Your questions reveal some of the problem. Notice that (with the exception of Q#3) your questions are flat preflop questions with no established context. Position is far from the complete context. How many players are at the table? How many are typically in the pot? Is it usually a limped family pot, or a 4BB raise and one caller? How deep are the stacks relative to the blinds? What are the preflop calling ranges of other players. Are they passive after the flop (fold if bet into?) What do other players think your preflop range is? Also, I’m assuming this home game is a cash game, not a tourney. Advice changes dramatically between the two!
Let’s look at the AK question first:
3. A-K, suited or no, early position with two aggressive players to the left - you have a set way to deal with that hand?
No! There is no set way to deal with any hand. It depends on all of the above questions and more. But, an important fact in NL hold’em is that the small pots don’t matter for your stack, and AK will only win small pots. It also has the potential to lose big ones! This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it for a raise much of the time – just don’t be to attached to it to throw it in the much if you feel any heat. (Say the board is K98. Did you raise before the flop? Will your opponents put you on big cards because of that raise? (That depends on the image you currently have.) If so, someone with KT or KJ knows he may be facing KQ or AK and won’t pay off a huge bet. If you fire on the flop and the turn, these hands might give up before the river. But if you feel like “Hey, I’m totally getting paid off on my top-pair/top-kicker!”, you are possibly crushed by K9 or 98s or some such.)
I use AK to pay for my seat, picking up what I can with it but not trying too much. If I feel heat and half to slow down or fold, then sure I’ll probably be throwing away the best hand once in a while. But: small pots don’t matter.
Having said that, small pots make all the difference for your image! Preflop and flop play are where the betting is small and where you can afford to get into pots that are favorable to your image. If the table has loose aggressive (LAG) types, tight is the way to go, but you need to convince them that they can bet you off hands. Play a lot of small pots with a hit-to-win attitude (looking to flops sets, straights, etc.), and let them “bully” you off hands with a smile in your heart (not on your face, of course.) When you do hit, they will often not notice that you’ve gone on to the turn and the river, and that’s where the money is. If the table has no LAG players, this approach would be all wrong. (So, you should reply with more detailed situations/questions. I’d love to analyze them, but it’ll take more info.)
2. I avoid 8-9 like the plague unless its suited and I;m on the button - smart?
If pots are usually limped preflop with more than a few callers and the stacks aren’t too shallow, play 89s! If late position players usually come in for a raise preflop, you’ll have to think about how the opponents play post flop. 89s has a lot of semibluff value (do you semibluff? If not, you should start! Ask me how!).
1. How do you play JJ in early or late position?
Depends on the stack sizes and preflop ranges of my opponents. If everyone is Tighty McTightpants, JJ has set value and continuation bet value, but not much else. (Do you continuation bet? If not, ask me how!) If you’re out-of-position against the preflop raiser, ask "will he continuation bet a “Kxx” flop? If so, a check-raise might get some value (and stop him from continuation betting!)
Your questions as stated aren’t specific enough to really address without going on for pages and pages (hence the rambling nature of this post). Describe some specific situations, and let’s go through them. (Put outcomes in spoiler boxes to keep the discussions honest.) It sounds like post-flop play (which governs preflop actions) is a place where your game could improve. Before playing a hand preflop, you should have some idea of how the next three streets will play out under various circumstances.