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Aces and Spaces

What is ‘Aces and Spaces’?

Aces and Spaces is a term used to describe a five-card hand consisting of a pair of aces and three other worthless cards. A prime example of an aces and spaces hand is the phrase ‘The river left me with aces and spaces.’ This means the player was dealt an Ace and a low kicker in the hole, then made a pair of aces through the draw but the low kicker did not pair.

‘Aces and Spaces’ Explained

Although a pair of aces can often be a winning hand in poker (particularly if played well in the early betting rounds), Aces and Spaces is often used as a derogatory term when a two pair is the winner. However, this is more common in seven card stud. A typical Aces and Spaces hand would look like this A,A,8,4,2. The pair makes up the Aces whereas the 8,4,2 do not pair, flush or straight rendering them redundant spaces (hence the name).Often being dealt an ace in your hand is exciting prospect and leads to a heavy first round of betting (dependant on the style of play from the holder). Another ace making an appearance on the flop is a strong position to be in but still holds dangers, if a flush is drawn, or the makings of straight it may be time to consider backing out whilst you still have some chips left.Ace of Spaces may be the best single pair available but it is a dangerous hand with the large volume of scenarios that can beat it, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and of course Royal Flush will trump the ace of spaces. Holding a pair of aces gives the player misguided confidence, so beware, you may hold the aces, but a lot can still beat you.
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