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# Best of ... Sample Hands - Part V (Full Ring/10 max)

• Bronze
Joined: 24.01.2006
This time there are 2 examples on the topic:

- Flush draw on the flop against one opponent. Aggressive or passive?
- When should you use check/raise and for what reasons?

Preflop: Hero is UTG with T , J
Hero calls, [color:#666666]6 folds[/color], [color:#FF0000]BU raises[/color], [color:#666666]3 folds[/color], Hero calls.

Flop: (6.00 SB) 4 , 8 , Q
Hero checks, [color:#FF0000]BU bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]Hero raises[/color], BU calls.

Turn: (4.00 BB) 6 [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]Hero bets[/color], BU folds.

Hero limps according to the SHC with JTs from early position. The button raises, the blinds fold and we call.

We flop a flushdraw and now have 3 possibilities for playing it: c/c flop c/c turn, c/r b/c, c/c c/r.
All three are optimal in different situations
As usual the way to the perfect line is via your evaluation of your own hand combined with the hand range of your opponent and estimation of how he will play various hands on this board.

It’s clear that we could call the flush draw on the flop and turn according to odds and outs, but we cannot raise for value. As you know, this is only possible with more than 2 opponents (on the flop).

But when does it make sense to play aggressive anyway in HU?

It’s always when we have good chances to win the hand without going to the showdown and when we can bring better hands to folding, so that the extra investment of 1-2 small bets is justified.

This is the case here:
Villain’s hand range on the flop is very large according to his bet; his button raise against just one limper could be made with any number of hands. Of these, we are behind nearly all of them, but many of them will still have missed the flop.
The best way to play is, therefore, check/raise flop (we can be sure that the PFA will bet the flop if we check) followed by a turn bet. This will generate a lot of fold equity on this flop.
If the opponent is not a hardened calling station, the Q will scare him and he’ll have to fold better hands like AK, AJ, AT, A9, KJ, KT, K9s, 77, 66, 55 on the flop, or the turn at the latest.
If we are 3-betted, we’ll have to play on according to odds and outs, meaning we call down and fold unimproved on the river.
Why don’t we donk bet the flop?

Such donks are raised by many players on principal when they are the PFA. We generate less fold equity and only save one small bet if we are raised as opposed to the situation where our c/r is called.

Why don’t we play c/c flop and c/r turn?

This is a poor mode of play on this board for the following reasons:
- Villain won’t bet the turn; ace high in particular is likely to check behind on the turn and call a river bet.
- If he bets the turn, he’ll often have the queen and our fold equity will drop.
- We’ll pay one extra big bet to see the river if we are 3-betted as compared with c/r flop, bet turn.

2)

Preflop: Hero is MP with A , 9
UTG calls, [color:#666666]2 folds, [/color] [color:#FF0000]Hero raises[/color], [color:#666666]3 folds, [/color][color:#FF0000]BU 3bets[/color], [color:#666666]2 folds[/color], Hero calls.

Flop: (6.00 SB) 4 , 8 , K
Hero checks, [color:#FF0000]BU bets[/color], Hero calls.

Turn: (4.00 BB) 6 [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
Hero checks, [color:#FF0000]BU bets[/color], Hero calls.

River: (4.00 BB) J [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
Hero checks, [color:#FF0000]BU bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]Hero raises[/color], Bu calls.

Here we raise A9s according to the SHC after one limper. BU 3-bets us, UTG folds, and Hero is once again OOP with a flush draw on the flop.

It’s not good to show aggression on the flop or turn with this hand. The hand looks similar to the first, but while the conditions in hand 1 were sufficient for a move, here they are not.
Villain’s hand range is completely different and there are far fewer hands likely that we could get to fold.
The 3-bet from the button after an isolation raise (we raise despite the limper, so we isolate him) from us will usually only be made by premium hands.
With his range, he will surely have hit this flop or at least have a hand that he won’t fold.
AQ is really the only hand that could fold and even that one will not always be 3-betted pre-flop.
QQ and JJ will rarely be brought to folding.
On the other hand, most of his probable hands will 3-bet us or raise on the turn and take us to the bank: AA,KK,AK,(KQ).
So a check/raise has no value here.
Therefore, we play c/c flop and c/c turn.
We hit the flush on the river.
This is a situation where we check/raise.

What is necessary to check/raise on the river?

Hero does not have this initiative, improves on the river, and we can estimate the opponent to have a hand that makes the following probable:
- We have the best hand
- The opponent will rarely check behind
- He will call most raises
- He will rarely raise a donk (otherwise donk/3-bet is better)

This is the case here. All plausible hands except QQ and AQ (which would often have checked behind on the turn), will be bet for value and must call our raise.
If the flush was hit, a donkbet from Hero will seldom be raised.

3)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with T , Q
Hero calls, [color:#666666]2 folds[/color], MP calls, [color:#666666]2 folds[/color], [color:#FF0000]BU raises[/color], [color:#666666]3 folds[/color], Hero calls, MP calls.

Flop: (6.00 SB) 8 , T , 2
Hero checks, MP checks, [color:#FF0000]BU bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]Hero raises[/color], MP folds, BU calls.

Turn: (4.00 BB) 6 [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]Hero bets[/color], BU calls.

River: (4.00 BB) T [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]Hero bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]BU raises[/color], Hero calls.

Hero limps with QTs from UTG, MP calls and BU raises.
The flop brings us top pair, top kicker.
This is a very vulnerably hand since every J, K and A makes higher pairs probable and both straight and flush draws are possible.

We must protect.

In this hand, we do this with a check/raise because of our position relative to the pre-flop raiser. It is not likely that MP will donk and that the PFA will bet every flop, so we check and raise the continuation bet from the button to confront MP with 2 bets.
This spoils his odds for e.g. a gutshot or a 5 outer (smaller pair than ours).

Example:
MP has 87 and has 5 outs to two pair/trips against us. He needs odds of 8.4:1 to call profitably.
If we donk the flop, he'll get 9.5:1 for a call and can make the call correctly.
But if we check/raise, he'll only get 12.5:2 on a cold call, that is, 6.25:1.

-> If he folds, we've improved our chances of winning the hand since he can no longer overtake us.
-> If he calls in error, it is directly profitable for us.

Of course, we value bet on the turn since we must assume we are ahead after nobody 3-bet us on the flop.
The second T and a flush draw show up on the river. Of course, we must value bet again since we'll beat even overpairs played too passively.
Villain raises us, and we call.
He'll often have the flush, sometimes a T, sometimes better sometimes worse than ours. A reraise is out of the question, as is a fold. We only need to be ahead in 1 of 11 cases to call profitably.

River: (4.00 BB) 6 [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]Hero bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]BU raises[/color], Hero calls.

We would value bet against A high or pockets for every river that doesn't put an overcard on the board
With such a large pot we'd also have to call a raise, even if we're probably behind.
• 2 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 02.02.2007
Very nice post Stefan- helped me a lot when to check/raise and when to check/call
• Bronze
Joined: 24.01.2006
The next interesting hands will follow soon