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How To Play Pocket Kings Pre-flop In Texas Hold’em

This article is designed to try and teach you how to play KK before the flop in no-limit Texas Hold’em. I will give the advice from as many different possible scenarios I find common for KK to be in pre-flop. To give my advice some credibility let me first state that I was a professional Texas Hold'em Poker player for 6 years. This advice is coming from an experienced and highly profitable real money poker player. So with no further delay, let us get into just how to play KK pre-flop in no-limit Texas Hold’em.

Break Down Of Information

I will be dividing the information up as best I can to over most situations as I said previously. It is imperative that you understand that this information will only be applicable to your situation about 90% of hands. The reason for this is that poker has thousands of different factors that go into every single hand making each one truly unique. Factors include: Type of opponents, your perception of their play style, their perception of your play style. Your perception of what they think your play style is, their perception of what they you think their play style is, position of play, size of chip stacks, current emotions, recent hands played, etc…. I mean the list goes on for miles. What I am doing here is giving you a “rule of thumb” guide on how to play KK before the flop in most the most common situations. Anything other than these you are going to have to just wing.

All information here and not listed in the “short-handed section” is assuming there are 7 or more players at your table. To make this information easy to read and memorize, I will be breaking it down into sections based on things like positioning in the hand (in or out of position). For example, I will explain how to play KK when you are in position and out of position as well as when you are the blind which is a unique positioning. In position means acting last and out of position means acting before the opponent in-case you were unaware. Okay, now that the technical are out of the way, let us get started!

Pocket Kings (K,K)

Pocket Kings is a very strong poker hand because when played against any other random hand in the entire game from start to finish it will win on average 80% of the time. This statistic is not even including the times when you bet your opponent out of the hand nor does it factor in that many of your opponents will have a pair in their hand which puts them at a substantial disadvantage. It is even worse if they have only a King high hand. K,K is a fantastic hand and should only be folded pre-flop when you dead certain your opponent has A,A in their hand. Since this is not that common, most of the time you will not be folding pocket kings before the flop, and even if you run into pocket aces you shouldn’t get upset about it since there is in most cases no way for you to know for certain they have A,A.

So now that you can see just how great pocket kings are, I will teach you how to play them properly to maximize your profit and safety in the hand.

Playing Pocket Kings before the flop at a 7 or more player table

There are many ways to play pocket kings before the flop and the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have probably been being watched closely for assuming this is not a new table for you. For example, if you had been laying down every hand and never betting much and then all of a sudden you raise really big, your opponents are surely going to know something is going on. They will assume of course it is either a bluff, or a monster hand like A,A or K,K. That is entirely fine so long as you understand that they are going to be making this assumption.

With that in mind let us first go over how to play pocket kings when you are in position.

K,K Playing In Position

When you are in position you get to act last which is a great bluffing opportunity since you will be able to see and react to what your opponents have done. With this in mind you will want to take advantage of the possibility that your opponents might place you on a bluff by betting very large with your pocket Kings. I typically will bet whatever the total chips in the pot are double or triple it for my bet amount (you must include the blinds in this) based on my feel for the table. Your goal is to bet whatever you think will look the most like a bluff but it will have to be large enough to defend your hand… So for example, if you are last and it was just the blinds with you, you would bet $9 at a $1, $2 blind game. If two players had limped in for $2 each before you, then you would instead bet anywhere between $15 and $21 instead. If the first player in raised to $8 and then everyone else folded around to you, you would then bet between $22 and $33. The point is you bet big in these situations. If anyone ever raises you after you bet, you simply go all in unless you are certain they have pocket aces. If you know they have A,A for sure then you fold.

If you don’t get raised, you hope to be called, and then go to the turn where you will most likely bet around the size of the pot to defend your hand. If everyone folds that is not a terrible thing, you won money with very little risk. It is far better than limping is for $2 and then losing all your chips to some garbage hand your opponents got to play for free from the blinds.

How to play Pocket Kings Out Of Position

When playing K,K out of position it is a little bit different, you want to simply limp in and call the blinds and then if someone ever raises you re-raise to three to four times their total bet. Assuming they just limp in for $2 and then nobody raises, you are fine to see a flop and then play the turn safely. When you limp in with K,K you are expecting to play a small pot unless you hit another King. Now if someone bets with you and you have a third King that is when you make your money. Otherwise, if the opponents raise pre-flop, they usually assume you are weak because you had limped in, so when you raise them back, they might not believe you and lose all their chips to you. An example of this would be that you limp in for just the $2 and then someone else makes it $9 behind you. At that point you would raise them back to between $27 and $36 total (three to four times their bet). If anyone raises big or re-raises your bet you will simply be going ALL IN!

How to play Pocket Kings From The Blinds

When you are in the blinds the positioning is a bit different because you will be acting last before the flop, but otherwise first on all other betting rounds. For this reason that I have decided to make this section about playing pocket kings before the flop from the blinds (big blind $2 and small blind $1). When you are a blind you will want to play very aggressively with your K,K because it is a position that a large number of people will usually bluff from. You also have a big advantage in that you will be going last before the flop and everyone else who was willing to play already put their hard earned chips into the pot for you to take.

Your move is super easy to remember, you take the total amount of the pot and multiply it by three for your bet. If you get raised or this puts you all in, then you say ALL IN and bet every chip you have. It is very simple to play K,K from the blinds (at least before the flop that is). So to be clear, if nobody has come in at all just you and the other blind you are going to bet $12 at a $1, $2 NL game because the total pot size was $4 when it got to you. If two people had limped in for $2 each you bet $21, and if someone had bet $8 and another called the $8, then you would bet $57.

Reviewing Pocket Kings

With K,K your goal is to either play a big pot or a small pot, nothing in-between. If you play a big pot you should never back down and bet until you end up all in of the other players fold. If you play a small pot you are to play cautiously and not risk too many chips. Assuming you start with this play you have just learned before the flop, the rest of the hand pretty much plays itself… If you had bet big pre-flop, then keep betting, if not, probably check it down or bet small as a feeler bet. If people start betting huge in a small pot and there was no raise before the flop, you are probably going to have to lay down your K,K -Sorry! Please check back because I will probably be posting more info on poker hands including how to play QQ, JJ, 1010, 99, 88, 77, 66, and AK + AQ before the flop and perhaps eventually get into post flop play with these hands as well. Until then, GOOD LUCK!

Strategy Game | Poker | Gambling


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