ace-two suited

How to Play Ace-Two Suited in Cash Games

Ace-Two suited is a fun hand to look down at preflop.

It is bursting with possibilities to make a strong hand. What more can you ask for?

I want to help you maximize this hand’s potential. This is why, in this article, I am going to share with you:

  • How to Play Ace-Two Suited Preflop
  • 3 Tips for When You Miss the Flop (As the Preflop Raiser)
  • 3 Tips for When You Hit the Flop

Let’s begin!

How to Play Ace-Two Suited Preflop

Let’s take a look at how to play this hand preflop first!

These are the positions that will be referenced in this article:

positions for ace queen 3-betting reference

Unopened Pots

Ace-Two suited is a very strong hand that should open-raise from all positions. It ranks somewhere around the top 20% of hands that you can be dealt preflop.

Whether you’re UTG or on the Button, this hand is worth raising when the action folds to you.

Against a Raise

Once someone has shown interest in the pot with a raise, you should fold with Ace-Two suited in most situations. I’m not happy about having to fold such a nice hand, but it’s simply the best course of action most of the time.

But let’s talk about the exceptions…

According to preflop simulations, you should only play Ace-Two suited against a raise when you are in the Big Blind. In the Big Blind, the solver mixes between calling and 3-betting (leaning towards the former).

However, if your opponents are playing too many hands preflop and making mistakes postflop, you can choose to play Ace-Two suited in other positions when facing a raise. For example, if I’m in a soft live game and a player raises, then I look down at Ace-Two suited on the Button, I’m definitely going to play it.

Against a 3-Bet

As versatile as Ace-Two suited is, you can only defend with it against a 3-bet sometimes. What matters most is the range of the 3-bettor. 

Given that players tend to 3-bet with stronger hands, you will frequently get into reverse implied odds situations when you hit an Ace. In other words, when you hit top pair, you’ll often lose a bet or two against a hand that outkicks you. This makes Ace-Two suited not particularly desirable for defending against 3-bets.

While the hand has good blocker properties for 4-bet bluffing, you already have better candidates in Ace-Five suited and Ace-Four suited, which are slightly stronger.

In the end, you should only defend with Ace-Two suited against a 3-bet when you are in the Small Blind and your opponent is in the Big Blind. In that exact situation, you should call.

Against a 4-Bet

The rule is simple: if you 3-bet with Ace-Two suited and face a 4-bet, always fold. It’s too weak to call because of the reverse implied odds.

Note: Want to upgrade your poker skills? Get free preflop charts and start playing like a pro before the flop.

3 Tips for When You Miss the Flop (As the Preflop Raiser)

Poker isn’t as fun when you don’t have a pair. To help you navigate those un-fun situations, here are 3 tips for playing Ace-Two suited when you don’t hit a pair or better on the flop.

Tip #1 – When you’re in position, always c-bet with a backdoor flush draw

C-betting with the nut backdoor flush draw and almost 0 showdown value is a good idea. No matter what the board is, you will have 3 outs to hit top pair and around a 5% chance of the elusive a runner-runner flush. 

You will also often times fold out some better hands by c-betting.

For example, let’s say you raise from the Button with and get called by the Big Blind. The flop comes .

You should fire a large c-bet here. You make the opponent fold hands such as higher Aces and low pairs. When you get called, you still have an overcard and your backdoor flush draw to hope for. Plus, you’ll occasionally have the best hand if your opponent has a draw like .

Tip #2 – Play passively in multiway pots especially when you’re not in position

Multiway pots require a more passive approach. This is something I’ve written about many, many, many times here on Upswing Poker.

Your overall equity is much lower when multiway since you are up against multiple opponents. For all of these reasons, you should simply check your entire range, even if you’ve flopped the nut flush draw.

The one exception is if you are in position against all players in the hand. In that case, you can occasionally bet, but you should still be significantly more passive than you’d be in a heads-up pot.

Tip #3 – When playing from the Small Blind against the Big Blind, you should always fire a c-bet on boards that have a Broadway card on them

In blind vs blind scenarios, the Big Blind will 3-bet with a lot of his stronger hands like Pocket Nines or better, Ace-Ten suited or better, Ace-Queen offsuit, etc.

Because of this, boards that come Ace-high through Jack-high are very good for the player in the Small Blind (as he still has all those stronger hands in his range). 

In such cases, solvers have shown us that it’s optimal to c-bet with a wide range, which includes Ace-Two suited, even if you’ve completely whiffed the flop.

3 Tips for Playing Ace-Two Suited When You Hit the Flop

Now, let’s assume you’ve actually hit a pair or better with your Ace-Two suited. These tips are for those scenarios.

Tip #1 – Play passively with your top pairs in position

Flopping top pair with Ace-Two suited is great, but it’s simply not a strong enough hand to value bet on all 3 streets unimproved.

Since you can’t bet all 3 streets anyway, it is a smart idea to check on the flop and look to either bluff-catch or value bet on future streets.

For example, suppose you raise with from middle position and the player in the Big Blind calls. The flop is and your opponent checks. This is a nice spot to check back with your weak top pair, then go for value on the turn/river if your opponent checks again. Plus, it gives your opponent the chance to bluff!

Tip #2 – C-bet when you flop bottom pair in position

While bottom pair is not a strong hand, it will still often be ahead of your opponent (it’s hard to make a pair!). For this reason, it’s best to fire a c-bet for protection and thin value.

Let me give you a concrete example. You open from the Button with and the Big Blind calls. The flop comes .

It may seem odd to you, but you should fire a c-bet here. You can still get called by worse hands (like draws) and you will fold out weak hands that still have equity against you (like ).

Tip #3 – Do not slow play strong hands

Whether you’ve flopped a two pair or better, you must play it aggressively by betting/raising?

This is the quintessential piece of poker strategy. Build the pot as fast as possible with your strongest hands. Trapping has a place in this game, but it should only be used in certain instances.

You will make more money in the long run by simply fast-playing your good stuff.

Further Reading: When Should You Slow-Play a Strong Hand?

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the 5-minute guide to playing Ace-Two suited like a pro preflop and on the flop.

That’s all for this article guys, I hope you enjoyed it! I am looking forward to reading your feedback and replying to any questions you might have!

Here’s another nice starting hand guide for you: How to Play Nine-Seven Suited in Cash Games.

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

Note: Want to upgrade your poker skills? Get free preflop charts and start playing like a pro before the flop.


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About the Author
Dan B.

Dan B.

Online grinder aspiring to reach the highest stakes and crush the toughest games. I'm available for quick strategy questions and hourly coaching -- reach out to me at [email protected].

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