Overpair x Dry board (This is not a topic on hand evaluation)

• Bronze
Joined: 02.12.2009
So I have been facing this situation quite often and I would like to know the best way out of it.

Suppose some unknown raises from early position and you have TT or JJ. I figure you can call independently of being for set value since not that many hands are ahead; but you can't 3Bet since you don't know villain.

Then, suppose the board comes completely ragged and villain bets into us. This is a standard continuation bet. In this cases what I tend to do is raise IP or c/r OOP, both for value and protection.

The problem starts when villain decides to call. If the turn shows a blank, what should I do? I tend to bet OOP and IP alike but can't be sure if I'm doing the right thing.

I tried just calling down a few times IP but overcards come very often so I don't think that's the best thing to do.

I'm confused from the turn onwards, I mean: how often villain would call with just overcards so I can bet again on the turn? Does the times I raise for protection compensate for the times I'm behind (against QQ+)?

• 3 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 13.07.2011
You have probably heard this before but "it always depends". However, I will try helping you to look at this from a slightly different perspective. Though, keep in mind that this is just a random fellow response, i.e. be critical!

a) I presume you are talking about long-hand scenario (i.e. full-ring)?

b) I also presume, treasuring from your analysis, that you ask about scenarios where the raiser is unknown (you haven't played with him much yet and you do not know what range he raises with from an early position)?

c) The game level is somewhere between NL2-10?

Let's continue with our discussion considering A & B & C as true.

1. So, your usual strategy with middle pockets (let's say 99-JJ) is to call it pre-flop and raise it on flop if the flop is low and villain makes a cbet. Now the problem here is two-fold: a) we do not know his raising range in first place and his cbet patterns (i.e. is it really a standard cbet for him, even with air, or he has a hand that he likes to bet again?) - hence, it is hard to tell if your raise is actually for protection here; b) like you pointed out yourself, you have little idea what to do on the consecutive streets if you get called (you don't have a plan for turn play on flop) - you just go for the "I hope he folds now".

Imho, if villain is unknown, I tend to call the cbet and re-evaluate the turn. That way we go for pot control and we get a clearer picture of his hand from his second move. Especially the beginner chart players tend to bet waaay less with air on consecutive streets and do continue second barreling with made/strong hands.

2. IP vs OOP. I usually do not differentiate versus unknown villains (meaning, I still tend to check/call OOP) but there are boards where I donk out (i.e. TT on 789 rainbow). But that is only reasonable if you are familiar with raise scenarios.

3. Bet sizing. Quite important aspect here. Suppose, we are in position, villain opened 4BB on pre-flop from UTG, you cold called from BTN with TT. Flop comes 349 rainbow. Villains bets pot size. What is your move?
- The "usual" cbet is around 60% of the pot but the full-pot sizing often shows villain interest in the pot. Sure, you can expect be ahead here and call it once but, from my experience, villain tends to second barrel and pot-size again. And if you choose raising on flop and get called after his flop cbet sizing, you are pretty much 100% behind.
Now, the opposite scenario. Preflop is the same but on flop villain bets just 2BB into 9,5BB pot. What is your move now?
- The initial logic says to raise it up right here and it would not be so wrong either. I do usually raise in this scenario to get my note. However, calling is not wrong either. You get perfect odds versus an unknown villain.

Last note, "I tried just calling down a few times and overcards come often" - so, you had a few tries of calling instead of raising and then consider this option to be less profitable due to the fact that just on those few occasions higher cards landed?
- For example, with JJ in hand, you still have a higher chance to see lower card on turn (you have 37 lower cards that you haven't seen yet and 12 higher cards, the ratio is 3:1 basically).
• Bronze
Joined: 29.03.2010
i think your raises/ckraises might just look a bit suspicious on a dry board so your getting floated a lot with overcards and lower pocket pairs.

i heard (or read) a quote somewhere once that is relevent, unfortunately i cant remember it clearly. something like "a raise on a dry flop is always a bluff". maybe someone else knows the origin of this... but basicly you are raising when you dont really rep anything i guess.

as for how to proceed on the blank turn, personally i would assume i was ahead if villain is just calling and continue the aggression. especially since you havent 3bet pre there are lots of worse hands that will bluff catch.
• Bronze
Joined: 02.12.2009
Thank you very much you guys.

For example, with JJ in hand, you still have a higher chance to see lower card on turn (you have 37 lower cards that you haven't seen yet and 12 higher cards, the ratio is 3:1 basically).
That made obvious sense, faronel, thanks.

It's such a bummer being a noob in anything...