When playing poker online, some people have a love-hate relationship with the Ace-Queen offsuit. It is not a hand that novice players particularly love because it is difficult to play if you’re inexperienced.
Most novice players would prefer to have a strong starting hand because it involves the least amount of strategy to win. That might surprise you because the Ace and Queen are the two best cards in the deck. But when each card is of a different suit, that is where it gets tricky.
For experienced players, they love to play the Ace-Queen offsuit in cash games. An Ace-Queen offsuit can be a good starting hand for players who have experience in various preflop circumstances. Let’s take a look at some examples of playing with an Ace-Queen offsuit.
The rule of thumb is that when another player raises the stakes while you have an Ace-Queen offsuit, you will give them a raise too. This type of reraise is called a 3-bet. In most cases, an Ace-Queen offsuit with a 3-bet will cause most of the other players to fold. That means there would be no more multiway pot.
If three or more players remain after a 3-bet, then it is a bad situation. An Ace-Queen offsuit doesn’t allow you to have a powerful straight hand or flush hand, which is needed for a multiway pot. The more people you have in your poker game, the more likely you should fold if somebody raises. Don’t try to play an Ace-Queen after multiple raises because it will be harder to win.
On the other hand, if another player is making a 3-bet, you could attempt a 4-bet bluff with an Ace-Queen. It depends on whether their range is tight or not. If you decide to bluff on a 4-bet with your Ace-Queen offsuit, you probably won’t have another player making a 5-bet. Their calling range will be limited. But remember, you won’t have as many possible combinations available for matching two Aces, two Queens, or an Ace and King.
Hitting the flop
When you flop the Ace and Queen pair, do not slow play the hand. Try to get the most value out of your hand with a raise instead of a call. The only time you should slow down is if you’re out of position on a raised pot and the range is tight. In this case, it is better to coordinate your flop by attempting to control the pot size. Don’t get caught in a bigger pot if the opponent calls your bet.
If you happen to miss the flop with an Ace-Queen offsuit, it is still possible for you to bet if the board is disconnected. Just make a continuation bet with your Ace-Queen offsuit hand as a semi-bluff. If you end up hitting the top pair, then you can triple barrel the hand for added value.
You are never going to win every pot with an Ace-Queen offsuit. If you had a great hand before, the lucky streak won’t last every single time. Get used to the idea of folding when the hand is not in your corner.