Overplaying Big Slick - AK

Big Slick, the good old Ace King in the pocket. No-Limit Hold'Em players dream about getting dealt this hand. Unfortunately, most people overvalue...and overplay Big Slick. Pre-flop it's a monster. However, it's the third or fourth best-hand you can get, followed behind pocket Aces, Kings and Queens (depending upon which expert's word you take as gospel).

Big Slick is a drawing hand. This means that you have to catch something to win with it the vast majority of the time. It is not a winning hand alone...not down to the river with no help and NOT a good portion of the time.

The majority of the time players are unwilling to give this hand up no matter what else happens on the board. Otherwise intelligent individuals act like goo-goo eyed teenyboppers over Big Slick. They just don't know when to let it go.

A little secret - Big Slick pre-flop requires a three to four time the big blind raise. That's it! Don't go all-in with it unless you're running low on chips. This is for two reasons-one, so you can isolate one or two opponents, thus maximizing your chances to win and two, to win the pot outright without even having to see a flop.

If you limp in with the hand, you're putting yourself in danger. Getting cute, especially on the 'net, often backfires on you. Remember...you can't bluff a donkey or a person who has "nothing" to lose. Even a 2,4 off-suit can beat Big Slick with the right board.

Never forget this fact!

If you catch an ace or a king on the flop without a straight or set possibility, continue to bet your hand to about 1/4 to 1/2 (or more) of the pot. Be careful of back-door flushes or any of the aforementioned options. If someone re-raises you all-in, consider your options. If you haven't made a thing, FOLD. Don't chase. FOLD. Over the long-term this will be a profitable play. If you have been lucky enough to catch something, there's a case to be made for going all-in or folding. It all depends on your personality as a player AND the stage of the tournament (if you're in one) or the amount of money you'll gain if you're in a ring game.

Repeat the thinking process if you remain on fourth and fifth streets.

The main point is that you shouldn't treat Big Slick like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow while remaining blind to the community cards and your opponent's action. Don't make the mistake of overvaluing and overbetting this hand like the majority of players. This will help you win more with the hand over the long-term and...lose less.