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Poker Strategy | Beginner's Poker

Poker plays with PokerPeaker - The 4th raise means A-A

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I'm playing .50/$1 NLHE on PokerStars. I'm dealt A-A. That's pretty good. Even so, I'm not going to mess around with them. I've got them in 4th position, so I need to raise here. To be honest, these limits are a bit high for me, so I really don't want to play them too fancy.

There's a raise UTG to $5.

Well, this is pretty sweet. That means I'll at least get a little action.

However, A-A is a great hand heads-up but only a good one with even just one more player in the hand. Therefore I've already decided to re-raise. Again, messing around with A-A means you lose more often than not.

So I re-raise, when everyone folds to me, to $15. That should be enough to drive everyone else out, yet it might be enough to encourage the original raiser to call. After all, he did raise UTG, so he probably has a real hand here.

Sure enough, everyone else folds and the original raiser raises to $38. Wow!


Here's the thing. There's no reason to get fancy any longer. I'm going to push. You should always push in this situation. What's the worst that could happen? He calls and you're ahead of every other hand. In fact you dominate any possible hand he could have, and with the interest he's shown in the pot, it's likely he has Kings or Queens, in which case you're a 4.5-1 favorite. If he folds, you've won $38 without even having to play a flop. That's pretty nice.

So I push.

Now what do you do if you're my opponent in this case? Let's count the raises. He raised, I raised, he raised, and I shoved. That's four raises. I have A-A. Yes, it's possible I have K-K, but the saying is the fourth raise means A-A, and that's exactly what it means here. It's a cash game. We're both fully stacked. What else could that mean? A-K? Q-Q? I suppose. But I don't think so. (I fold Q-Q there by the way. Of course I do. Even in a tournament, unless I'm short-stacked.)

He refuses to believe me, calls my all-in and shows K-K. Ouch! There's no suck out, and I win a huge pot.

Lesson learned - My opponent did everything right here until he called my all-in. He even re-raised a perfect amount on the turn to find out where he was at. When I told him, rather empathetically, that he was a huge dog, he refused to believe it and called my all-in.

When you have to call a fourth raise, all in, you'd better have A-A. Pushing with K-K would be much better. But calling a fourth raise? You'd better have the rockets. Or else, many times, you're going to get shot down.

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