The Power of Big Slick
Ever heard of the Texas Hold’em hand called Big Slick? If you’ve watched much Texas holdem poker, you are probably familiar with the starting hand commonly referred to as “Big Slick”. This is when a player is dealt an ace and king, suited or non-suited, as their first two hole cards. If you’ve seen this happen and heard the commentator’s remarks, you may be wondering what is so great about being dealt the Big Slick.
Well, as starting hands go, in Texas Hold’em Big Slick puts a player in a great position to pull out a number of high-ranking hands. Even though it’s considered to be a drawing hand, it’s the best drawing hand in poker, and as a result it should be played aggressively because of its drawing power.
If the ace and king are suited, there are more ways to make a big hand on the flop, and this starting hand has the potential of becoming ever poker player’s dream – a royal flush.
If the ace and king are not suited, they still hold the potential for another sought after hand: a broadway straight, which is an ace-ten straight.
When you are dealt Big Slick, another potential heavy hitting hand would be to draw to either three aces or three kings for a high ranking four of a kind. Drawing an ace-king full house would be another great hand to create from the big slick.
As you can see, there are man potential ways to make a monster hand with Big Slick, but perhaps the most likely scenario when playing Big Slick is that the player will end up pairing the ace or king and making the best top pair hand. This is a great spot to be in because many players like to play broadway cards like KT/AJ etc so there will be many situations where you can win a medium sized pot when your opponent has a worse kicker.
Another potential outcome is that there will be a pair on the board for everyone to share and the player with the Big Slick will have the highest kicker with the ace. So even when it gets to showdown and you don’t hit the board, there is still potential to win the pot with Big Slick.
One of the dangers of the Texas hold’em hand Big Slick is that even though it has a lot of potential ways to make a big hand, enough to invest a significant amount of chips pre-flop, it can also lead to a hard let down if you put too much stake in it for too long, and continue to be aggressive with the hand when you miss the flop or later streets. If nothing on the board gives you a combination, someone else’s simple pair will take down the pot in a hurry. and at the low limit tables players are not folding their hands so your bluffs will get called a lot.
In summary, being dealt Texas hold’em Big Slick can be a great hand to open raise with, but most of its value lies in its post flop potential. This potential must be gauged after the flop, again after the turn, and once again after the river. If those cards don’t serve to back up the big slick in a hurry, it quickly loses its appeal and a wise player will know when to bail and hope for better luck with the next hand. If you are playing against calling stations and you don’t hit a piece of the board with Big Slick, don’t decide that you will try and bluff them, because they will call you down with bottom pair.
In saying that, you always want to raise with Big Slick, if there has been a raise in front of you, you usually want to re-raise pre-flop to get more chips into the pot before seeing a flop. Quite often you will take down the pot straight away, and when you don’t, you are building a bigger pot for when you hit the flop.