belrio42's avatar


524 points

River, you should just give up. In general, triple barreling with FDs isn't a good idea even vs regs, and a fish is mostly not going to fold enough here to make it worthwhile, given that all the draws missed (except 43s, which you probably don't even have in your preflop range -- I tend to limp behind with such hands instead of raising).

For advice as to how to think about these kinds of spots in general, the main idea is that you should think about your range, not just your hand. You will have a lot of suited connected stuff without a heart, and hands like JT or AJ or AT without a heart. Bluff with those hands first, instead of using this hand. You can also use a hand like A4s because it blocks the straight (it's not unheard of for fish to take this line with 43s).

Nov. 24, 2019 | 7:31 a.m.

Preflop is kind of marginal, but I think it's fine to call the 3-bet.

I think you should probably bet flop. When Villain checks on an Ace-high monotone flop in a 3-bet pot, he often has some kind of SDV. Your 6 is mostly not relevant for SDV, so it's good to turn it into a bluff.

I'm not sure betting turn makes a lot of sense. when action goes check/check flop, check turn. Villain likely has some kind of weak Ax, Qx or something like KK or JJ-99 with a club. I think you're not going to get many folds here, so you have to follow through on the river. That said, your SDV is likely even more worthless now, so I think it's good to turn this hand into a bluff. You don't block stuff like JJ-99 which will likely take this line. I think this hand is a better bluff candidate than KJ or JT, for example.

Nov. 24, 2019 | 7:15 a.m.

I do try to factor timing tells into my analysis. But they're often hard to apply.

The problem with tells is that one can justify any decision by saying that "I had a tell so I did X". Like all tells, one should tend to use timing tells to make marginal decisions. I think here QQ is too high up in our range to be considered a "marginal" call.

Nov. 19, 2019 | 6:58 p.m.

FWIW, I have run into extremely tight players who bet a ridiculous amount on flop/turn with AA, trying to stack overpairs here.

That said, I think that the way to use reads is to make decisions on the margin. Do you 4-bet KK preflop (I'm not familiar with 8-handed ranges)? If so, QQ is the best hand you can have here, so it's not a close decision to call here. It's dangerous to make some very out of line play based on your reads. Your reads can be wrong.

I'd just call it off. Calling is probably a smaller mistake (if it is one) than folding would be.

Nov. 15, 2019 | 3:28 a.m.

To see how much equity you need, you just calculate: bet size / pot size after you call. So you need 2.73 / 15.24 or about 18% equity to call. So if Villain is bluffing 30%, you will profit.

Also, keep in mind that Villain could be value-betting worse. It's not inconceivable that Villain is raising a non-nut flush here. If there's even a small chance that he's value betting worse (in addition to the cases where he's bluffing), it's pretty much always profitable to call.

In general, when you have the second nut flush, you typically should not be looking to fold.

Nov. 14, 2019 | 2:42 p.m.

While MP might be overfolding to 3bets, K5s is way too loose to 3bet against an MP open. Think of it this way: even if he's opening something like 25% of hands in MP, that would correspond to roughly a "normal" CO open. Would you 3-bet K5s against a normal CO open?

In general, while it's ok to take Villain tendencies into account, don't go overboard with trying to exploit them. The way to use your reads is to decide between marginal decisions. So, suppose it's really close between 3betting and folding this hand, then you can 3bet based on Villain tendencies.

Anyway, postflop seems well played. You could even 3bet the river, but calling is probably better. Min-raises on the river are usually nutted and rarely complete air.

Nov. 14, 2019 | 12:12 p.m.

Keep in mind that this was a 4-way 3-bet pot. MP led into the preflop aggressor and two people who cold-called a 3-bet, on a fairly dry board which is great for the 3-bettor's range. So, it's hard for MP to be bluffing here. I doubt that he pots the turn with AQ/AJ, though I suppose it's possible.

That said, it's very hard to fold TPTK when the pot is already so big. I'd say that folding is probably a bigger mistake than calling, but not sure.

Nov. 13, 2019 | 2:32 p.m.

I would tend to check flop.

Rest of the hand seems ok. I would probably look to fold river, but calling is fine. I would maybe bet A9s, maybe K9s on the flop with small size, so those hands would make better calls on the river. Having an 8 in your hand is not great, but not super relevant either because 87 will likely bet turn. That said, it's hard to find better hands in your range to call. Maybe something like QTs could take this line.

Nov. 12, 2019 | 4:24 a.m.

Why do you think Villain doesn't have AQ in his range? Btw, Q9s and 98s also make straights by the river.

I would find it very hard to fold top set. If you fold KK, you're also folding TT, 55, KJ, KT, AK etc. That fact doesn't really matter if Villain is never bluffing here. But it's hard to say for sure that Villain is never bluffing. It's also not inconceivable that Villain could be value-betting a worse hand (like JT or KJ or TT or 55).

Nov. 12, 2019 | 4:13 a.m.

OP seems very vague. "Every pot gets 3bet" seems rather excessive. Are you sure it's not just confirmation bias?

Assuming you're not exaggerating, if every pot gets 3bet, it just means that the blinds are mostly irrelevant. So you just play super tight and wait for good hands (and 3bet/4bet yourself with a linear range). There are also many other strategies possible, depending on how comfortable you are postflop.

Can't really think of any videos off the top of my head, I'm afraid. You can look at the "bluffing" section in Learning Paths for some ideas.

Nov. 12, 2019 | 3:59 a.m.

Your range on the river is probably Tx, flushes and some trapped overpairs and some trapped boats. You probably raise most of the trips on the turn.

You can fold JJ-KK and all Tx (except AT). If you only call with flushes, boats and trips, you probably don't have enough calls. Since both As and Ts are on the board, it's not possible to have AT with a spade.

He's representing 33, T9 and flushes (not sure that he'd donk full pot on flop/turn with all FD). So he probably has something like 10-15 combos of value here. If he bluffs QJ with a spade, that's already 8 combos of bluffs. Other reasonable bluffs (like 87) are also easy to find.

Against LAG player, I would try to avoid overfolding. So I would call.

Nov. 12, 2019 | 3:40 a.m.

The question is way too vague and broad. Give some details of the sims you ran.

As for videos on solver outputs, Diego Ramirez's videos are good. For a broader selection, you can look at the videos here in the "Tools for Online Play" section and "GTO strategy" section.

Nov. 11, 2019 | 4:26 a.m.

Probably range check OTF.

As played, you can't bet/fold because you have too much equity and the pot is too big. So just call and hope to see AK with a heart or JJ.

Nov. 9, 2019 | 5:16 a.m.

Getting 3-bet on the flop sucks. Hard to say anything definitively, but I feel most people underbluff when they 3bet the flop.

Unfortunately, Villain has a ton of value hands here. AA, AQ, JT, 99, 88. That's 24 combos. It's hard to find many bluffs for Villain. If he bluffs all 76s and 4 combos of KJ/KT (it's very unlikely Villain is taking this line with KJ/KT), he just has enough bluffs.

It's close either way. Sucks that we rivered trips.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 7:27 a.m.

If his range is QQ+, AK or even JJ+, AK, then it becomes a simple math problem. You need about 45% equity to call, while you actually have something like 42%. So folding is fine.

That said, some people do tend to 4-bet jam with AK while trying to get tricky with AA/KK by 4-betting to a smaller size, so it's quite close.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 2:02 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on nl 50z - AA vs raise

You want to bet smaller on the flop. The flop is very dry, and most hands cannot call a big bet. Checking is also fine.

I agree that this seems quite underbluffed, but BvB some people can go crazy. You know the player pool better than me, so use your judgement.

The river looks very scary, so he's likely to follow through with his bluffs on the turn very often. So I don't hate calling river.You do beat something like an overpair or 87s which can take this line. You also have the Ah, which helps.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 1:50 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on River Decision

3% 3-bet corresponds to something like QQ+, AK, AQs. Keep in mind that MP+2 squeezed an MP open and an MP+1 call. So his range should be very tight. The best hand he can have is an overpair.

Given this range, donking with top set isn't a bad play, but it can be hard to balance. That said, this situation is rare enough that you probably don't need to balance, and can just play your hand. If you do donk, something small like 1/3 pot should be enough.

As played, bet bigger on turn, and bet river. You basically never want to check with a set. Check/call is a line you take to induce bluffs. Villain's range has almost no bluffs here. If you value bet, Villain is never going to fold AK or AA, while he may be inclined to check with these hands sometimes on the river.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 1:40 a.m.

You should start from your range, then work from there.

As said above, mostly fold pre. 3betting is ok once in a while. You should generally only call KQo in the BB. Flatting in the SB can be ok in some cases.

Your flop comment is somewhat confusing. "Donking" is a term which is typically used to refer to a situation when a player leads from OOP when they're not the preflop aggressor. So, the flop bet is not donking, but just a normal c-bet. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with betting this flop small as the preflop aggressor. Villain has all the overpairs and most of the sets. You should generally not call preflop with 55 and 44 when in the CO facing an MP open. A lot of people do flat, but it's quite dangerous because you can get squeezed.

Just fold flop. You can continue with pairs, and Ax/overcards with a FD/backdoor FD.

It's hard to give advice on the turn/river because this hand shouldn't be in your range to begin with, but you should generally not fold top pair second kicker if you float the flop. You don't block the FD, which is good. And you don't block stuff like JTs, 76s and 87s which might bluff.

Nov. 1, 2019 | 3:33 p.m.

As Kuduku mentioned above, you should start with your range, and then see how this hand fits into it.

Flop call is fine, you can fold most hands without two overcards and/or FD/BDFD.

Turn is probably a fold. You can continue with bigger pairs like 99+, a Jack etc. Something like A6s also makes a better call than 77 because it blocks 66 and AA, and has better equity against Villain's value range (you can hit an Ace for two pair or 6 for trips). Having a diamond in your hand is also not good because it blocks some of the FDs.

In general, against LAG players you should try to give them plenty of rope with which to hang themselves. Don't go overboard trying to play a hand in a manner in which it shouldn't be played. Just play your ranges and be patient; make some small adjustments on the margin.

Nov. 1, 2019 | 6:32 a.m.

Well, theoretically speaking, 70 into 210 only translates to defending 75% of your range, not 100%. So, there is still some fold equity on the turn.

As for protection on the flop, only two cards are bad for you: Ace or King. That will happen less than 15% of the time, so a 80% pot protection bet doesn't make much sense to protect against.

In general, there's very little raising IP on the flop in 3-bet pots (because you can always get the money in on later streets). Especially on this flop -- it's so dry.

That said, because Villain chose a very weird size on the flop, I don't think that there's a big difference between calling and shoving here. If he's bluffing with something like A4s, I'm fine with allowing him to continue bluffing on the turn. He might have chosen this size to commit himself to calling a shove, however.

Oct. 31, 2019 | 2:52 a.m.

I would look to bet river -- something not too big. A straight might not bet, won't call a X/R; and a flush may raise you anyway, especially since you don't block the high flush cards and even the nut flush.

I think of the situation in the following way: someone having a straight is much more likely than someone having a flush (because it's four to a straight, and you already have two clubs), so you want to bet and get value from worse hands, rather than looking to get value from a small part of Villains' range. Also, as mentioned above, in the latter case, there's a decent chance that it's a high flush, so it might raise river anyway.

Oct. 29, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.

It's a weird line for sure. Betting huge 4-way does show a lot of strength.

But I don't understand your push/fold comment. What will pushing achieve which calling doesn't? UTG+1 doesn't have much left behind, so he's irrelevant. MP+1 is very unlikely to have a better hand than you here, if he has unpaired overcards; he's also very unlikely to have more than one overcard to your QQ (AK will likely 3-bet preflop). So he's mostly irrelevant too.

I would just focus on the BB. I think I just call here and see what happens. BB could easily be value-betting a worse overpair than you, given that this flop shouldn't hit almost anyone. Some people get really aggressive on paired boards, and you want to not overfold against a LAG-ish player in these spots.

Oct. 29, 2019 | 3:11 a.m.

These questions can only be answered using ranges and numbers. In the following, I'll assume that CO's range is weaker than UTG's range.

Let's start with an extreme case. If UTG always calls your 3-bet (no matter what the size) and CO also always overcalls, then all you need to do is to shove with a tighter range than UTG's opening range to make a profit.

Now, let's move on to the next step. Let's say your 3-bet to 10BB with 10% of hands (something like 99+,A9s+,A5s,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,AJo+,KQo); UTG calls with, say, 15% of hands; and CO overcalls with 30% of hands. Using Equilab, we find that your range has about 39% equity preflop. So, your share of the pot (in raw equity terms) is 0.39* 30.5 = 11.9BB. Since you put in 9BB preflop, you made a profit of 2.9BB.

Now, the next step. Since you're OOP to two players, you won't realize all of your equity. Let's say you realize 85% of that equity because you're OOP to two players. This is a reasonable number because while you're OOP, you also have a stronger range than both Villains. So your share of the pot is 0.85 * 0.39 * 30.5 = 10.11. Since you put in 9BB preflop, you have made a profit of 1.11BB.

Finally, you have to compare your profit to the case where you just flat preflop. Your range would be weaker here, so you'll realize less of your equity. But you're also only putting in 1BB into a 6.5BB pot.

All the numbers in this calculation are made up -- feel free to tweak the numbers in whichever direction you see fit. If you think your equity realization is lower than 85%, well, just 3-bet with a tighter range so you have more raw equity, and call more instead.

If you just look at a single hand instead of looking at your range, you'll just run around in circles without getting to a conclusion.

Oct. 23, 2019 | 9:35 p.m.

Oh, I didn't even realize -- you have Ah blocker, so the nut flush is impossible. That makes it an easy call.

Oct. 23, 2019 | 9:58 a.m.

OP seems rather vague and disorganized; it would help if we think about the situation systematically.

First, the UTG min-raise generally indicates a somewhat weak range. But not too weak: they opened from UTG after all.

The CO flat from the fish also indicates a fairly weak range.

You're in the BB facing a min-raise and a call, so you're getting very good odds to flat. Against a UTG min-raise, you can flat a lot of hands, and the fish will make a lot of mistakes postflop, so you want to see cheap flops in the BB. So flatting should be your "default" play, and you can call with a fairly wide range.

As for whether to 3-bet or not. You say that you don't have much fold equity preflop. If people don't fold to 3-bets, you can raise bigger with a tighter, linear range. If they don't fold if you raise to, say, 10BB, you can make it 12BB. It's not clear to me what you mean by the word "uncapped": are you assuming that UTG never 4-bets and flats his entire range?

Your postflop comments seem rather vague to me. You say that people don't fold to c-bets and you consider it a bad thing. Why? On a particular flop, if your range has more equity than Villain's range, then you want them to not fold -- because they're putting in money when they're behind. In this case, you just value bet relentlessly and bluff less.

Oct. 22, 2019 | 4:01 p.m.

What stakes is this?

BvB, both ranges should be pretty wide. Because Qh and Th are on the board, there aren't many flushes available in either of your ranges. A lot of the flushes in the range would be the nut flush. For Villain, lower flushes would often X/R flop or turn to get value/protection from hands with high heart. There's also a small chance that Villain is doing this with J9s (which flopped a lower straight).

For bluffs on the river, Villain can have random Jx or random hands with the Ah.

Since Villain's value range should be quite narrow (mostly nut flushes, and AJ which chops), it's not hard to find bluffs, and because we have a very strong hand, I would call here. People don't donk shove river too often in a 3-bet pot, so expect to lose fairly often; but we probably will win more than 30% of the time, which is enough to make the call profitable.

Oct. 22, 2019 | 1:55 p.m.

You should probably squeeze preflop, but calling is ok.

Probably fold flop. With a bet and a call ahead of you, at least one person likely has an Ace. You have the Th, so it's close, but I would just fold.

OTT, you should raise bigger. The "3 times Villain's bet size" is just a heuristic; it doesn't work when Villain bets tiny like this. You actually want to raise based on the pot size, because the pot size determines the odds you're laying your opponent. Raise something like 50% or 75% of pot, so that you have a comfortable shove on the river.

I don't know what BTN was doing on the turn: he probably deserved to get stacked.

Oct. 20, 2019 | 10:28 p.m.

[I don't know live. So this is just from my online experience.]

I tend to play pretty aggressive against recs IP. This not only includes recs in the blinds, but also limpers. The main issue when playing online is that recs also tend to buy in short -- in that case, I can't really put too much pressure on them postflop. But if some loose rec runs hot and is sitting with 200BB, and I'm IP; I tend to play pretty LAG against them.

The main theoretical argument here is that as long as your range is roughly equal or ahead of their calling range, you can isolate pretty wide. Being IP allows you to play a little bit wider because you will over-realize your equity, while also pot-controlling whenever you want.

Also, if other regs don't 3-bet you, you get to realize more equity. Be careful of other regs catching on that you're isolating wide, and then trying to 3-bet you aggressively. In general, though, I find that most TAG/nitty regs (the usual regs I find at my stakes) tend to just play their own game and don't adjust too much.

I tend to raise tighter when I'm OOP or in the blinds because I want to see cheap flops, and even with a strong range, it's often hard to play OOP against people who call too much.

As for what hands to use to widen your range against recs: as a general rule, against loose recs, you want to play more big offsuit cards (because they make better pairs and you'll have reverse implied odds less often), against tighter/straightforward recs you want to add in more suited connected/gapped hands. Pocket pairs and suited Aces are useful against everyone.

Oct. 20, 2019 | 3:29 p.m.

20/11 seems really nitty. What's his 3-bet range?

KQ is one hand which he will often have in the SB flatting range. You block KQ heavily, and thus it's more likely that he's bluffing. Yes, you block KJ as well, but it's more important to block value bets than it is to unblock bluffs. Consider that on the river, he needs to have 3 value to 1 bluff. Besides, you unblock all the FDs.

As for bluffs, he could easily have a random FD or even be value-betting something like JJ. There are only 4 combos of KQ, 3 combos of TT and 1 combo of 77, some of which might raise on one of the previous streets.

It's not hard to find 3 bluffs for Villain here. If he's ever value betting worse, like JJ or AT, it would be a big mistake to fold.

Oct. 20, 2019 | 1:11 p.m.

You might want to 3-bet somewhat smaller IP, but 3x is fine.

It's often a good idea to call 4-bets in position with JJ. You can often easily get to showdown and/or get away cheaply if the board runs out gross.

That said shoving can be fine against aggro Villains. We will probably not be ahead of their 4-bet/calling range, but if they 4-bet aggressively and call off tight, we'll scoop up a lot of dead money by shoving.

Oct. 20, 2019 | 12:52 p.m.

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