Published on October 13th, 2006 9:45 pm EST

I received an interesting question from one of the readers of this site. Is it ever ok to limp with AA? Should you always be raising with AA, no matter what the situation? And even more interestingly, is it ever ok to fold AA preflop?

Let me illustrate two different scenarios before we tackle the last question. Let me give you a scenario where it is never ok to limp, and then a scenario where it is ok to limp with AA.

Scenario 1 - You are dealt AA in late position. Four people ahead of you limp into the pot. The SB and BB are still left to act. Is limping a good play here, thereby disguising the strength of your hand?

Answer - NO!!! You should never, ever, ever limp with AA here. Why? If there are six other players that see a flop, where are you going to do if the flop comes KK7? Or 2 4 6 all spades? Statistically speaking, if you take a flop with 6 other people, the odds are great than someone will flop a better hand than you. Make a pot-sized bet in this case, and at least thin out the field of players.

Scenario 2 -- You are first to act. The table has been aggressive, with rarely an unraised pot. There are two big stacks at the table, who have been bullying people around. Is it ok to limp here?

Answer - YES!!! Limping is a smart move here. Chances are high that someone will raise the pot after you act. The fact that you limped in will disguise the fact that you have a monster. If someone is holding something like AQ, AK, 10/10, etc., they just won't believe you when you re-raise them, and you should be able to get all-in with them and win a huge pot. If you are in early position, and the table is aggressive, then limping with AA is a smart play. You just gotta mix it up.

And lastly. When is folding AA preflop ok? Let me give you one scenario where it would be ok. You are playing in a sattelite to a major Sunday tournament. The top 16 people get seats, and there are currently 17 people left. You and another player are chipleaders by a mile. The blinds are so big now that it is only a matter of time before someone gets blinded out and you win your seat. You are dealt AA, but the chipleader goes all-in before you. This is a good situation where folding AA is ok. The risk/reward is just too uneven here. If you fold, you win will your seat guarantee. If you call, you could be out of the tournament if your rockets don't hold up. Here is a case where the pocket rockets are a clear fold.