If you have a shelf with a book poker in the inventory, chances are you have a table of good starting hands handy. They usually break down the best hole cards in early, middle and late position. Upon studying it, you will find that a hand like AJ may be acceptable to play when in late position, but not early. If you read on, you will learn how to adjust the starting hands against an aggressive table or when short handed. A table of solid advice.
A lot can go wrong when you play AJ and other marginal hands. Novice players think the worst case senario is missing the flop and losing their pre-flop investment upon folding. It takes experience to learn the real danger can be hitting the flop. In the case of AJ, an ace on the flop can give a false sense of confidence. I’m not saying a bet or even a raise here would be the wrong move, but it is important not to over value your kicker. A Jack is good, but not great when you call in late position. Marginal hands fall victim to slightly better hands all the time. It is these hands, when the kicker matters, that usually earns or costs the most of your stack.
If you bring a knife to a gun fight, assume that the gun is loaded.