace falling on the flop is 20% and this happens more often than you can imagine.

This is why if you hold pocket kings pre-flop you should bet or raise, because the last thing you want is to be in a multi-way pot when you see the flop. If that happens, the other players will have more chances of winning the pot, which means the best situation is to see the flop with no more than 2 opponents.

Your aim is to bet enough to determine how strong your opponent's hand is. You should try to discover if they hold an ace when they call because this will help you make a better decision when you see the flop. This point is really important because when you raise with pocket kings:

You have to raise enough to get rid of the weak hands and to find out if the other players hold at least one ace.

In this way, you'll have a better chance of folding if you suspect your opponent has a strong hand if an ace comes out and you'll have a greater ability to put the other player on a hand.

We can sub divide post-flop play with pocket kings into two situations.

  • A flop without an ace
  • A flop with an ace

Flop without an ace

There is no doubt that a flop without an ace is a better situation than the second, which does not mean you are completely safe. Remember that if you don't get to make the set on the flop, you'll just have a pair and slowplaying your hand is not a good idea yet.

You should play this flop betting and raising as much as you can in order to get as much money as possible from your opponents, just like you would play the flop with pocket aces. Besides, you don't want your opponents to get the correct pot odds and go after a flush or straight draw.

You should bet and raise strong even when the flop seems to be quite safe and no obvious draws are at sight because you don't want to let your opponents make two pair or better. Besides, playing aggressive poker is the only way to build a big pot. Don't worry if the other player folds right away because this means the pot would not have been big at any stage of the hand.

Remember that playing passive poker will not lead you to win big pots, so don't be scared to bet with pocket kings.

Flop with an ace

As you can imagine, this situation on the flop is the less favorable since in case the other player holds an ace, he has already beat you. An ace coming out in the middle will inevitably prevent you from getting as much money as possible from your opponent even if you have the best hand.

In this case, your goal is to find out if your opponent really has an ace and you can do this by betting and getting information from the way in which your opponent reacts. Since no plays are definitive to help you discover what your opponent holds, you'll have to trust your knowledge about the other player to decide your next move.

In general, the best is to do a continuation bet and in case your opponent calls on you, you should evaluate the situation to decide if you should bet again on the turn. However, the truth is that an ace on the flop changes your plans and there is not much you can do about it, except for trying your best.

When you hold pocket kings and an ace comes out on the flop, a continuation bet is your best choice.

Pocket kings strategy evaluation

It is difficult to fold when you have pocket kings and an ace comes out on the board, especially if you are not an experienced player. Beginners tend to forget that pocket kings can be easily beaten since they just see that this is the second best starting hand in poker hold'em. As a result, they usually lose a decent amount of chips to the opponent that did hold pocket aces.

Remember that both with aces and kings if you don't make the set you just have one pair and many hands can beat yours after the flop. Always take into account the ways in which you can lose and not only the ways in which you can win.

In general, try to bet strong and do not slowplay your hand because the last thing you want is for your opponents to catch up and win a big pot from you.

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