How to play king-jack
In this section we’ll talk about:
K-J is a tough hand to play
It's not automatically playable, like a pair of aces, kings or queens, but at the same time it’s not a hand you should fold every time. You need to know when to call this hand, raise it and sometimes even throw it away.
Position is everything
Early doors, K-J might allow you to win small but more importantly lose big, especially when the game is aggressive and players are raising frequently.
Playing K-J from early position, especially if you call rather than raise, leaves you vulnerable to an opponent's raise. Even if you flop a king or a jack, you can't know for sure whether you have the best hand. And if that's the case, you'll either have to call your opponent to find out, or try a speculative raise and from there anything can happen.
For that reason, we recommend folding K-J in early position unless the game is very passive with lots of callers and very few raises. You still might not have the best hand but at least it's not likely to cost you a bundle.
In middle position, you can loosen up a bit because the chances of a raise are lessened.
And if no one has acted, you can raise and try to seize control of the pot right there.
When you're in late position and no one has entered the pot, we’d suggest raising. If that takes out one of the blinds you'll only have to beat one opponent to win the full pot. Plus, you probably had the best hand before the flop anyway and you'll have the best position for the remainder of the hand too.
If you're in the same position but a number of players have already called, you can call behind them. After all, if no one raised, the chances of your hand being dominated by A-K or A-J are slim. If you flop either a jack or a king you probably have top pair with the best kicker so why not bet if the action is checked around to you?