Good cards from the Small Blind
The most important thing to remember is that you are in the worst position on the table. If five people see the flop without a raise, and you have KK and J-high flops and you lead out, the guy in last position is priced in for a gutshot with everyone calling. That’s not what I want. I want people making mathematical mistakes against me. I don’t want to give them the right numbers to call. So what do you do? AA and KK are great hands, not ideal in a low limit game, but for whatever reason I sit there wanting to see them every hand even though they break my heart quite a bit. But position is the game.
So I don’t play hands like this slow, I play them carefully. I’m waiting until the turn to let anyone know I have any strength at all. If there is a late position bet and/or raise I will raise myself just to get guys out. If on the turn there are three of us still going and I check and the next guy checks and the last guy bets, I’m going to raise if I think I have the best of it. It’ll be awful hard to cold call 16 for the guy in the middle, but at least you’re giving him the wrong price.
If before we get to the turn there is a lot of action, I just throw it away quietly. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m capable of doing what I do. They are great cards, but in awful position and better luck next time. It’s possible to turn a piece of paper into a swan, but it’s damned hard to do, and I don’t know origami. Wait until that situation calls for you to make a paper airplane, then scoop it.
Now if it had been raised to me in the small blind I go ahead and raise. Since you have that springboard you might as well try to eliminate the big blind from getting a cheap shot with a random hand. I’m not afraid to cap it from the small blind. I can hit and still check and no one will think twice about it. That’s the only time to raise.
As for AK, I won’t call a raise with it unless it’s suited, and I don’t spring board with it. Too costly.