Playing QQ or AK preflop in Texas Hold’em
By Bob Garcia
AK is not always better than pocket Queens in Texas Hold’em
In Texas Hold’em, getting pocket QQ or AK have very similar equity, which means that these hands can be treated in the same way while in preflop action. With the many opportunities this hand brings a player, it can be very easy to get tied up and confused about the best move forward as a player. In most cases, having pocket QQ is way better than just having AK without a doubt.
One example would be, if you get AK and the pot shows AA or KK, the this doesn’t really give you the best odds; however, if you have the same cards and are holding QQ, then you can really take advantage of being a notable underdog. The biggest dilemma a player faces with this hand is what to do on the preflop. These hands can test a players’ resolve, and even though a player may want to go all in, it is just might be a good decision to fold when facing major pressure. These are the type of hands where a player’s decisions must be guided by his reading and knowledge of other variables.
Just like every poker hand, a player’s position matters. For example, when holding QQ or AK while you are in a late position as a player, you can take advantage of your luck. A good position will almost always give you an edge, so playing your hand, not matter what it turns out to be, would be much easier.
On the other hand, if you are out of position, these cards can be dangerous, as they can be easily bullied. That being said, one good thing about this, is that while in late positions, these cards will give you fold equity. Something that is worth trying is to go all in to force other players to fold, as the ones who don’t fold are most likely the ones that could end up beating your hand.
In any case, both of the above hands are worthy of some good pre-flop action, whether or not you choose to go all-in on your bet. Just keep in mind, if you do decide to go all-in, it would be better to do it while in a late position, so you are the last one placing a bet.