Ace most often has the higher kicker – Playing Texas Hold’em, always fun according to Ace in the hole. But what is the best way to play a hand like that? Of course, the obvious answer to that question is “it depends.”
Most important is the Kicker that accompanies Ace – regardless of his high rank and whether it is the same arrangement.
Let’s focus on the Axes of matches, where x is the small card, 7 to 2. Many, if not most, players are likely to see the flop with such a hand anyway – no matter how they are or how many opponents are standing. That’s what is likely to happen in small / medium stakes games. Usually, we prioritize that investment; slash your hands, and save your Chips for better chances – unless you’re one of the blinds and haven’t had a raise yet.
Rationale: Most likely, if your hand rises to the flop it will tackle one of your card holes. A pair of aces is fine – but opponents who also have an Ace in the hole most often have a higher kick. It can be very expensive to see if you stay there after you flop that Aces. Or, if you flop 7 pairs, you have a great Kicker, but the mates are too easily beaten by bigger or better pairs. (In that case, your Ace-Kicker won’t help.)
As for your matched A-7, the odds of dropping a flush are about 120-to-1 against you – a big mistake. Most likely will knock two more cards out of your suit; but, here too the odds are about 8 to 1 against you. And then you still need to catch the fifth matching card at Turn or River to fill your flush. If there is already a pre-flop lift, folding your arms is usually a wise decision. (Of course, if you live to see the flop and take two more cards out of your suit, then you have a good chance of filling the flush at the Turn or the River. At that point, the odds are that your cards will definitely be in favor.)
There are two possible exceptions – there are always – when you might choose to look at the flop with such a hand: (1) From the Big Blind, you can see the flop “freely” if there weren’t any unsuccessful raises. Never refuse a free card; or (2) From Small Blind, there is no raise and it is a multi-directional potential (opponents or more who survive to see the flop), so the price is only half the stake. In this latter case, you are hoping to catch four flushes on the flop. Then you stand a decent chance of catching the flush nut (Ace-high). And, it can be a big pot.
But, what if you are not one of the Blind? You can only guess if there will be a raise after you call to see the flop. Raise – bet two – too expensive payoff. This is where finding out can come to your rescue. Before doing, look left. If your opponent takes a lot of Chips (enough for a raise), you know it’s best to fold that hand.
I often say, “a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar won.”