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How to Play Big Slick

How to Play Big Slick
by Hank Cashman of

A-K looks so good in your hand. Why does it give us so much anguish? Plain and simple Big Slick is just two high cards. Itís what we do with them that matters.

Donít fall in love with A-K. As they say, Anna Kournikova looks good but never wins. If you can bet it pre-flop and get to heads-up you have probably gotten into a 50-50 situation. For me, 50-50 isnít good enough odds for poker.

Pre-flop you need to raise but donít bet the farm on this hand. If you have a caller, they could have a pocket pair. Even if it just deuces you are the underdog.

You have to raise to get out as many players as possible but you donít want to be in a situation that will cost you all of your chips. If you raise and get re-raised you need to be able to get out without much of a loss.


A-K is no better than a low pocket pair. You want to get all the suck-out hands. You want to see a flop. Then is the time to decide if you need to push. If the flop doesnít hit you and your opponent pushes, itís time to fold. If you do hit on the flop it is time for you to push.

In considering the strength of your A-K you have to also measure the blinds, the pot and chip stacks. These will effect your opponentsí decision on whether to call you or fold. If your opponent is short stacked he may feel he has no choice but to call you. By the same token, your opponent may fell pot committed and this will make him stay in the hand.

On the other side of the equation, if you are in the early stage of a tournament and the blinds are low, you may get called. Your opponent feels that the cost of calling is so cheap that he isnít losing that much. So, why not call?

Here are a couple common mistakes and how to avoid them. First of all be very cautious of the all-in bet. If they go all in they may have the pocket pair that puts you in that 50-50 hand.

Donít let a few beats get you down about the strength of A-K. They are just like A-A or A-K, they do lose many times but the odds are you will win 50 percent of the time. Just know when to let them go.

Getting the weaker hands out with a small raise pre-flop will help avoid the suck-outs. After the flop, betting appropriately will let you know where you stand. Getting out when you are beat saves your chips for a better hand.

Keep the cards and chips flying.

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