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Playing AJo - 6max Cash

Playing AJo - 6max Cash - Sat Oct 12, 2013, 08:53 AM
Mikey_Luggs's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 138
Hi all
Just seen a thread on here asking what is your favourite /least favourite hand. So I looked at my HEM and noticed that I have lost the most playing AJo. I play 2nl-10nl
Can you give me some basic foundations on how to play AJ.
I open with this hand from any position when unopened but in general what position/against what opponents do you in general do you
1) Fold to when raised in front of you
2) Call In position
3) Call Out of position
4) 3bet

Also is there any other stat you look at that alters the way in which you would play it.

Thanks to all who take the time to reply
Sat Oct 12, 2013, 11:47 AM
HokyPokyToo's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,901
**moved to No-Limit Texas Hold'Em Cash Games**

2 Time Bracelet Winner

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 12:55 PM
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,355
I'm not keen on talking in general terms about a specific hand, because for so many poker questions, the answer is "it depends". That being said, you are at least thnking about how your play should differ according to villain types and positions.

Personally, I rarely call a raise with AJ, either in or out of position, but if I play the hand at all it's usually because the villain has a wide range (so AJ is beating much of it) and I believe I have superior post-flop skills (including the benefit of position, where appropriate) to him.
There's not really a number to look out for in HUD stats, as a villain's range (and yours too) will change according to position and other table dyanamics.
All of the above relates to pre-flop play, of course. While pre-flop hand selection is crucial, your big losses with AJo in particular are more likely to have been called by sub-optimal post-flop play.

Most likely the main reason for this is that you over-value top pair, whether it's on Jxx or Axx. On both boards, AJ is a medium strength hand. What's particularly interesting about AJ is that when it makes top pair, it is nearly always way ahead or way behind. When you bet for value, you're unlikely to get called by worse (AT is the only worse one pair hand that will routinely pay you of on Axx), but you'll always get action from better (AQ+ and two pairs, sets etc). AJ is a hand with "reverse implied odds", which roughly means that you tend to win small pots with it, and lose big ones. If you end up playing a big pot with AJ one pair, you're nearly always losing.
So how can you improve your play with AJ post-flop? By recognising that you're likely to be WA/WB, and by taking a pot control line, which usually means checking at least one street. I tend to describe AJ (and other "trouble hands" like KQo, ATs, KJ) as "two street hands", because two streets of value is the maximum I exptect to get from them. So the general advice is: Don't put money in the pot on all three streets if you just have one pair. If you're frequently putting money in the middle on all three streets with hands like KQ and AJ, then I expect villain is showing up with better pretty often. To limit your losses, try keeping the pot small.

If you replay a few of your big pot losses with AJ (or by posting them in the hand analysis forum), you might find some spots where you kind of value-owned yourself by overvaluing your hand post-flop.

Hope this helps!


Bracelet Winner
Thu Oct 31, 2013, 11:12 AM
Mikey_Luggs's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 138
Thanks for the great in death reply. I have found I am playing this hand much better now. Folding even in position against the nitter early raises and taking pot control lines post flop with TP hands. Thanks again for the great advice

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