# The "Stop and Go" play

• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
The „Stop and Go“ play

Hey folks, in my first strategic article we will discuss the „Stop and Go“ play. In order to give you an idea of what this play means, and why it is worth knowing and using it, we will resolve some problems and find answers to the following questions.

1.What is the “Stop and Go” play?
2.When do we use it?
3.Why do we use it?

So what is the basic idea of this game play and why is it called “Stop and Go” ?
Well at first, it is called “Stop and Go”, because it is exactly described by its name. You are sitting in one of the blinds, and a guy in front of you raises. Now you STOP the action by just calling preflop, and GO again for the pot after the flop by shoving all your chips in.
That’s the point, you STOP the action preflop, in order to take the action and Go for the pot after the flop.

When do we use it?

This type of play can only be used under the following preconditions:
1.Your M is pretty low, perhaps 3-6.
2.You are sitting in one of the blind seats
3.You are heads-up against one single opponent
4.Your hand has to be good, but not a powerhouse (a pair of sixes is perfect)

Why do we use it?

This is the difficult part to understand. Many players would say: “wait sir! I have a good hand, my M is low, there is a big pot to be won, so I move all in preflop. If he folds…fine, and if not, I got a descent hand.”
That’s all true. But still, sometimes we have a better plan to just shove our chips in. To see why, lets look at this problem out of the raisers eyes:

You (MP3) have a stack of 10.000. The blinds are 250 and 500 with an ante of 25. With the blinds and antes, the pot contains 750+9x25=975 or to make it simple 1000. So you have an M of 10, not as good as you wish, but not bad either.
You look at your hand and deside to raise with your KJs to 1250 (2,5xBB). Everybody folds to the big blind, who has a stack of 3500 left.
Now we stop for a while and look at two different ways the hand can develope.
a)the big blind pushes all in. so now the pot contains his 3500+250(SB)+250(ante)+1250(yours) = 5250 and you have to call 2250. so you get 2,3:1 odds. Pretty easy call with almost any holding. Even against a pair of queens you`re doing fine (you win about 32% against the queens).
b)The big blind just calls your raise. The flop comes Q87 rainbow. The pot contains 1250+1250+250+250=3000. Now the big blind shoves his last 2250 in. Again the pot is 5250 and you have to call the 2250. But now there is a big problem. Your hand didn’t improve on the flop. So your chance of beating even a low pair like 22 is down to about 24%. Now you don’t have the odds you need to call this bet. Probably he is semi bluffing with a hand like 9Ts, 56s, JT and so on. But even against this type of hands your not a big favourite to win the hand.

Can you see it? When using the “Stop and Go” play, you use your bad position to create a problematic situation for the original raiser after the flop, instead of pushing all your chips in preflop giving him a pretty easy call with almost anything.
So you have created foldequity out of nothing

So now you can imagine, why your M has to be so low to make the “Stop and Go” play a usefull weapon. If your M is lower then 3, you have no fold equity no matter what – any raise against you commits the raiser to the pot. But when your M gets higher and higher, your fold equity grows steadily with your M when pushing all in preflop! So when your M is big enough (say about 5-6) and you think you have some foldequity, the best play might be to take the extra equity and push all in.
The “Stop and Go” play should only be used in situations, where you think you don’t have any fold equity preflop, but you might have some on the flop.
BUT BE AWARE! WHEN YOU USE THIS PLAY, YOU HAVE TO MOVE ALL IN ON THE FLOP, NO MATTER WHAT CARDS COME!
You might be afraid of a flop like AK3 when holding 66, but he might hold TT and fold to your apparently pair of Aces or Kings! True, he MIGHT hold an ace, but you were willing to put all your chips at risk with your pair of sixes, so go your way and see what happens! That play is not for chicken! And if you`re a chicken, just hold your hand on the screen and push all in “in the dark”

Remember, this plan only works if you are first to act after the flop! When he is ooP his continuation bet will destroy your plan! So only use this play if you are in the blinds! (be aware! When sitting in the small blind, the big blind is still left to act, and a simple all in preflop might be better, because of the chance your call will cause an overcall by the big blind)

Of course this play works best with ONE opponent. Against two opponents, the chance that the flop hit one of them is just too big. Just move all in preflop or fold.

To see why your hand has to be good, but not a powerhouse lets look at the situation above.
You are the big blind with 3500 left. The blinds are 250/500 with 25antes.
A guy sitting in MP3 raises to 1250 and you look at your cards. Aces. Bang! Jackpot!
Now you have read this article and think “well I make a stop and go play now”.
DANGER! DANGER!
The “Stop and Go” play is designed to create fold equity. Do you really want to create fold equity with a pair of Jacks or better? If so, insert another coin and try again!
So when holding a real powerhouse, which is a favourite against your opponents range, just go ahead and move all in. The “Stop and Go” play is used to make him fold on the flop, instead of creating an easy call for him preflop.
So with your best hands, just push all in! With your weak holdings, just fold. But with hands like 22-66, AJ, ATs, when you think you`re probably behind his range, go ahead and try the “Stop and Go” play. Its hard to defend against it although your opponent knows you are capable of this play, he can never tell if you hit the flop or not.

If i find a good sample hand next time i will convert it into this thread.

now i hope you got a good idea of he basic idea of this play and im ready for questions and other opinions.

plz forgive me my little grammar and spelling mistakes, im still just a kraut
• 43 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 14.06.2008
YOU HAVE TO MOVE ALL IN ON THE FLOP, NO MATTER WHAT CARDS COME!

Now you used the example of 66 in the article above so I'll also use pocket 6's in my reply...

So my question is your holding 66 in the bb. Unknown raises in CO. You think about that Stop and Go strategy grummeler just wrote an awesome article about.. So you cold call...

Now the magic happens flop comes 6A5 rainbow bliing bliiing...

Now you got a set so no need to Donk out to maximize fold equity am I right?... So basicly if I add this weapon to my arsenal of special moves... and somehow manage to flop a set... I check and allow him to cbet and go broke with his air am I right?

So move all in no matter what cards come cept when you hit something big am I right?

make it a sticky imo
• Bronze
Joined: 07.07.2008
Very nice article... I will be experimenting with this play... I do like the play and have used it before, however with a much better structured explanation and understanding now I think it can become a more deadly weapon... cool...

@ Hlynkinn... yeah, let him c bet... you want him to pay you off, so IMO act weak... I would not push the flop with a set... unless the board came up 6c 7h 8h and you needed to then protect your hand...

Question: what sort of ranges would suit this kind of play? Button is a big stack and raising 50% first in... would you stick within your normal calling range and adapt it to the marginal hands... or can you play a slightly wider range of hands?

Lets say your calling range with 5m is 22+, A2s+, A7o+, K8s+ KJo+, QJs+ etc etc... forgive me if its not perfect ICM, just pulled it out, but should be close... anyway, with the stop-and-go play could you adjust your range here to Ax, K7+ Q9+, 10 9s, 98s etc? Is this ok as you can create extra fold equity, or would you just prefer to play your A7o and avoid a showdown?

Thanks and looking forward to the discussion...

Nick
• Bronze
Joined: 15.07.2008
Originally posted by Hlynkinn
YOU HAVE TO MOVE ALL IN ON THE FLOP, NO MATTER WHAT CARDS COME!

Now you used the example of 66 in the article above so I'll also use pocket 6's in my reply...

So my question is your holding 66 in the bb. Unknown raises in CO. You think about that Stop and Go strategy grummeler just wrote an awesome article about.. So you cold call...

Now the magic happens flop comes 6A5 rainbow bliing bliiing...

Now you got a set so no need to Donk out to maximize fold equity am I right?... So basicly if I add this weapon to my arsenal of special moves... and somehow manage to flop a set... I check and allow him to cbet and go broke with his air am I right?

So move all in no matter what cards come cept when you hit something big am I right?

make it a sticky imo
Wouldn't this be very easily exploitable? I can see your point, but I would say shove with your really big hands as well to protect your bluffs.

Very nice article, thx grummeler
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by Hlynkinn
YOU HAVE TO MOVE ALL IN ON THE FLOP, NO MATTER WHAT CARDS COME!

Now you used the example of 66 in the article above so I'll also use pocket 6's in my reply...

So my question is your holding 66 in the bb. Unknown raises in CO. You think about that Stop and Go strategy grummeler just wrote an awesome article about.. So you cold call...

Now the magic happens flop comes 6A5 rainbow bliing bliiing...

Now you got a set so no need to Donk out to maximize fold equity am I right?... So basicly if I add this weapon to my arsenal of special moves... and somehow manage to flop a set... I check and allow him to cbet and go broke with his air am I right?

So move all in no matter what cards come cept when you hit something big am I right?

make it a sticky imo
hehe well thats a really hard question. because if you dont move in now with your good hands, people will start to notice. and there is another point woth mentioned.
if your opponent holds anything at all, saying an ace or a pair between 6 and A so 77-KK he will call your all in bet anyway.
probably he fill fold an KQ, a QTs or something like this. so a check on your part with a set on the flop isnt really a mistake but be aware that you cant use this too often !
betting your bad hands while checking your good hands is a behavior which can be easily exploited. so normalyy i would answer like this :

when flopping a top twopair or set with no good draws on the board, bet 70% of the time (against the passive opponents who are not keen on making a conti bet), and check 30% of the time (against the agressive ones who will fire a barrel anyway).

hope thats good enough
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by NickParkes

Question: what sort of ranges would suit this kind of play? Button is a big stack and raising 50% first in... would you stick within your normal calling range and adapt it to the marginal hands... or can you play a slightly wider range of hands?

Lets say your calling range with 5m is 22+, A2s+, A7o+, K8s+ KJo+, QJs+ etc etc... forgive me if its not perfect ICM, just pulled it out, but should be close... anyway, with the stop-and-go play could you adjust your range here to Ax, K7+ Q9+, 10 9s, 98s etc? Is this ok as you can create extra fold equity, or would you just prefer to play your A7o and avoid a showdown?

Thanks and looking forward to the discussion...

Nick
so, for sure you have to adapt your range to the opponent. if the raise came from an early position you have to tighten up your play. dont use AJ, ATs for the stop and go play, but go on using ANY pair. Remember that 2 highcards hit the flop only in 30%, so when seeing 5 cards your 50/50 but just seeing the flop leaves you way better

against a CO player with 50% attempt to steal i will use many hands for the stop and go play(if he is capable of folding on the flop!). BUT, a guy who raises this often, will fold many times to a preflop all in, because if he started raising with J8s, he might fold his hand with 2:1 odds or worse. so its really hard to tell. it depends on your stack ! so the larger your stack is, the lesser you want to play stop and go, because you have more and more fold equity with a larger stack.
against a lose steal raiser, go and push your really good hands (all hands that are ahead his range say like KJs+, ATo+) because you want him to call, and use only the low pairs for stop and go. because with a pair like 33 you dont want him to call beacause you will never be more then 50/50. and the better the chances that you are 50/50, the more you want to play stop and go.

phew i hope thats good enough. its so hard to tell, but basically,
Bigger stack -> tend to push
Lose opponent -> tend to push (because you want him to call with his crap hands)
tight opponent -> stop and go
big pairs -> PUSH !
low pairs -> stop and go
High uncoupled cards .... -> depends on opponent and stacksize

but thats just a rough way of making the decision.
• Bronze
Joined: 07.05.2008
Interesting , only read the OP but I had called this action the C-All-In

Works pretty killing but you have to have enough chips for FE
• Bronze
Joined: 02.07.2008
great post coach.

however there's one thing I don't understand, I saw a coach from the spanish forum doing a stop and go with AQo , now I'm kind of confused about that play.
• Bronze
Joined: 25.10.2006
Originally posted by grummeler

so, for sure you have to adapt your range to the opponent. if the raise came from an early position you have to tighten up your play. dont use AJ, ATs for the stop and go play, but go on using ANY pair. Remember that 2 highcards hit the flop only in 30%, so when seeing 5 cards your 50/50 but just seeing the flop leaves you way better

Isn't the StopNGo about choosing to play hands that have good equity when called? ie. high cards are good and small PP's vulnerable.

Eg. The flop comes Q72 and you open shove 55. If we suppose that 7x,Qx and 88+ all call then you are drawing to at most 2 outs. A9o has on average about 4 outs. In this particular example a lot of better aces might fold which would have otherwise called had you decided to shove PF.
• Bronze
Joined: 01.06.2008
interesting post
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by alejandrosh
great post coach.

however there's one thing I don't understand, I saw a coach from the spanish forum doing a stop and go with AQo , now I'm kind of confused about that play.
this depends from where the original raise came.
if the raise came from the cutoff, it is supposed to be stealraise, so i dont want to create fold equity on the flop with my AQ.
AQ beats his open raising range by far, so i will push all in preflop. he will get good ods, i want him to call, and i lose value by giving him a way out of the hand.

but if the raise came from MP1 and my opponent is known to be tight, the right play is to stop and go.
because now im NOT in front of his range with my AQ, and i do want to create fold equity on the flop.

so it is like it is in poker, every situation is different
• Bronze
Joined: 02.07.2008
thanks very much, i get it now.
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by Nunki

Isn't the StopNGo about choosing to play hands that have good equity when called? ie. high cards are good and small PP's vulnerable.

Eg. The flop comes Q72 and you open shove 55. If we suppose that 7x,Qx and 88+ all call then you are drawing to at most 2 outs. A9o has on average about 4 outs. In this particular example a lot of better aces might fold which would have otherwise called had you decided to shove PF.

No, its exactly the opposite.
If you have good equity vs your opponents hand range, you WANT him to call, so you push all in preflop giving your opponent irresistable 2:1 pot odds for calling with his weaker hand.
with a pair like 55 i DONT really want him to call, because in the best case, im on a flip. so i try to create another chance of winning the chips with the stop and go play.

if my hand is so good, like AK, TT or something in this range, i DONT want to make him fold. so i will push all in preflop. if i make this play with aces i can shoot the bullet in my own head
because stop and go creates a way, your opponent can fold!!! and with aces thats NOT what i want him to do.

in your example. true, you only have two outs if behind. BUT your opponent only hits the flop in 30% with two uncoupled cards !
so in 70% of the time he holds something like AT, or else, you are a big favourite to win!

with something like A9, you MAY be in front here. if not you might have 3 outs (the aces) to 6 outs (your opponent holds 66 or else).
of course your shove here on the flop will sometimes make an AJ,AK,AT fold (thats the only 3 aces you beat, that probably will fold). But i dont think, AK will fold here.
So only against AJ, AT you might get a fold on this flop.
dont suppose players to fold a AK, AJ or something strong like this very often.

if you deside the stop and go play is good for your hand, you deside it by guessing how good your hand works when 5 cards are dealt.

55 is 50/50 against nearly every steal raise right ? so if he holds QTs, KJo and so on, im 50/50.

A9 is often in front of a steal raise. against all steal hands lack opf an ace, your a favourite to win. against KJ you are 60/40 nearly, so pushing all in is better then creating fold equity.

against a normal raise, from MP, from a tight guy.... your A9 should go into the muck right away, because he will NEVER fold to an all in preflop, and his hand will be good enough most of the time to call your shove on the flop.

your 55 do far better. now of he calls on the flop no matter what, we are in fron of all his uncoupled cards in 70% of the time. against his pairs, we are about to be dead, but thats ok because there are far more uncoupled cards then pairs

i hope i got all arguments right now.

A9 is a troublesome hand! you MIGHT use it for a stop and go play, but its not as good for the stop and go play as the low pairs are.
• Bronze
Joined: 16.04.2008
Isnt the idea of stop and go to get villain to fold?
If so, why cant you play it with any two cards, so the flop comes all low, ie no paint or A, you shove?
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by rhinoneil
Isnt the idea of stop and go to get villain to fold?
If so, why cant you play it with any two cards, so the flop comes all low, ie no paint or A, you shove?
yep the idea is exactly explained
but if you argue this way, EVERY all in move with any two cards is getting plausible

1a. you can have the better hand when he calls you and your hand holds up (pocket pair vs 2 overcards)
1b. you are behind nut draw out on your opponent (AQ vs 99)

when you use this play with ANY two cards, your winning chances of 1a and 1b shrink with your cards.

of course, every all in move can be a winner, but you need good arguments for your bluff.

with 2 good cards, the arguments are easy, you have a good hand, a low M AND FINALLY!!!! this play is going to work often.

when you do this as a stone cold bluff, argument 1 and 2 are gone out the window, leaving you with just one argument.... that a bluff can work. and thats not what the STOP and GO play is about. of course this play has a great bluff part, but its based on good cards.
• Bronze
Joined: 25.10.2006
An old post that I dug up from somewhere. The repondee is a former worlg champ.

OP:

Pokerstars NL Hold'em tourney, 200\$+15\$, 201 entrants, 27 payed. 1st place 1s 11,055\$.

40mins into the tourney, Level III,
Blinds at 25\$/50\$, 154plrs left.

Stack size:
Seat 1: (290 in chips)
Seat 2: (4475 in chips)
Seat 3: (1515 in chips) Me
Seat 4: (2205 in chips)
Seat 5: (4205 in chips) Button
Seat 6: (375 in chips) SB
Seat 7: (2200 in chips) BB
Seat 8: (1605 in chips)
Seat 9: (1375 in chips)

Folded to mee. I have AKo on the CO and make a standard 5x the BB raise to 250\$, Buton re-raised 450\$ more to 700\$.

Now what?? He has me covered and as position on me. All I know about him is he won a couple pots pre-flop and on the flop by being agressive whit position.

If I fold, I'm left me whit 1,255\$ whit blind raising to 50\$/100\$ soon. Not a hopeless position.

Calling here leaves me whit 815\$ to see the flop on a 1,475\$ pot whit the blinds, trying to hit an Ace or King. I might call if i had more money to play whit and had position.

Moving-in seem the best option since I get to see 5 cards. And it "annouces" AA, KK or AK. So I now put the pressure on my opponent. If he have a big ace, I'm way ahead. Any PP is a 50/50 shot and he can't be sure I don't have Aces or Kings.

I moved-in, he called whit 88 and I missed. Got busted in 154th.

Was my conclusion correct? I found is calling whit 88 pretty weak but he got away whit it i'm out. Was it too early in the tourney to make such moves considering loose plrs are still in? A friend of mine insist I should have just called but I argued folding was better move then calling in that spot.

What would you have done and why???
thx.

Because of your chip count, you are in a tough spot. Given the positions, he can put you on a steal, so AK is too good of a hand to fold here, IMO. I think there are two viable plays, the one you made, and the stop-and-go.

The stop-and-go is to call now, and then bet the flop, even when you miss. This greatly increases your chances of beating a hand just like 88. When the flop comes J52, and you bet all-in, he'll have a tough call to make, as hitting that J or Q or whatever will often look very believable. If you are against AA or KK, you will get called and most likely lose, but that's no worse than getting it all in preflop. If he was playing a weak-mediocre A, and if he would've folded it preflop, then this play is bad if he hits that kicker and calls you postflop. However, in this case, given the size of your all-in compared to the pot, he is potstuck, really, and will probably always call.

The real loss in this play is when he folds a hand like AQ postflop, a hand which you're beating badly enough that you want him to call (the chips you win at risk are worth more than the certain chips if he folds). However, again given the size of your raise, while you want him to call with AQ postflop, you didn't want him to call preflop, and you can't have it both ways (very often).

One thing I would do is raise less preflop. Here you raised 1/6th of your stack. That is an awkward amount. If you had made it T150 preflop, and then got raised to T450 or so, you could've made a substantial reraise and he maybe folds preflop. Also, when you're stealing in the future, it works better if you can do it for less, and if you raise less with your good hands, this will disguise your steals.

Later, Greg Raymer (FossilMan)

For the records, Here's the board:

*** FLOP *** [9c 5c 5h]
*** TURN *** [9c 5c 5h] [Qd]
*** RIVER *** [9c 5c 5h Qd] [Jh]

He would probably have called a "stop-and-go" move on that flop but I understand the superiority of that play over pushing all-in right away. I'll had that weapon to my arsenal.

Thx again!

Since I wasn't there and all, I'm not saying that the stop-and-go was the better play this time. It might have been.

Remember that this play doesn't work if you're not first to act postflop. It also tends to work best when YOU have the small/medium pair, and suspect you're up against AK. One important thing to remember is do NOT change your mind. If you held 88, and the flop was AKQ, it is NOT the time to give up the play. This is when your 88 beat TT, because when you bet out, he'll give you credit for at least one of those cards, and he won't have anywhere near the odds to catch his 4-6 outs.

Three main things for the stop-and-go (at the least the all-in version). First, your hand is too good to fold preflop for the conditions. Second, if you reraise preflop it won't be enough to make them fold. Third, if you bet the flop it will be enough to make them fold if they miss.

Later, Greg Raymer (FossilMan)
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
weee this guy has stolen my article !!

hehe no, i think this is really good explained. he uses the same arguments as we did earlier in this thread.
• Bronze
Joined: 06.10.2008
Can this technique also be used when play is shorthanded, say when at the final table there are only 5 people left?
(and ofcourse the other requirements have been fulfilled)
• Bronze
Joined: 28.05.2006
Originally posted by lennert9
Can this technique also be used when play is shorthanded, say when at the final table there are only 5 people left?
(and ofcourse the other requirements have been fulfilled)
yep it can
but be carefull. at a short handed situation the starting hand requirements shrink. so people start to raise and call raises with less and less of a hand.

so the raising ranges of your opponents drop so you have to adopt to that. a hand like AJ becomes a clear all in preflop because his raising range willl drop so your ahead his range wherelese at a full ring your AJ was a good stop and go hand.

i hope this helps.
• Bronze
Joined: 25.10.2006
Originally posted by grummeler
weee this guy has stolen my article !!

This "article" is dated 2002 and is written by a WSOP main event winner.