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A lot of money is lost when a player falls in love with a great starting hand that doesn’t end up so well when all the cards have come out. Some folks just can’t stand losing with pocket Aces. Tragically, it happens all the time. Against three other random poker hands before the flop, pocket Aces won 63.8 percent of the money in our simulation. With the all-too common seven players seeing the flop, however, it only wins 43.3 percent of the money. Even though this is true, give us Aces anytime! Remember, we’re only as good as the flop. For example, you look down and see A♠-A♣, so you raise and get three callers. You are against two pretty good hands: J♣-9♣ and 6♥-6♦and a random hand. The flop comes, as shown:
Your Aces are probably still the best hand
With the hands as described, your pair of Aces is a heavy favorite, as J♣-9♣ must either complete a straight, catch two running clubs, both a Jack and a Nine, or two of either by the end of the hand. In this scenario, your Aces will win 49.7 percent of the money, according to our simulation. J♣-9♣ will win 34.6 percent, and the pair of Sixes will win 6.3 percent with the random fourth hand winning 8.9 percent, which tells you how strong the Sixes are in this situation. If, however, the flop is just a little different, as in T♦-Q♣-3♣, the statistics change dramatically as to the relative strength of the Aces versus the other hands. Because of the double draw J♣-9♣ now enjoys, it is projected to win 49 percent of the money, while the pocket Aces will only win 39.7 percent. Those are still pretty strong odds for the pocket rockets, but when two draws are out there things change dramatically.
A brief note on Pineapple: Because you must discard one of your three cards before the turn, you will obviously need to decide your best two-card combination. If you have A♠-A♥-5♥, what are the chances you’ll be mucking an Ace, do you figure? Pretty good, if the flop shown here appears:
Sometimes choosing which card to get rid of is easy
The Ace of spades will be in the muck in the blink of an eye, its services no longer required. Obviously, a pair of Aces is a very strong poker starting hand, so chances are you’ll be discarding the non-Ace more often than not. It all depends on how the flop fits your hand.
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