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How to Play Overcards
IntroductionIn this article
- When to contibet
- How to react to donk bets
- How and when to play according to odds and outs
You've probably heard the old cliche "AK is like Anna Kournikova - looks great, but rarely wins." AKo is one of the most often played hands in poker. But as you know, this hand often looks better before than after the flop. You will usually end up missing the flop and won't quite know where you stand. You are certain to have overcards if you don't pair the flop. Hitting on the turn or river would give you top pair top kicker.
Learning the strengths and weaknesses of overcards and how to play them profitably will improve your overall game immensely. These hands account for a large portion of a pro's profit: A pro knows when to fold and when to get value for his hand.
This article will teach you how to play after the flop when you have overcards and were the pre-flop aggressor. A good understanding of the concept of odds and outs will be required, if you aren't familiar with this subject, or need to brush up before you continue reading, you can take a look at the article on Odds and Outs for Advanced Players.
What makes playing overcards so difficult?
You will usually only have overcards after the flop
The odds of hitting a pair on the flop are only around 29%. The odds of hitting two pair are only around 1.5%. The odds of hitting a flush draw when you have suited hole cards are app. 15%. In other words, you will have neither a pair, nor a strong draw, on 2 out of 3 flops when you play AK. This may sound a bit sobering, but it's not that bad, since ...
You will usually be ahead on the flop even when you don't hit a pair
Probability is just; your opponent will only hit the flop 1/3 of the time, as well. A high can very well be the best hand on the flop. The odds of being ahead with A high depend, of course, on the board and the opponent you are facing.
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