Strategy with Ace Queen: NL Holdem

Specific Hand Strategy

Ace queen is sometimes and awkward hand to play. It is almost always dominated by a re-raise which usually results in Ace King, pocket Kings,

Queens , or Aces.

Even the pros say they have a difficult time playing ace queen. Countless variables come into play. A lot of pros don’t like Ace Queen because they find the only time they get action with Ace Queen is when they’re beat!

So how the heck do you play Ace Queen?

We’ll go into a few instances on how to play Ace Queen depending on your position, table size, and a couple other variables.

Table Size and Ace Queen

The first things usually talked about among pros is table size. Poker pros are much more inclined to drop ace queen into the muck at larger tables. A re-raise can usually mean you’re dominated by a larger hand.

Ace queen is one of those hands that you’re either big time dominated or only have a coin flip to win.

Not too many players will raise and re-raise with only AJ which is one of only likely hands where you are highly favored to win. At larger tables you can expect opponents to hold bigger hands more often so Ace Queen can commonly be dropped especially in big tournament fields.

Smaller Table Size – Heads Up

Smaller tables and heads up play will let you strategize for a more powerful play with Ace Queen. Keep the pressure on with Ace Queen and you’ll find that you’ll be the dominator instead of the one being dominated. With AQ shorthanded you’ll tend to be either 50/50 to win or a favorite instead of the underdog such as in a full table.

Position with Ace Queen

Not only is your position important but we need to pay attention to any raisers position. If someone raises your blind and you hold Ace Queen we need to analyze two possible situations. Could he be trying to steal the blinds? A blind theft is more likely if the raiser was on or near the button. In that case I would push back getting the bluffer to fold. On the other hand, if the raiser is in early position be wary. An early position raise can mean your Ace Queen is going to get stomped on.

I once heard Cathly Libert say in an interview which summed up position.

Position is important. If I’m short stacked and someone raises me in late position I move all-in with Big Chick (ace queen). An early position raise is a whole other ball game. ”

Ace Queen and Opponent Consideration

Things are different when you hold AQ during an online poker match. In live games you can usually get a feel for who you’re up against and play your Ace Queen accordingly.  When you’re playing loose sites like Party Poker, which happens to now be a new Mac online poker site, you can put more faith in your Ace Queen.

Poker pros say that who is left in the pot determines how they play their Ace Queen. If they’re up against a looser player then they’d re-raise with Ace Queen. One thing is for sure, poker professionals know all these variables by instinct and know Ace Queen can be a rewarding hand to play but also a dangerous one.

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