Firing the Second Barrel with Suited Aces in No-Limit Hold’em

For almost the entire past decade, no-limit hold’em has dominated the poker scene. While players also love trying out PokerQQ for their gaming instincts, it has also gained quite some fame in the last few years. The are more no-limit hold’em tournaments and cash games going on right now than all other forms of poker combined. Something most people have figured out because of the popularity of this game is that suited Aces are powerful pre-flop starting hands. A proficient poker player must learn how to be aggressive in this tricky game on all streets, so here we’re going to look at playing suited Aces on the turn after we’ve made a continuation bet on the flop.

Suppose we open raise with Ace-Five of spades in middle position and it folds to the button who calls. We see a flop of the King of spades, the Six of clubs, and the Four of hearts. Here we decide to make a continuation bet of about two-thirds the size of the pot because we could easily have a King for top pair, and it’s hard for our opponent to be really strong here. This is a pretty typical situation. Our opponent thinks for a moment and calls.

At this point in the hand, there are lots of cards that could come that improve our hand to some sort of good draw, lots of cards that make it hard for him to continue with a worse hand than top pair, and there are quite a few cards that don’t help us at all. The key to being aggressive on the turn with suited Aces is being able to identify which cards help us and which cards do not.

If any spade comes on the turn then we have a nut flush draw and can probably go ahead and semi-bluff the turn for about two-thirds the size of the pot or so. Similarly, any Seven or Three will give us an open-ended straight draw, and any Eight or Two will give us a gutshot. While these are less powerful draws, if we think our opponent will sometimes fold because he called the flop with some sort of second pair or floating hand like Ace-Queen or Ace-Jack, then we should be semi-bluffing the turn with these draws as well.

There are other cards that can come that don’t improve our pot equity but improve our fold equity. Any Queen or Jack will make it very difficult for our opponent to continue without a strong hand, so if he was continuing on the flop with a lot of pairs that were worse than top pair, then we should go ahead and fire again.

Any other card than the ones we’ve looked at here are turn cards we probably shouldn’t bet unless it’s an Ace which gives us top pair. We need fold equity or pot equity to fire the second barrel with a suited Ace on the turn, and some cards just don’t provide either of those things. Keeping this in mind will allow you to continue your aggression later in the hand than you normally would with strong starting hands that miss the flop and allows you to build even bigger profits with your bluffs and semi-bluffs later in the hand.