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In a no limit cash game, if I'm sitting on the button pre-flop with pocket aces and no one has bet ahead of me, I usually don't want to limp because I don't want to offer free opportunities to draw to a bad beat for me. However, I would like to get some action. How do I size my bet to avoid scaring everyone off when I'm at a full table? Is there a general rule of thumb for this?

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Please make more specific questions ! Questions like "how much to bet" in poker cannot be answered properly without specific details. At least specifying "cash games" or tournament is a good start, but "short handed" or "full ring table" is needed also ! –  Walkman Jan 10 '12 at 20:34
@Walkman: If you are on the button with no bets in "front," you are effectively "short handed" with the blinds. Even at a "full table." –  Tom Au Apr 22 '13 at 21:12
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3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

The general rule of thumb from me would be to stick with the same raise you would make in the same situation with T9s. You want to balance your range so that you get a good mix of action with your great hands and folds with your steals.

What that raise should be will depend a lot on your history with the blinds and on their stack sizes. Whether we are talking about a cash game or a tournament can be a big factor here as well.

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What @Jeffrey Blake said, is totally correct, however there are situations when you don't need to balance you range in this situation at all, for example against players who doesn't care and calling anyway, you should make as big bets as you can to make more profit. Also, against players who are not observant at all, you might make bigger bets, because they wont notice the difference.

These are extreme examples, but in a poker game you should be aware of everything all the time, so you need to consider this.

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I would rather raise and take the pot than have someone stick around and get lucky for free.

Rockets are the best hand pre-flop but once the flop hits there is a decent chance you will lose at least some of that advantage and the more players there the greater that risk. As such I prefer to bet high hoping that who ever comes along will have high cards(probably an ace) thinking they have a chance to win. If my opponent has an ace then I am in a much better position.

Once to the flop I generally slow down some unless I improve. If I have improved I keep the pressure up. I would much rather force a marginal hand out than lose to a draw. I have folded pocket aces on the turn because I was fairly certain my opponent out drew me.

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I agree with this. You have to accept that AA aren't always going to pay off. So you make your raise (most likely) take down the blinds and move on. –  Jim Beam Jul 14 at 15:44
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