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Hand Analysis 1

February 9th, 2017 by LD1977

In this HA article I will discuss a somewhat typical situation when playing from EP as preflop raiser:

  • we have a fairly strong hand on the flop, with good equity against any individual holding but not necessarily ideal against multiple opponents
  • we are facing multiple opponents (ouch!)
  • we are OOP
  • we decide that we want to get as much money in the pot on the flop

The big decision here is whether to simply make a continuation bet or try for a check-raise.

BTN: $19.21
SB: $10.00
BB: $10.00
Hero (UTG): $11.15
UTG+1: $4.28
UTG+2: $11.12
MP1: $10.97
MP2: $1.63
CO: $10.00

PreFlop: ($0.15) Hero is UTG with Qs Ks
Hero raises to $0.30, UTG+1 calls $0.30, 1 fold, MP1 calls $0.30, 1 fold, CO calls $0.30, 3 folds


This is a standard preflop raise, using a hand from the default EP opening range (mentioned in an earlier article).

We get 3 callers, which is far from ideal with a hand that:

  • does not make many nut hands (basically straights, flushes when the board is Axx in the suit, full houses and better)
  • has a fair chance to get dominated, which means ROI (reversed implied odds) situations waiting to happen

Flop: ($1.35) Kh 2s 3s (4 players)


This looks like a very good flop for us, but we need to be aware of some typical hand matchups:

  • we are ahead of all flush draws, but nut flush draws dominate our hand and being OOP means it is very difficult not to pay off with a second-best flush

Equity matchup: TPGK + flush draw vs. nut flush draw

  • we are currently behind TPTK hands, but have good equity (flush outs + 2P outs); however, it is not guaranteed we will extract value when we hit (again the OOP issue)

Equity matchup: TPGK + flush draw vs. TPTK

  • sets are way ahead of us, which means it is not profitable to stack off unless we manage to trap additional money from other players

Equity matchup: TPGK + flush draw vs. set

Worst possible scenario is when we face multiple hands that together completely crush our pretty hand:

Equity matchup: TPGK + flush draw vs. NFD, TPTK and a set

This doesn’t really happen that often, but when it does, people break keyboards 🙂 However, if we are really paranoid about such things, we probably need to revise our opening ranges (= throw out hands that get into these situations). I do not recommend that – in my experience suited Broadways turn profit from all positions.

In heads up situations I check my HUD to see what line is the best, but against 3 people this is too complicated. The only important stats are those that indicate nittiness. Nut peddlers will not pay off with weaker flushes + if they raise, it is always with the nuts.

Decision: bet (and hope for a raise) or check (and hope someone bets)?

In this case, I had no information on opponents (at that time I played 50NL but decided to test a new iteration of my HUD at a lower level), so I decided to check.

The reason for this is that normally someone will be tempted to take a shot at the pot (not necessarily with a legitimate hand), while people don’t really raise in a multi-way pot that often. I would expect a raise to be either a nut flush draw or a set.

Ideal scenario when checking would be to induce a bet from UTG+1 (who is short), followed by 2 calls. Then we just XR shove and stack off with a decent amount of money already in the pot.

Betting out would be good if we had a solid read on CO, which indicated that he either:

  • likes to go aggressive with flush draws, but not exclusively nut draws
  • overplays TPTK / overpairs on wet boards

This way we could trap money from UTG+1 (who is short) and MP1 before shoving over the CO raise.

It would also be a good idea to bet out against known opponents who will always raise with a set but will just call with a nut flush draw (there are quite a few regulars who do this). This way we can immediately find out where we stand and can safely bet-fold unless we have a good reason not to.

Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks, CO bets $0.90, Hero raises to $3.99, UTG+1 folds, MP1 calls $3.99, CO calls $3.09

Turn: ($13.32) 9s (3 players)
Hero bets $6.86 all in, MP1 calls $6.68 all in, CO calls $5.71 all in

Flush draws just hit, but good news is that not every time we will face the nuts here – and smaller flushes will never fold here if they decided to call the flop XR. It is also important to charge potential one-card nut flush draw (AKo), even though it is getting a good price here.

The fact that MP1 decided to check and then call a huge bet (with possibility that CO will jam after him) most often indicates a passive fish with a non-nut flush draw. I would definitely expect a set or nut flush draw to stack off here.

In cases where turn card is a brick, I would shove anyway and count on being paid by low flush draws enough times to be profitable.

River: ($32.39) 6d (3 players – 3 are all in)

Final Pot: $32.39
Hero shows Qs Ks (a flush, King high)
MP1 mucks Kd Kc (a top set)
CO mucks 5s 6s (a flush, 9 high)
Hero wins $1.85
Hero wins $29.08
(Rake: $1.46)


I fully expected to see a low flush from MP1, but he had a top set. It is fairly rare to see KK played like this (no 3bet preflop, no aggression post flop with top set), but his flop play is not completely ridiculous considering that he did draw in the CO with his baby flush draw. I would definitely make a note on him – he loves to slowplay very strong hands both preflop and postflop. I would not tag him as a fish after one hand, but would pay attention in the future.

CO is obviously a fish. He has one out to the nuts (straight flush), but he should expect to be crushed on the flop considering the strong line other two players took. Giving up a full stack on a 1-outer is not a winning proposition.

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