What goes through your mind when you look down at Ace-Ten suited?
Some people love it, some people hate it, but there’s no doubt that Ace-Ten suited can be a very profitable hand if you play it well.
In this article, I will be covering how to play it in various preflop situations and also how to approach different postflop situations.
Let’s dive in!
Let’s begin by getting our preflop strategy down:
Ace-Ten suited is a strong hand, ranking in about the top 12% of preflop hands. Because of this, you should open-raise it from any position.
Against an open-raise
In most scenarios, Ace-Ten suited can be played as a 3-bet or call when facing an open raise in position.
The only situations where you must be a bit careful with continuing are against an open-raiser from UTG or UTG+1. In these spots, you can raise, call, or fold at different frequencies, except from the Button where you can 3-bet or call.
Here are the table positions for your reference:
In all other scenarios, the hand can either be played as a call or 3-bet. I’ve gone more in-depth in this article about the pros and cons of playing a mixed strategy vs a 3-bet or fold strategy in position.
When playing from the Small Blind you will want to always 3-bet with this hand.
When playing from the Big Blind, the hand is often a mixed strategy against different open-raises from different positions. I would suggest you 3-bet it rather than calling it, but it’s really up to you to decide.
Against a 3-bet
When you open and face a 3-bet, you have several options: calling, 4-betting, and folding are all close in EV regardless of your position.
The only positions where it’s a clear cut continue against a well built 3-betting range are:
- From the Cutoff against an open from the Button, Small Blind, or Big Blind
- As the Button against a 3-bet from one of the blinds
How often you want to 4-bet bluff with this hand depends on the 3-betting frequency of your opponent. The lower it is, the less you want to bluff as his range is stronger and less likely to fold enough.
Further reading: What Top Poker Pros Already Know About 4-Betting.
Against a 4-bet
I would advise most of you to straight-up fold this hand every time you face a 4-bet. Especially when playing live, there are very very few situations that would warrant you defending with this hand. Most players do NOT have a balanced 4-betting range.
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3 Tips for Playing When You Hit the Flop with Ace-Ten Suited
Tip #1: When you are out of position as the preflop raiser in a single raised pot (blind vs blind) and the board is Ten-high and connected, you should consider checking with your top pair.
With this tip, I’m talking about situations in which you open-raise in the small blind, get called by the big blind, and the flop comes something like:
- A♣ T♣ on T♠ 9♠ 8♥
- A♥ T♥ on T♣ 7♣ 6♦
These boards favor the player who has the position advantage for a few reasons:
1. While the equity distribution is very close to 50/50, the big blind has the strategic advantage by always being the last to act. This enables him to realize his equity much better compared to his opponent.
2. The high stack-to-pot ratio, which exacerbates the equity realization advantage for your opponent in the big blind.
Tip #2: Almost always bet when you hit top pair in position.
On almost every board, you will have a range advantage in position as the preflop raiser.
Your top pair (regardless of it being the Ace or the Ten) will almost always be strong enough to value bet on the flop. It will also usually be strong enough to double barrel on the turn for value as part of a polarized strategy.
- A♦ T♦ on A♣ 8♥ 4♠
- A♠ T♠ on T♣ 9♣ 2♦
Tip #3: Almost always bet when you hit the middle pair on the flop in position.
These strong middle pairs of hand plays pretty well as a continuation bet on the flop.
This is due to it being the strongest second pair possible, and thus it benefits from getting value and equity denial. It also gives you some turned trips every once in a while, making your overall strategy more robust.
- A♦ T♦ on Q♣ T♥ 3♠
- A♣ T♣ on J♠ T♠ 5♥
3 Tips for Playing When You Miss the Flop with Ace-Ten Suited
Tip #1: Always bet when you hit a draw in position.
You generally want to c-bet your draws (to a flush and/or straight) on the flop because they have a decent chance to improve to the best hand by the river and win a big pot. It also balances out your c-betting range, making you harder to play against.
- A♥ T♥ on J♥ 7♣ 2♥
- A♠ T♠ on K♠ Q♣ 9♦
Tip #2: Always bet when you have a double backdoor draw in position on the flop.
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #1. Hands with both a backdoor flush and straight draw work as a balancing factor not only on the flop, but also on draw-completing turns where you’d otherwise be left without sufficient bluffs.
- A♦ T♦ on Q♦ 9♥ 7♠
- A♣ T♣ on J♠ 8♣ 6♥
Tip #3: Always check back when you don’t have a draw or backdoor flush draw in single raised pots.
You want to have hands that actually have a decent chance to become the best hand by/on the river when you bet. When you don’t have at least some backdoors to go with your A-high, unless the board is paired*, you’ll want to just check back with this hand and try to take it to showdown.
*Paired boards can oftentimes still be c-bet frequently. Learn more about paired boards here.
- A♥ T♥ on 7♣ 6♣ 4♠
- A♠ T♠ on 9♦ 6♦ 5♦
There you have it: a quick guide to playing Ace-Ten suited in a variety of preflop and postflop situations.
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Till’ next time, good luck, guys!
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