# AK question [beginner]

• Bronze
Joined: 04.01.2010
I have a doubt about AK...
The SSS pre-flop strategy says to go all in with AK when someone raises before you.
But, is AK that strong?
I can understand the strongness of JJ,QQ,AA or KK because they are already made pairs and has good probability of being an over pair on the flop.
But with AK, if an ace or a king don't come on flop the best move would be fold since that all you'd have is a high card witch can be beaten by any weak pair.

(Don't see this as a dumb question, i know it is and i know AK is suposed to be very strong. But i'm the kind of person that wants to know WHY am i doing that, makes no sense following something that u don't even understand)

• 10 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 28.10.2008
Reraising with AK is profitable because when you raise you get two things:

a) Fold equity. Players will often raise/fold a lot of hands and you gain money without a showdown.

For example many players will raise with suited connectors, broadways and low pairs all of which are folded to a reraise. Easy money.

b) Value. When you are called by hands like AQ, AJ you have extremely high equity and make money.

Sometimes you will get called by a hand like 88. Even though you don't have a pair to start with your chance of winning this hand is roughly 48%. Combined with fold equity this is easily profitable.

The best way to understand is to use the Equilator program and have a look at your probability of winning with AK against different hands and different ranges.

Edit: Hope this helps but there are some quite difficult concepts floating around so if you need further examples feel free to ask.
• Silver
Joined: 14.09.2009
Hi

When you have too over cards you have a quite high probability to win. So you have quite a high chance to win.

even with QQ you still have just over 43% equity with AKo and 46% with AKs so it is often worth taking the risk

also if you are against KK for example you have 18% equity with QQ and 30% with AKo and 34% with AKs

have a play with equilator. plus all the right reasons explained by Smileyphil
• Bronze
Joined: 04.01.2010
Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

Play hand

\$0.05/\$0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)

Known players:
BB:
\$2.00
UTG1:
\$1.90
UTG2:
\$10.46
MP1:
\$14.89
MP2:
\$1.53
MP3(Hero):
\$1.57
CO:
\$2.00
BU:
\$1.70
SB:
\$4.64

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with K, A.
UTG1 folds, UTG2 raises to \$0.20, MP1 calls \$0.20, MP2 folds, Hero raises to \$0.60, 4 folds, UTG2 raises to \$3.00, MP1 folds, Hero calls \$0.97.

Flop: (\$4.92) 4, J, J (2 players)

Turn: (\$4.92) 9 (2 players)

River: (\$4.92) Q (2 players)

Final Pot: \$4.92.
Results follow:

UTG2 shows two pairs, kings and jacks(K K).
Hero shows a pair of jacks(K A).

UTG2 wins with two pairs, kings and jacks(K K).

Thats is what im talking about.
I'm reading the poker theory book and i got the basic of math expectation...
Witch says that if you lose a full stack with AK, you will have less chances of losing again in the future. Probability stuff.

Btw, the hand i played next to that i won \$4.56 with 2 pairs (QT)
• Silver
Joined: 14.09.2009
That's one hand and you will lose a lot more than one but over all you should win except if like me you a down swing

follow the principle and if it is mathematically beneficial it will pay in the long run.

Now the run might be very long
• Bronze
Joined: 28.10.2008
You played that hand well (although it could be argued that you should have raised all in immediately instead of a smaller reraise). Lets look at why. You have two different situations to act so we'll deal with both seperately.

Situation 1:
Preflop: Hero is MP3 with K, A.
UTG1 folds, UTG2 raises to \$0.20, MP1 calls \$0.20, MP2 folds, Hero...

Here is your first decision lets look at the options:
1) Fold.
This is simply too weak a play with AK. If you fold AK here then you are missing an excellence spot to make money and are probably too risk-averse to even consider playing poker.

2) Call.
A call is a reasonable option however a call does not give the opponents a chance to fold. It also means that you only get to see 3 cards. If you do not hit an ace or king you will have to fold your hand.

3) Raise.
A raise (either all in immediately or 3 times previous raise) is heading towards being all in. It gains both fold equity and allows you to see all 5 cards.

Consider the benefit of being all in that you will hit an ace or king 50% of the time compared to 30% of the time if you only see the flop.

Conclusion:
Raising gives us the highest expectation because we get fold equity and higher equity if we are called.

Situation 2:
Preflop: Hero is MP3 with K, A.
UTG1 folds, UTG2 raises to \$0.20, MP1 calls \$0.20, MP2 folds, Hero raises to \$0.60, 4 folds, UTG2 raises to \$3.00, MP1 folds, Hero...

Here we only have two options: Call or Fold.

If we call we have to pay \$0.97 to have a chance to win a \$4.92 pot. This means to call we need to have roughly a 20% chance to win. (\$0.97/\$4.92)

If you use the equilator you can see that against any range (players will raise more than just aces here) you have more than 20% equity.

Hope that clears it up.
• Bronze
Joined: 21.07.2009
I was also wondering this, and was going to put it in my blog. See, on PT3 I filtered my graph so it was just showing AKo and AKs, i've had them 306 times since I started playing. I understand the fold equity it produces, as it's shown clearly that i've earned around 500BB in non-showdown winnings with AK, but when I look at it's showdown quality, i've lost around 300BB in the showdown with AK, which seems odd as it is supposed to be a very strong hand. It's not even as if i'm playing high levels, i'm playing NL10, where a lot of players simply shove with awful hands.
• Bronze
Joined: 04.12.2009
Originally posted by Vepof

Witch says that if you lose a full stack with AK, you will have less chances of losing again in the future. Probability stuff.

Is this serious ??
• Bronze
Joined: 16.10.2009
Yeah, you shouldn't be listening to witches, they'll only lead you astray.
• Bronze
Joined: 07.09.2008
Originally posted by wquinn636
Yeah, you shouldn't be listening to witches, they'll only lead you astray.

I could really use a card witch right now
• Bronze
Joined: 15.01.2009
As a BSS player it is a hand that I avoid getting it in with preflop without specific reads.

Say in 100,000 hands of your AKs/AKo vs. a range of TT+ AKs/AKo, we're winning about 41.138% of the time.

If we therefore risk \$2 for everytime we get it in vs. this range in a 100,000 hand sample we would only be winning back \$82276 and losing \$117724, which over such a sample is risking a lot more money than we could possibly win.

So if you are going to get it in with AKs/AKo pre, do it with a good solid read, otherwise over time you'll find yourself down on your 'luck' and wondering where your game is struggling.