Big Slick (Poker)
Big Slick is one of the premium starting hands in Hold'em, a hand which has immense scope to improve whilst at the same time offers plenty temptation to get you into trouble. Of course we are talking about the starting hand Ace King (AK), also known as Bullets, Pocket Rockets and American Airlines. Big Slick originally used to refer to a suited Ace King, the term now includes any ace and king.
Big Slick is towards the top of the pecking order in terms of Hold'em starting hands, eclipsed by only a few hands. The pre flop odds of hitting A-K (Big slick – suited or off suit) is 81.9 to 1 (0.9%). It is one of these hands that players love to get and wildly overplay considering what they are, less than a pair. All you have is 2 high cards, yet when players hit big slick, they take little time to justify committing chips to the pot.
The problem with Ace King, is that whilst pre-flop, there is no getting away from the potential that the hand offers. There are a lot of hands that AK have in trouble, including many starting hands that most players struggle to lay down (AQ, AJ, A10, KQ, QJ, KJ). AK, has all these hands dominated pre flop however on the flop, things can change very quickly. The reason that players find it remarkably easy to get into trouble is that against straight draws and trips, players find it difficult to lay down top pair.
How to Play Ace King
The key with Big Slick is very much the same rules that goes along with playing Bullets, Cowboys or Ladies. Don't get married to your hand as all you have is a pair. Of course you want to bet out to make sure your hand is still in front but know when your hand is no good and dump the hand.
Playing Big Slick pre flop you are quite right to make the raise but don't go overboard. Would you be as exited by a pair of 2's pre flop? You should be, it is a better starting hand than AK, why because it doesn't have to improve to beat AK. AK needs to hit to improve as without improving it is Ace high with a King kicker. In fact the 2's would come out on top 52% of the time, so it is pretty marginal - coin flip at best. In fact if your big slick comes up against a pair of 10's, you are a 42% dog.
Play the hand carefully - ideally you want to get into a heads up situation. If your hand (AK) came up against a pair of 2's and JQ suited, you would only win 36% of the time. As you will not have over cards to worry about, you will either hit on the flop or you will miss. You may want to put a feeler bet out there to see if your hand is still in front (assuming it was to start with). If you bet out on the flop and are called you should be careful about committing more chips to what might be a lost cause. Knowing when you are beat is key to playing big slick as the hand is very easily beaten.
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