I’ve been recently playing in some low-stakes tournaments with friends, which seem similar to how many people play on Replay (limping, playing a wide range, calling too much). Having not played much in a while, I started thinking about my ranges. There are some hands that you obviously want to play and mostly for value (pocket pairs, big suited broadways, etc.). Suited connectors are a bit dicey because people call too much. You don’t want to get your whole stack in every time you flop a draw; getting some percentage of folds would be better.
But, from a pure equity standpoint, there is another group of hands that I rarely play even at a 6-handed table, which have a ton of pre-flop equity, and that is offsuited Ax hands. The ones I am wondering about particularly are A2o through A9o. While A5s is one of my favorite hands, I would almost never raise A5o in 6-max (let alone full ring) except maybe from the button. These rag aces have blocker value and showdown value, but they don’t draw particularly well and when you hit you never know if you’re way ahead or way behind. They are the prototypical win a small pot or lose a big pot hands. But on the other hand, they have a massive equity share against most ranges, especially loose ranges. For example, against a villain who limps (never raises) with 36% of hands, 87s has about 40% equity versus A6o, which has 47% equity.
Obviously, pure equity is a bad metric because a lot goes into actually winning a pot, but isn’t it throwing money away to mindlessly trash those ugly Ax hands? It seems like they would play similarly for medium top pair value as some broadway hands. And you could occasionally bluff catch or win medium sized pots. Or is it better to just avoid the car crashes that occur when you flop a pair and don’t know where you stand?