Many online players that I play against will slow play pocket Aces and limp into pots. Often these are the same players that cannot believe that their Aces got cracked and they busted out of a tournament or lost a huge pot. Something that I will almost never do is limp in with pocket Aces.
Admittedly, there will be times when you get excited to see A-A in your hand, you put in a 3x Big Blind raise and are disappointed to see everyone fold. All I can say to this is: “it is better to take only the blinds than to lose your entire stack.”
Because of the loose nature of online players, you are all but forced to make at least some minimum pre-flop raises with your pocket Aces. If you do not, you simply leave way too many people in the hand. Obviously, this creates more chances for your Aces to be cracked. You have got to steer clear of this if you can.
The best way to play Aces pre-flop is to put in a raise of in the neighborhood of 3x the Big Blind and try to entice someone else to go in over the top of you, either all-in, or with a big raise. If you have noticed a particularly aggressive player at the table, he is a good candidate for this play. Sometimes you will even get a couple of calls for your minimum raise and then someone else comes over the top. This is ideal because you can call (if he went all-in) or re-raise. What this accomplishes is to most times eliminate the others from the hand, giving you a heads up shot with your Aces. This is exactly what you want. Remember, the more players in the hand after the flop, the better chance of getting your Aces cracked.
That being said, if you do not end up in an all-in situation, what you are looking at post flop is the texture of the flop. You need to be aware of 2 things: flush draws and the board pairing up. If either of these happens, proceed with caution. It is a strong player who can actually fold A-A, but when the flop comes K-K-3, you may have to do just that in the face of a big raise. No matter if your opponent was playing K-5 off suit, he has you beat in this type of instance. Get over it. Do not become one of these guys who calls or bets all of his chips when it is obvious by the texture of the flop he is beat.
The flush draw is a little trickier. What you want to do is push him off of his flush draw by not giving him the odds to call. The hard part about this is that many online players will chase that flush down well beyond the realm of reason. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do about this except to try and then decide if you want to risk your chip stack against his attempt to suck out. One thing that can sway your mind is if one of your Aces matches the suit on the board. If it does, you have a chance of making a higher flush if another card of that suit comes on the Turn or River, regardless of whether or not your opponent has a flush. Take this into account when you make this judgment.
Pocket Aces are of course, fun to play, but they can be a trap hand for many players. Beware, they are not invincible, especially in internet poker. Use some common sense, think about what you opponent may have, and you can keep out of trouble and still make them profitable.