Hand poll

What's our action?

  • Check

    Votes: 31 41.9%
  • Bet

    Votes: 43 58.1%

  • Total voters
    74
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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This is based on a pretty important concept involving c-betting and the relative strength of your hand. I'm curious what type of responses we'll get here.

The hand in question:

6-max 200nl, 100BB effective stacks.

Hero opens for $7 from the CO with A♣J♥
Folds to an aggressive, thinking regular in the BB who calls.

Flop comes J♦10♠9♠

Villain checks.

What's our action (and plan) for the hand and why?

How do stack sizes affect our decision here?
 
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soccerfreakjj10

soccerfreakjj10

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i would bet out the flop about 3/4 the pot to the pot to protect against the many draws and to gain information on the villain's hand.

With the stack sizes so large, however, there is no way I am getting married to this hand. That is a very dangerous flop for top pair top kicker, a straight for example would have us practically drawing dead. Two pair or trips is a worry. Also that is an action flop, where it is likely by the end of the hand all the chips will be in the middle. No need to risk all that dough on TPTK imo.

If the villain comes back over the top, that would be a very tough spot. He could have a monster, but a smart thinking player like that could come over the top with a draw also. Regardless though the solid first bet is necessary.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

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I'm betting 1/2 to 2/3 the pot here. You didn't say what we opened for (3x the bb?), but assuming we didn't put too much in preflop, I'm not playing this hand big. Basically I'm trying to take it here and slowing down the rest of the way. I only play FR so I don't know how much 6-max should/would change my thinking here.
 
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Bentheman87

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I'd bet pot here and if he called, and a straight or flush card came on the turn I'd slowdown. If a blank came on the turn I'd keep betting aggressively. If he check raised on the flop, it's a tough decision but I'd call. If he keeps betting on the turn I might fold.
 
Steveg1976

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With Top pair good kicker against the blind who could have almost anything I bet the pot and call a shove I think. If he has the straight so be it other than that he is on a draw and worth a chance at stacking him.

If the BB is short stacked I pot it and reconsider to a shove, to me it would be way less likely he is pushing with air or anything that doesn't have us beat here. Just my $.02
 
jaketrevvor

jaketrevvor

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I disagree, I check behind.

The player is aggressive and on this flop we are going to get c/r-ed 95% of the time (the 5% being when vil has a lower pp). There are a gazillion draws who will c/r here and put us to a hard decision as even if our hand is good at this point it's shockingly vulnerable. Although made hands may have bet into us for protection I think vil can still easily be holding a straight, poss 2p, a set, and a tricksty overpair. In other words if we c-bet we put ourself to a very tough decision most of the time and get involved in a big pot with a relatively mediocre holding. Betting gets us too invested if we have deep stacks.

If a blank comes on the turn and it's checked to us again we can begin to comtemplate a protective bet.
 
tenbob

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We could treat this as a wa/wb situation pretty easily. Checking the flop and calling down light is certainly an option, this time however we are likely more slightly ahead or slighly behind. We can bet and fold to a sizable raise, we can bet and fold to any scare card on the turn.


Personally i try to reach showdown here cheaply. Check.
 
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WhatItDew

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I would make a pot sized bet here. I am relatively certain that I am ahead here, but I want to eliminate any drawing hands. I want a call from a weaker Jack, but I want to take away pot odds for the drawing hand.
 
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Bentheman87

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Jake I think that approach is too defensive, you're only thinking about the hands that beat our AJ not all the hands we are beating. And before we see the flop its good to try to narrow down his possible hands. We raised from late position so he knows we might not have much of a hand, he was in the BB so he was getting better odds to call with a weaker hand, and he's aggressive so that's more reason to think he called with a weak hand. But he didn't reraise so I don't think he has AK AQ or AA-1010 here. If he flopped a set or two pair wouldn't he bet though to protect his hand against all those draws?
 
jaketrevvor

jaketrevvor

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Jake I think that approach is too defensive, you're only thinking about the hands that beat our AJ not all the hands we are beating. And before we see the flop its good to try to narrow down his possible hands. We raised from late position so he knows we might not have much of a hand, he was in the BB so he was getting better odds to call with a weaker hand, and he's aggressive so that's more reason to think he called with a weak hand. But he didn't reraise so I don't think he has AK AQ or AA-1010 here. If he flopped a set or two pair wouldn't he bet though to protect his hand against all those draws?

Firstly, aggressive doesn't mean loose. Secondly, as a "clever player" he could be disguising the strength of his hand so I think overpairs etc. are very possible (although purely statistically less likely). Thirdly I don't think he needs to bet to protect his made hands as generally we are going to c-bet this flop (or so vil thinks ;)) for protection with any typa hand we'd raise with pf. And to return to the beginning of this post, we are not losing any value from the hands we are currently raping by checking behind - in fact we're gaining value from them as they could bluff at us later on. So there is no purpose in betting and defensive play is often correct in these kind of wa/wb situations (although as tb pointed out the "way" is not really the applicable word)
 
zachvac

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Although we can be pretty sure we're ahead here, I'd check behind just for the fact that you say we're playing a thinking opponent. If we're playing against just your everyday bad player the check probably means "I missed or am scared of the flop, please bet and then I'll fold". Although it also depends on our image as well, and what our opponent thinks we think of him. I'm thinking that if he has any kind of straight or flush draw he bets that right off, but even a straight would want to bet because of the flush draw out there, so either he flopped an absolute monster (straight with a flush draw?) or he completely missed it. Either way here we don't want to be betting here.

Furthermore, the thinking part comes into play more here. If we bet here, what's he going to think? Would we bet a straight? Maybe, but that's about the only hand we could have where we would not be scared of getting our money in. He's already checked, so we'd probably check behind with a draw (unless we have a very strong draw which could perhaps be ahead at this point). So if I'm that other person (we already know he's aggressive), I'm check-raising here to a bet on this kind of board. Again our image is important here as well, but against most people he could easily check-raise this, putting us on a hand very similar to what we do have.

So I think we have to check behind. Now at this point, facing an aggressive player, it's very likely he'll bet this turn no matter what comes. As long as it's a reasonable bet and another scary card doesn't come (3rd spade, 4 to a straight) we can then call this bet. On the river you can't believe he'd fire another bullet without a hand beating ours, so we can fold to pretty much any river bet, although all of this is also read-dependent. Most likely our position pays off and we get a check on the river which we can then check behind and see just what kind of hand he had for relatively cheap.

So I check the flop with the intent to call a turn bet and fold to a river bet.
 
gord962

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We could treat this as a wa/wb situation pretty easily.
I don't think this fits into WAWB. There are a ton of drawing hands out there that keeps us from being WA.
we are likely more slightly ahead or slighly behind
I agree completely. My opinion is to keep the pot small here. I would definitely fire a bullet here, but keep the bet to 1/2 the pot so you can easily get away if you are check-raised or a dagger falls on the turn. I think checking the flop would be bad as playing an agg player leaves you open to them leading the turn and not being able to control the bet size. This may cause you to fold the best hand only because they read weakness on your check on the flop.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Great discussion here, guys. The poll is still close so I'll wait a bit more before posting what I've recently come to understand is the 'standard' line in this situation, and why.

Here are some of the key things to consider in this hand:

-How likely is our hand to be best here on the flop?

-How good is our equity in this hand vs hands that ch-raise? ie how likely is our hand to hold up in a showdown if we were to get it all in?

-What sized pot do we want to aim for here?

-What are the possible mistakes we could make in this hand?

-From all this, what's our ultimate goal for the hand?
 
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switch0723

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I also check behind, fearing a check raise from an agressive player with a draw. I just think controlling the size of the pot is the best option here. If villain bets turn, i call a non straight card on the turn. If villain checks turn i bet out. But i think we need to check behind here to avoid getting into a big hole with just top pair.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

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I don't hate a check behind here, but I almost always c-bet against a single opponent, if I hit or not. If I'm check-raised here (likely) I'll fold. Basically, I'm betting to win the hand right now or end my involvement. Maybe I'm just setting myself up to be bluffed though so I'm interested to hear what you have to say the "standard" play should be.
 
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Bentheman87

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Against several opponents I like checking here because of the combined possibility that we're beat and that someone will draw out, but against just one player we need to bet here so he doesn't get a free card to draw out. TPTK against one opponent is very likely the best hand, but he most likely at least has an open ended straight draw or gutshot straight draw.
"Great discussion here, guys. The poll is still close so I'll wait a bit more before posting what I've recently come to understand is the 'standard' line in this situation, and why.

Here are some of the key things to consider in this hand:

-How likely is our hand to be best here on the flop?

-How good is our equity in this hand vs hands that ch-raise? ie how likely is our hand to hold up in a showdown if we were to get it all in?

-What sized pot do we want to aim for here?

-What are the possible mistakes we could make in this hand?

-From all this, what's our ultimate goal for the hand?"

Our hand is likely to be the best hand on the flop.

This is where it can get tricky. Even if we do have the best hand on the flop, there's so many hands he can have with so many outs that will make his hand the best hand. For example, if he has Q 5 suited in spades, he doesn't have anything now but he's over 50% to win against our hand. If he has Q9 he's only a little worse than 50% to win. If he has K3 suited in spades he's just about 50% to win.

Probably the worst mistake we could make is falling in love with our hand on the flop and getting ourselves all in in a tossup situation.

I think the best goal is to not get the pot too big and don't go broke. And try to show it down on the river if we get that far.
 
OzExorcist

OzExorcist

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I think I check behind here.

There's the potential to lose a very big pot if we screw this up, so I like checking to keep the pot small. I think we want a cheap showdown, not a big pot.

We don't have a lot of info on villain's hand here, but if we c-bet and they do anything other than instafold we'll only get one additional piece of information: that we're in a dangerous spot. Which we can pretty much assume anyway.

Of course, if I'm actually in the hand I probably get a rush of blood to the head and say "Woo, TPTK, bet three quarters of the pot!" - but I'd look back at it afterwards and wonder why I didn't just check :p
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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lol, believe me, I've only just looked into this and in the heat of the moment probably still bet it.

I know I only posted this a few hours ago, but we've already got tons of responses and I think we can talk about what the 'correct' answer should be: to check, mostly for reasons already mentioned. This is what's called a BA/WB situation (ie barely ahead/way behind). Similar to wa/wb in that we want to control the pot, but different in other ways.

One reason we're checking behind here is to keep the pot small; we don't want to build a big pot here since any hand that villain is putting in lots of chips with will likely either have us dominated (ie WB), or will be a hand that is drawing to significant outs (ie BA). If we wait until the turn to put a bet in, we a) take a lot of fold equity away from big draws, and b) buy ourselves a lot more equity in the pot.

For example let's use QJs:

On flop:

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 37.121% 36.06% 01.06% 357 10.50 { AdJc }
Hand 1: 62.879% 61.82% 01.06% 612 10.50 { QsJs }

On turn:

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 59.091% 59.09% 00.00% 26 0.00 { AdJc }
Hand 1: 40.909% 40.91% 00.00% 18 0.00 { QsJs }

Now I'm no LHE guru, but there's a somewhat similar situation in SSHE where the author talks about waiting with TT until the turn to raise since the equity jump from flop to turn is so high. Just something to think about.

Regarding giving a free card, that definitely is a problem, but not as big of a problem as stacking (or building the pot for a stack) with TPTK here. We're essentially giving up a free card in exchange for keeping the pot small here, which is much more important.

Now what happens if we bet:

Villain checks, we bet ~$11, villain raises $35, we are feeling stuck.

For all we know, we could be up against a made hand, a big combo draw like Q♠J♠ or an outright bluff here. Now we have three very ugly looking options: fold what is possibly the best hand in what is now a pretty big pot, call and give him the advantage in the hand, and 3-bet with a hand we could be drawing near-dead with. None too appealing.

I think the default line should be to check behind, and usually bet when checked to on the turn, or call a turn bet if it's non-scary. By checking, we not only control the pot size, but induce bluffs as well. The river is where it might get tricky, but we'd deal with that when we got there by figuring out how likely villain would be to double barrel bluff based on stats etc.
 
EthanVK

EthanVK

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You said it b4 i could Chuck. (and well put)

My reasons for checking would be that this is a coordinated flop being that there are straight, flush, and the almighty straight flush possibilities out on the board. Being that you have TPTK you definatly want to limit your losses on this hand and keep the pot small. It is best to win a small pot rather than lose a big one.

p.s. I'm not much of a numbers guy when it comes to poker on figuring mathematics on making a hand, but my gut would be telling me that there is something fishy here
 
gord962

gord962

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Normally I agree here Chuck, but with the villian coming in from the BB I disagree. If this is any other position I have a bit of concern, but here I am taking my chances as he could be on anything. If you can take the pot down for ~$7 take the chance. He has to be on a draw to call and if he cane in with 6h7h, which is just as likely as QsJs I take my chances he as he will fire on the turn and we just might be folding the best hand now that he knows the board scared us. If he c/r we can fold, if he calls he will prob check again on the turn and we have bought ourself a free river card as we can now check.
 
reglardave

reglardave

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I bet here. I don't hate the check behind, but it doesn't gain you any insight. It's a scary flop, but against the BB, I take my shot with TPTK.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Re: your first post, Gord, we're not folding to a turn bet unless it's on a big scare card, like a king, 8 or Ks/8s etc. Similar to the wa/wb hand with KK on say an A72 flop, we're checking behind with the intention of calling any turn bet and reassessing on the river.

He has to be on a draw to call and if he cane in with 6h7h, which is just as likely as QsJs I take my chances he as he will fire on the turn and we just might be folding the best hand now that he knows the board scared us.

Well then why are we betting? We want to induce bluffs with the hands we beat...

A check-raise is much more likely to push us off our hand than a ~3/4 pot bet would on the turn (had we checked behind). As was mentioned we should be calling a good number of the turn cards anyways.

If he c/r we can fold, if he calls he will prob check again on the turn and we have bought ourself a free river card as we can now check.

Not really getting you here, Gord.

If he ch/r, we can get pushed off the best hand. QJ/KJ/FDs/straight draws/bluffs are all possibilities - a good aggressive player doesn't need to have much to ch-r here. Also fwiw he's rarely check-calling with any of his hands here - with a made hand he'll ch-r to build the pot, as will he with a draw (also for FE).

Also, why do we want a free river card? We're not drawing or anything...

Pots grow exponentially depending on how much is bet on each street or even whether someone does bet on a street.

ie we bet $7 pf, villain calls, pot is now $15.
We bet $11 on flop, villain raises to $35, we call. Pot is now $85.
Villain bets any significant amount on turn, and we feel too involved with a marginal TP. We're stuck again.

Now my way:

We bet $7 pf, villain calls, pot is now $15.
We check behind on flop.
Villain bets turn for $11, we call. Pot is now $37.
Villain checks riv, we check behind
OR
Villain bets $30 on riv, we decide based on stats how likely it is he's bluffing and call/fold.

Would like more arguments from those who disagree! Debate is always good :)
 
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ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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I bet here. I don't hate the check behind, but it doesn't gain you any insight. It's a scary flop, but against the BB, I take my shot with TPTK.

yarg!

Why is it that information is so much more valuable to some of you guys than actual value?
 
B

Bentheman87

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You guys who are saying to check are acting like we're on the draw and he already has a made hand. It's the opposite, we have a hand and need to make him pay to draw out. If he has the nuts then so be it. If you don't want to bet on this flop, then why would you bet on the turn or river, or call a bet on the turn or river? It doesn't make sense if you plan to check on the flop then just call a bet by him on the river. We don't really have many outs and we have no draw, but he could easily benefit from free cards while we can't. That would only make sense if we were the one with the draw.

Really I think either checking on the flop or betting is fine, but my personal preference is a more aggressive style and to bet on the flop. For example, say in this same hand we have KK or QQ and the flop comes A 8 2. Some players with a conservative style would probably check here while others with a more aggressive style would bet and I think both are fine plays, but I would usually bet here.
 
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