This is a strategy that works for me. You should always open big with pocket Aces. How big depends on the room. You want to open big enough to try and get half the table (with a full table) to fold but not so big that everyone folds. The purpose of this is that less people playing the better your chances to win. With pirate poker it's difficult to get people to fold pre-flop so you take your chances. After the flop you want to be careful. Watch out for flush, straight draws and possible trips. While pocket Aces are good hole cards, they can spell disaster if played wrong. Don't fall in love with them. If after the flop you don't sense any imminent danger, raise big again and see who stays in. If another player raises first, try to judge his hand by how much he raises. You might want to call instead of raising. You want to try to win the pot by the flop because the more cards that are played the less chance for you to win. (If an ace falls on the flop, you are in good shape and should try to maximize the betting.) If people are staying in for the turn, you might want to check/call, just to feel out the other players. (unless you have that 3rd ace) If by the river you feel that your pocket aces are the best hand, go ahead and bet big again. You might just win. For Example: The other night I opened with 100 with pocket aces in a 20 blind room. To my dismay, everyone called. At the flop I didn't see anything threatening so I raised 100 again. A few people dropped out. At the turn I checked and another player raised 20. I saw this as a weak raise compared to my 100 raises so I called. At the river I checked again and the same player raised 20 again. I looked at the table and felt I had the best hand so I raised 500. A couple of people called and I won a nice size pot. Example 2: I was playing in the 200 blind room with Dawg and them. I opened with 500 with pocket aces. At the flop, another player went all in with 5 or 6k. Now as much as I liked my pocket aces, I felt it wasn't strong enough to beat whatever that other player had, at least not strong enough to bet 5 or 6k. So I folded. An ace fell on the river and I could have won a very big pot. The winner won with 2 pair. He had the 2 pair on the flop. It was a long shot that an ace would show up on the river so I felt I made the right decision to fold. It hurt not to win that big pot but better not to lose 5k. Don't be afraid to fold your pocket aces if the cards aren't going your way. Better to cut your losses than to have your shirt taken. I've lost plenty of times with pocket aces so they're not fool proof. When you have pocket aces, try to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. See you in the poker rooms.