The ace is the greatest hand in hold em. It is also the most vulnerable hand, and should be treated with aggression as long as possible. Swarm of the aces, indeed. But there are ways to strengthen the aces, beyond simply wacky betting. I’m about to tell you about them now.

All the hands before the flop are fairly predictable. Actually, they’re predictable in a very different way than they are after the flop. After the flop, most of the strength of your hand is in the first three cards. weaker hands can be picked up with the flush or straight draws. But with the aces, they are a lot of hands that can be taken down. awhile ago I read an article noting that you should be more aggressive with aces than weaker hands. I found this hard to believe, since winning with Aces is so straightforward, but there are people who make a living off being aggressive with Aces.

Here’s the point. The Ace is strong pre-flop, but after the flop, the cards start to become more interesting. You can win with a ace high (i.e. Vanderbilt vs Clemson, 23, see how they compare). You can lose with a ace low (think Michigan vs Ohio State, 27, or West Virginia vs. Virginia, 35). But generally you can at least win if you’re in late position and the aces get outdrawn.

Why? Pre-flop aces are strong hands, but post-flop they aren’t so strong most of the time. In other words, they survive better than they lose. This is a good and bad thing. It means you can at least take down some small pots without much of a problem. But if you raise or reraise too much, you will leak chips that are more important to other opponents. This results in smaller gains for you, since they will tend to outdraw you.

What can you do? Well, first of all, you can’t win every pot. And you can’t win every raise. But if you win the small pots, you can then start to win the bigger pots. The idea is to win lots of small pots, and then win the big pot. That’s when you get your big edge. So the trick is to limit your opponents’ second best hands as much as possible.

But there is one exception. Falcons and Vegas88. Those are the only hands you can play pre-flop that don’t start to lose after the flop. Those are the only hands you know you can push all in with. If you push with jacks against anyone, odds are you will win. Same for an overpair against any pair. If you get paid off with an overpair, that’s great. If you turn your pair against a better hand, you will win.

Now, take that Texas hold ’em example for example. If you raise with T-J and pick up no callers, that’s great. If those same players call you with the Falcons, that’s even better. If you hit your set, you will win a big pot. If you don’t hit your set, you can get outscored. That’s a one way flow of information. You want to win the big pot, but to win the small pot you need to limit your exposed high cards.

Of course, this is just one example. You can do the same with almost any hand. The point is, you want to win the big pots, but not lose the small ones.