Holding a big hand like **AK** suggests an initial raise of **3-5 times the big blind** (for example, with blinds of $0.1/$0.2, raise to $0.6-$1). If facing a re-raise (e.g., opponent raises to $2), you can call or go all-in. After the **flop**, if no pair is hit, it is recommended to make a **continuation bet** (C-bet) of 50%-70% of the pot.

**Should AK be raised?**

Yes, AK has an approximate win rate of 30%-40% in multi-player situations, meaning you can win about 3-4 times out of 10. At **micro-stakes** tables with blinds of $0.1/$0.2, an initial raise of **2 times the big blind** to $0.4 is common. Assuming you get AK in an early position and raise to 3 times the big blind, i.e., $0.6, and 3-4 players call, the total pot can exceed $2, and the win rate will be around 40%.

Assuming the pot is $2 and AK’s win rate is 35%, $2 multiplied by 35% equals $0.7. **Raising to $0.6 is OK.**

If a player in front raises 3 times the big blind to $0.6 and you decide to re-raise to $2, the total pot is close to $8, with a win rate of around 40%. If you win, you can get $8 multiplied by 40%, which is $3.2. **Re-raising $1.4 is also OK.**

Assume you get AK in the big blind position and five loose players in front call a raise of 3 times the big blind, the pot is already $3. If you raise to 10 times the big blind, i.e., $2, the total pot will be $5. If everyone calls, the total pot could reach $13. At this point, AK’s win rate may be between 35%-45%. You aim to win $13 multiplied by 40%, which is $5.2, so even **raising $2 again is OK.**

Famous poker player **Phil Ivey** said: “**Poker is not just about playing the cards well, but also playing the opponents well.**”

**Handling AK in multi-player situations**

First, if you have AK in an **early position**, it is recommended to initially raise to 3-4 times the big blind. For example, if the blinds are $0.1/$0.2, raise to $0.6-$0.8. If an opponent re-raises to $2, they may have AA or KK, so **consider folding.**

If you have AK in a **late position**, it is recommended to raise to 7-10 times the big blind. For example, if a player in front raises to $0.6, you can re-raise to $2.5-$3. After the **flop**, if no pair or straight is hit, it is recommended to make a **continuation bet** (C-bet) of 50%-70% of the pot. For example, if the pot is $6, bet $3-$4, which can force opponents to fold.

If everyone calls the bets after the flop, **be cautious**. For example, if you have AK and the flop is 9-4-2, and the opponent bets half the pot, i.e., $3, it may be a bluff, so consider raising. But if the opponent is a tight player, consider folding. After the flop, if you hit top pair (e.g., the flop is A-8-5), it is recommended to bet 70%-100% of the pot. If the pot is $10, you can bet $7-$10.

**How to play big hands at micro-stakes tables**

Holding big hands like **AA, KK, and AK** suggests raising 3-5 times the big blind. For example, with blinds of $0.1/$0.2, raise to $0.6-$1. If an opponent re-raises, consider re-raising (**3-bet**), generally about 3 times. For example, if the opponent raises to $0.5, you raise to $1.5.

A **continuation bet (C-bet)** can also help you. Assuming you hold AK and miss the flop, but the pot is $5, it is recommended to bet 50%-70% of the pot, i.e., $2.5-$3.5. If there are multiple players, **be cautious with big hands**. Suppose you hold AA before the flop and raise to $0.8, with 3 opponents calling, making the total pot $3.2. After the flop, it is recommended to bet 70%-100% of the pot, i.e., $2.2-$3.2, to force opponents to fold.

Another strategy is to continue making large bets on the **turn** and **river**. Suppose the pot is $10, after the turn it is recommended to bet 50%-70% of the pot, i.e., $5-$7. Bluffing and semi-bluffing can protect big hands. Suppose you hold KK before the flop, hit top pair after the flop, but the opponent calls, you can bet 100% of the pot to win the pot.