Top 10 Reasons Why Your Pocket Aces Got Cracked (Again)

pocket aces cracked every time
People complain to me all the time about how their pocket aces got cracked, yet again. It happened to them 17 times in a row, they told me, and 3 times last Sunday!

So I figured I needed to finally put on my detective hat here and find out why so many people are getting their pocket aces cracked so frequently.

Now let me begin by stating that this mostly boils down to simple math. Pocket aces, while the best starting hand possible in Texas Hold'em, is still just one pair.

Every other two starting cards still have equity against you, and when you are playing at the micro stakes in particular and getting lots of callers before the flop, you will lose with pocket aces frequently.

But I know how much it sucks, believe me. Nobody likes to lose with pocket aces. So without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons why your aces got cracked, again.

10. They Hit a Miracle River Card

Sometimes when you have pocket aces they are going to find a way to hit that miracle river card against you.

This is especially the case if you play against bad players a lot, like I always suggest. And this is because bad players like to call you down with any pair and any draw, no matter how ridiculous it is.

So from time to time their bottom pair will become two pair on the river, and it is painful I know. Just know that the math was on your side. Most of the time they will miss their miracle river card.

You can hit a miracle river card sometimes in poker but you can't fight math and expect to win over the long term.

That's why bad players like this who chase every hand have insanely very large long term loss rates and literally bankroll the entire industry.

9. They Flopped a Set Against You

Another common reason why your pocket aces got cracked is because they flopped a set against you. A set is when you have a pocket pair and then hit three of a kind on the flop.

You will only flop a set something like 8.5% of the time, but when you do, it is an extremely strong hand and if your opponent has pocket aces, you will probably crack them.

This happens to everyone. Don't beat yourself up too much about it. But at the same time, recognize what type of players you should be folding against.

Nits for example make it very obvious that they have a set and you can easily fold your pocket aces and just have a good laugh about it.

I have written an entire article about when to fold your pocket aces against players like this, right here.

8. They Hit a Straight or a Flush Against You

Another common reason why your pocket aces got cracked is because they hit a flush draw or a straight draw against you.

Some players will not fold a flush draw or a straight draw for any amount in poker, and there is really nothing you can do about it.

You just have to know that once again, the math is on your side.

Both a flush draw and a straight draw will only hit about 1/3 of the time by the river. This means that the majority of the time they will miss their draw and lose the hand.

This is why it is a good idea to know what kinds of players you are up against, especially if you play online. Do they like to chase their draws a lot?

You can use a good free poker HUD to always have those reads ready for when you need them.

7. They Flopped Two Pair

Another reason why your aces will get cracked sometimes is when they flop two pair. Lot's of bad players like to call with any two junky cards like:




And sometimes the poker gods are going to smile down on them for their terrible hand selection and let them flop two pair. Your pocket AA will be a significant underdog to catch up from there.

But as always, we need to remember that when they fight the math in poker, and decide to play a lot of bad hands like this, they always pay for it in the long run, big time.

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6. They Got Lucky With Pocket Kings

We've all been there.

You have pocket kings and you have this sneaking suspicion that the other guy might have pocket aces. But as I have discussed before, you should almost never fold pocket king preflop.

In fact, as I discuss in this video, there is really only ONE situation where you should ever even consider folding pocket kings before the flop:

So if you have pocket aces and they have pocket kings, all of the money is probably going in the middle at some point in the hand, often preflop.

They will have roughly 20% equity in the pot, or around 1 in 5, and so you will lose once in awhile and they will crack your pocket aces.

It is not as uncommon as you might think!

Don't worry, this stuff all evens out in the long run. You will have the kings, they will have the aces. You will beat them 20% of the time too and they will curse their terrible luck.

5. You Are In a Downswing (Losing Streak)

Sometimes in poker no matter how well you play, you are going to face an extended losing streak where no matter how good you are, and no matter how good your decision making is, you are going to lose.

And sometimes it can last for weeks or even months, believe me!

When you are in a prolonged downswing like this your pocket aces are going to get cracked in every conceivable way possible.

Anybody who is a long-time poker pro or a serious poker player has been through a period like this, which is why it is important to maintain your composure.

Daniel Negrenau actually offers tons of great tips on how to maintain your cool during a rough downswing in his poker Masterclass training.

4. You Are About to Reach the Final Table

We've all been there.

You have scratched and clawed, and stayed alive for hours and hours on end in a poker tournament, and you are on the brink of finally making the final table where all the big prize money is.

You look down at pocket aces, you raise and somebody who covers you (has more chips) goes all in. You have to call of course, but you also know that once in awhile you will receive a bad beat and be eliminated from the tournament.

Once again, this is just part of the game of poker, and there really is nothing you can do about it. Everybody always has some equity in the pot and pocket aces isn't a license to win every hand.

It sucks, believe me I know, but sometimes your pocket aces are going to get cracked right before the final table.

By the way, if you want to reach more final tables, make sure you follow the advice in my ultimate tournament poker strategy guide.

3. You Are Slowplaying Too Much

One of the biggest reasons why people get their pocket aces cracked again and again is because they slowplay them too much.

What I mean by this is just calling preflop, betting too small or checking after the flop. This invites plenty of other players into the hand to catch something lucky against you.

You need to play your pocket aces strong by betting big and by betting frequently. If you slowplay your pocket aces too much, they are going to get cracked more often.

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2. You Didn't Bet Enough With Your Pocket Aces

Not betting enough is another huge reason why many people get their aces cracked. They make a tiny little mini-raise preflop or bet 25% of the pot after the flop.

I personally love playing against people who do this because then I can call them (with mathematically correct odds) with a whole host of trashy hands and crack their aces.

You need to make sure you are betting your pocket aces big, or else people will call you down with any weak pair or draw and crack your aces.

I created some of the highest winnings of all time at the micro stakes online by betting huge with my pocket aces and sometimes even over betting with them.

This is something that I discuss at length in Crushing the Microstakes.

1. You Didn't Make the Right Fold

And the number one reason why your pocket aces got cracked again is because you didn't make the right fold.

There is a common myth out there that you must always go to showdown with pocket aces. This is just wrong and all high level winning poker pros already know this.

They understand that pocket aces is just a one pair hand and you don't have a license to win every pot just because you have pocket aces!

Sometimes you absolutely do need to fold an overpair like pocket aces. And the very best players in the world are able to avoid getting their aces cracked because they make the correct laydown.

This is just another reason by the way why you should be using a good poker HUD.

The easiest way to start making the right laydown with your pocket aces is to know what type of player you are up against. A good HUD helps you tremendously with that.

Final Thoughts

Nobody likes to get their pocket aces cracked. It's one of the worst feelings in poker. Because pocket aces is the most beautiful hand in the entire game to look down at.

However, you don't need to study any advanced poker training material in order to understand that pocket aces is indeed just one pair.

And most of the time after the flop, turn and river, you will still only have a one pair hand with pocket aces. Now sure, it is the best one pair hand that you can possibly have.

But it is still just one pair!

Most big all-in pots in No Limit Hold'em are won by somebody who can beat a one pair hand. And as pretty as those pocket aces look, they will lose sometimes in a variety of different ways.

However, I hope this article helped you understand a few of the reasons why your aces are getting cracked a lot lately.

The truth is that pocket aces is the best hand in poker and over the long run a huge portion of your winnings will come from just this hand.

So you want to play your pocket aces strong and hard in most situations, but also understand, that you will lose with them sometimes.

It's completely natural and it happens to everybody.

Lastly, if you want to know the complete strategy that I have used as a 10+ year poker pro, make sure you pick up a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

pocket aces cracked again