Interesting Poker Hands brought to you by arscholio


Preflop: Hero is MP3 with A:diamond: , J:diamond:
2 folds, [color:#FF0000]UTG+2 raises[/color], 2 folds, Hero calls, CO calls, 4 folds.

Flop: 8:club: , 6:diamond: , J:heart: [color:#0000FF](3 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]UTG+2 bets[/color], [color:#FF0000]Hero raises[/color], CO folds, UTG+2 calls.

Turn: K:diamond: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
UTG+2 checks, Hero checks.

River: 3:spade: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#FF0000]UTG+2 bets[/color], Hero calls.

Hero has AJs and calls the open raise from UTG+2 cold according to the SHC. We are 3 handed on the flop and hit top pair, top kicker and a backdoor flush draw.
This hand must be protected since it can still be overtaken and the opposition surely has some outs against us. We raise the PFA's continuation bet and bring the CO behind us to folding while UTG+2 merely calls the raise.

Things get tricky on the turn. We get the nut flush draw, but it is now probable that we are no longer ahead.
Even though our hand looks very strong, a check behind is the better choice for the following reasons:
- If we are ahead, Villain will typically have at most 3 outs against us since we dominate aces with two pair and gutshots or Q's lack an out against us because of the flush draw. So we don't need much protection.

- After an early position raise, we are frequently no longer ahead on this turn and will be happy to get to the showdown cheaply.

- We cannot fold to a raise from Villain because we still have the flush draw and would have to make a crying call on the river to make sure Villain isn't semi-bluffing. We'd pay 2BB more if we're behind.

- We can induce a bluff bet on the river from worse hands that would have folded the turn or get a crying call from A high after we show weakness on the turn.

- There are only a few worse made hands thinkable that would call us down so we can seldom make double value bets.

We have to call the bet on the river because he could be bluffing after we showed weakness on the turn, or he could be making a value bet with a weak made hand.
If it's checked to us, we can make a value bet.

We don't make a freecard raise on the flop, rather we raise for protection and value. On other turns, of course, we would have played value bet/calldown.


Preflop: Hero is UTG+2 with 4:diamond: , 4:club:
UTG+1 folds, Hero calls, 3 folds, CO calls, BU calls, SB folds, BB checks.

Flop: (4,50 SB) 4:heart: , J:heart: , 2:heart: (4 players)
BB checks, Hero bets, CO folds, BU calls, BB folds.

Turn: (3,25 BB) 9:heart: (2 players)
Hero checks, BU bets, Hero calls.

River: (7,25 BB) 2:diamond: (2 players)
Hero checks, BU bets, Hero raises, BU 3-bets, Hero caps, Bu calls.

Here is another situation where it's good to play the turn passively despite having the initiative. We've hit a set in an unraised pot on a one suited board.
We must bet this hand since it is so vulnerable and we want small hearts to fold and to get value for what is almost always the best hand. We get a single caller.
Another flush card shows up on the turn and now any heart will beat us, but we still have 10 outs for the full house/quads if he has a flush.

What do we gain by betting here?

Very little-

- once again we'll seldom get calls from worse hands and it is unlikely that anybody would still be calling down a pair here.

- again, the opposition has few outs against us if his hand is worse. He'll usually be drawing dead and can make at best a split pot.

- we can't fold to a raise here either since we have 10 outs to a full house/quads and will only fold (unhappily) on the river if we do not improve.

- we have good chances to induce one or maybe even two bluffs from hopeless hands.

The conditions are similar to those in hand 1, so again we have one of the rare situations where it is better not to bet the turn with the initiative and a made hand. Since we are OOP, this means playing check/call.

Our full house comes on the river and we check/raise for the following reasons:
- Villain must value bet any heart and cannot fold to a raise

- we want any bluffers to keep on bluffing

- if we donk, only the nut flush will raise us and so we won't be able to play bet 3bet.

- if Villain has the nut flush, he'll often 3-bet our check/raise and we can cap (takes a somewhat thoughtful player).

We almost always have the best hand here since higher sets would have been raised on the flop and would also not have bet on the turn. For this reason, it's correct to cap the river.

To sum up this topic: bluff induction has more value in relation to protection as the pot becomes smaller. And the other way around – the larger the pot the more expensive it is to give a freecard.


Preflop: Hero is UTG+2 with K:spade: , K:diamond:
1 folds, Hero raises, 2 folds, MP3 calls, CO calls, BU calls, 1 folds, BB calls.

Flop: (4,50 SB) K:heart: , J:heart: , J:diamond: (4 players)
BB bets, Hero?

Hero raises from early position with KK and gets 4 callers.
The flop couldn't be better, we flop the nut full house and only a very improbable JJ can beat us.

BB donks into us – raise or call?
In the beginner section we advise against slowplay because too many hands require protection or because it gives up value.

Here, however, we have a situation in which it is clearly better just to call.
The main reason is that we don't ahve to protect since almost all hands are drawing dead against us. Only a jack has an out and we can neglect straight and royal flushes because they are so improbable.

A protection raise will only cause hands with outs against us to fold due to incorrect odds.
Since we can no longer be overtaken, we hope that as many players as possible stay in the hand and to be paid off by an expensive second best hand.

Since we are up immediately after the flop donker, we would confront the field with 2 bets. Gutshots, backdoor flushes, aces, middle made hands – all of these could be driven out and we don't want that: Hero calls.

Assuming all the players behind us fold, if the BB bets into us again on the turn we should raise directly instead of waiting until the river.

A pure bluff can be ruled out here. Against all other hands, a raise on the turn is better than waiting until the river.

- We lose value agaisnt J or KJ if we wait until the river since we might be able to raise/cap both turn and river.

- The same is true for a flush draw or OESD since he will call the turn raise but often play c/f on the river otherwise.

- The king might call down a turn raise, but otherwise play c/c river.