Suited or unsuited, A-K is an awesome hand to pick up. I'm going to steal someone's line here and say that the name for A-K is Anna Kournikova, because it always looks real great, but rarely wins. The fact of the matter is, A-K is a great online poker hand preflop. Preflop. It might be the fourth-best hand that you can pick up, but remember that it is still an underdog to any pocket pair. In the end, A-K is merely two unpaired cards.
Situation: You pick up A-K and raise it up, four times the big blind. Assuming you are playing with playersthat know what they are doing, your opponent will call your raise with a solid hand. For this example's sake, you have one caller.
The flop comes 3-5-9 rainbow. You make a continuation bet for about half the pot and your opponent calls.
What do you do here? You stabbed at the pot and have been called. What is the thought process here? Remember, you only have two unpaired cards. You are probably thinking your opponent holds a pocket pair, meaning right now with two cards to come, you are way behind. What about if your opponent hit his set? He's sure to just call here and milk you for all he can.
The turn is a Q. Still nothing. Do you fire another bullet? If you continue to try to represent a premium hand (A-A, K-K, Q-Q), you will have to bet here. However, if you face resistance here, you have to get out. If you have a read on your opponent, you need to check and let him take the pot down with his bet. If he checks, perhaps you are still ahead.
You make another big bet.
Your opponent, reraises, and you know you are beat and fold. A-K is no good here, and you have to be willing to throw it away if you miss the flop and face resistance.
What is the point? Hitting the flop with big slick is essential. If you hit an ace or a king, you are probably in good shape, but remember that people that call you will have strong hands as well (hopefully). How many times have you busted out of a tournament when the flop comes A-10-8 and your opponent has 8-8 for a dominating set?
You have to be aggressive with big slick preflop, but be tentative postflop if your continuation bet doesn't do the trick when you miss the flop.
The hard truth: Big slick isn't all that grand.
A-K vs. 7-2: 67 percent to 33 percent, a 2-1 favorite against the worst hand in poker.
Just some others: A-K vs 8-9: 64 percent to 36 percent A-K vs. 2-2: 48 percent to 52 percent A-K vs J-10: 63 percent to 37 percent
Don't overplay with Anna. Be aggressive with her initially, but then treat her carefully and she'll work out for you best in the end.