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Cbet or no?

napncrash Posts: 177Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Here we go!

You have AhKd in the BB. You have $600. Image is neutral.

Limper from MP, then a brand new player makes it $25 including his $5 post ($500 to start). The SB calls the $25 (has you covered).

You raise it to $100 straight. (feel free to comment on that bet sizing)

First limper folds, but both other players call. You are now sandwiched, $300 pot, AhKd.

Flop: JJ4, two hearts. The SB checks.



  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber

    I definitely like raising a bit more from the blinds.. I also like a squeeze with AK .. that said I think your raise is a bit big.. I think a raise to 75 or 80 is better.. That gives you wiggle room with post flop play .. Original raiser probabaly has a hand like yours or a pair of Tens or 9s.. I would have thought Jacks in his range too but with two jacks on board naturally I discount that.

    I would only cbet this flop if these two players are the type to basically fold everything but a J or 4s full, ie they wont continue on with a pair.. If this is true you can bet relatively small too.. Maybe only 125 or 130..

    If the players wont fold pairs then I think checking is fine.. with the intention of its it checked through to potentially make a delayed cbet if a scare card comes.. There is quite a lot of money in the pot and I dont think if the other two players have a J they would slowplay given the pot size and the potential heart draw.

    If the turn comes a baby card and these are the type of players that wont fold then I am pretty much giving up.. AK is a pretty hand but I think it could be a spew just betting knowing you wont get anyone to fold..

  • napncrash Posts: 177Subscriber
    Hey Wendy,

    You have to figure at least one of these guys has a reasonable pair... my raise is big without a huge amount of money behind... so their range, if they're at least average level players, has to be pretty small unless they're looking at making a play on me, but again, what kind of play can they make when MY range is pretty narrow as well (and not a ton of money behind...) For them to ship with say 99 here is just handing my AA or KK their whole stack. And I have a hard time putting a J in their hand after they call this raise.

    The original raiser is literally playing his first hand and I've never seen him before. Late thirties, normal looking guy. No read. The SB is late 20s, hasn't been too terribly active so far. Seems confident, but I'm not seeing him play in a way that would make me think he's out to make plays, take super non-standard lines, etc etc.

    So with that said, that ONE of them probably has a decent pair... maybe even QQ. I see QQ flatted preflop A LOT... flatting raises and/or reraises. I'm seeing a lot of people play JJ and QQ quietly preflop and then going berzerker if it remains an overpair on the flop. This strategy is for a whole other thread.

    So for the most part, we're just giving up here? We raised for value with AK and bricked the flop... time to just roll out? And if that's the case, which flops are actually good cbetting flops here? Only ones where we connect? Since we put at least one of them on a respectable pair (88 or better?) do we just try to sneak to the turn with all flops besides flops with an A or a K? If it comes out 369r, it's not like the same pairs are folding here, either.

    Connect = bet for value | miss = check with the intention of quitting?
  • I like a smaller raise pre. But not a huge mistake.

    Flop: I think you need to give up. I know that sucks, but players seem to call down with pocket 6s-10's in this spot. They can't fold pairs and its a paired boarded. If you bet 130 as a cbet. They call and turn is below a jack. They will call it off assuming you have AK or a draw (most bad players assume you have ak). Since you have Ah its hard to get value from any flush draws. Plus if the first player (new guy) has QQ he will get it in. I know you can't put him on one hand but it feels like qq jj 1010 most of the time. Or ak. The hard part about this hand is lack of info on the players. I am guessing sb has the same hand as you or a pocket pair. I don't know if he folds pps pre. or what ones he keeps. (even though there is no difference between 10s and 2s. they will still fold one over the other.) new guy: raises and calls after a call and re raise. his hand looks pretty strong. Do you have any more info on the players?

    If you connect bet for value. Or if you have qqs plus bet for value and get paid. If you miss c/f. If it gets checked through and you hit, Q hits, or a heart. I would bet for value or as a semi-bluff. I would go small like 110.
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    My two cents, if you can't follow through on a board like this, I think you should just call PF and try to keep dominated hands in with more playability PF.

    I think there are no right answers here, but much of the time I would certainly be betting/folding ~$125-150 on this flop to continue to represent AA and KK. I don't think the other two players always have a strong pair here as some people can't fold once reraised, especially when they have position like the button. The fact that late position guy raised his post also widens his range.

    If re-raised I fold. If called by either position, I just re-evaluate on the turn, but am now more cautious of one of these pairs that won't fold.

    I also think Check/folding is also viable or looking for a delayed c-bet since people play more straight forward in 3 bet pots -- I would not check/call. Check/raising here would be a pretty nice bluff spot (you do have the backdoor heart draw) but I think I'd want to know more about the late position guy first, probably too high variance given the information you've given.
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    it's not like you flopped the nut flush draw and want to make sure you see the turn card. you only have a BD flush draw.

    otf, you have to decide if you're willing to double or even triple barrel. if you are (barring any strong live reads), i would bet smaller on the flop ($140), which will get looked up by 88-QQ and maybe AK, then ship the turn. if you get called by both villians, you can easily shut it down unimproved, and you can rest easy knowing you gave yourself a good price on taking down the pot.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    I agree with 3bet a little bit smaller, so you have more room to maneuver postflop.

    I'd cbet this board all day. Is there ever a better board texture than this? Of course, small poket pairs might call once, so you have to prepare to double barrel (which means basically ship the turn).
    But what hands can really call a turn shove? There are very few Jx (what type of Jx hands can you call such a large 3bet preflop with? JTs? KJs?), a slowplayed QQ-KK, and maybe 99-TT. That's not a lot of combos. And you don't mind getting a call from a flush draw.

    So, bet half pot OTF and ship OTT.
    If you think you have no credibility and you'll get called down light, then either don't 3bet pre, or 3bet much smaller and give up if you don't connect with the flop.
  • Dak Posts: 31SubscriberProfessional
    Cbet flop $175. You are 3 betting out of bb into 2 players, which will get a lot of respect. If called , evaluate turn . But if sb is only caller, I'm defiantly shipping turn. The best possible hand he could have is 10's.. I don't think he's stacking off with 10's in that spot.
  • napncrash Posts: 177Subscriber
    Results: I bet 200. Original raiser folds. Small blind check ships for another 400 effective.

    I folded.

    FWIW, he later claimed to have 88.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    napncrash said

    Results: I bet 200. Original raiser folds. Small blind check ships for another 400 effective.

    I folded.

    FWIW, he later claimed to have 88.

    Makes sense.. thats why player dependencies are so key to making a good decision. If they were the type to pretty much fold 88 then I def like a cbet. If they are the type to check raise all in then no I dont like to cbet..

    Next time against this player you will know a better line to take and when you raise with AJ and he calls and the flop comes

    JJ4 you do EXACTLY what you did in this hand and you will get him to ship 8s again and you can snap call him!

  • regfish Posts: 34Member
    As played going into flop I prob cbet 100 and jam any turn save for a,k or maybe a j if I get 1 caller on the flop. I agree with others that if I 3bet I would make it like 80 instead to keep spr a bit higher. I am, however, somewhat more likely to flat in this exact spot. Fwiw I think there's less than a 50% chance that he had 88.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Assuming villain said the truth, you are lucky that he played it badly. Make a mental note. His play is even more reason to cbet again the next time (smaller though), since he will then let you know how strong his hand is.
  • napncrash Posts: 177Subscriber
    Yeah, sadly I never played with the guy who check shipped on me. I had very little to go on. Does that mean I should be MORE apt to play aggressive with AK or LESS apt? Probably less considering players at 2/5 (and lower) aren't exactly known for their great laydowns.

    A poker friend of mine adds his two cents: cbetting with air on paired boards (particularly broadway cards) is a bad spot. Decent players could bluff you off a pot and other players might think their random pocket pair is good. "No way he 3bet bombed from the BB with a jack!"

    Meanwhile, I say there's very little chance the SB overcaller had a J. 88 makes sense... but QQ makes more sense to me. I see people flat bets with QQ all the time. I'm not saying this is a correct way to play, but here is the thought process:

    "I'm out of position in the SB, I don't want to raise - I could also trap."
    "Guy has raised to 100 and the other guy called. I could be up against AA or KK, let's see how this goes. Call."
    FLOP JJ4
    "I have an overpair. I'm not folding."

    Watching him play all night, I really doubt he had like AJ or JT or whatever...does he have 44? Maybe, but if he does, he has no idea what implied odds are, but he doesn't care when he smashes a boat.

    Does he have air? DOUBTFUL. Very rarely is anyone just shipping here stone cold. In the end, I feel pretty comfortable that my AK was no good, but could I have saved 200 bucks? I don't mind the preflop raise, but maybe I should chill there a bit considering I don't have much info (literally ZERO info on the original raiser). In the end, I have a bloated pot with Ace high. A three bet pre is probably best if I know I'm up against opponents that will A) give me fold equity or B) call with dominated aces.

    2/5 games are much more about value than deception and here's a case where I could just check fold that flop and call it a day. And hey, if I check, maybe I get an A or K on the river for free. Dunno, feels weak to just check, but if it checks through, I could delay cbet the turn.

    I'm not sure that what I did was "wrong," but there might be a better way to negotiate this situation besides *bombs away*.

    And in the end, if I have an over pair here (or somehow have a jack), I'm bomb-calling for sure.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    it's definitely a read-dependent spot. Some people never fold a pocket pair on such a flop, and others never call without QQ+.
    Without any reads, I like the bet flop, shove turn line. It will be bad against some guys, but I'd estimate it to still be +EV on average, and it's great for metagame. If someone calls you down with a small pocket pair and everybody sees your hand, they'll pay you of the rest of the evening.
    If you want to keep the variance lower, you can either try to make a delayed cbet to fold out the fit-or-fold type guys and unpaired hands. Or you bet the flop small and evaluate on the turn.

    In general: vs this type of villain, I would try to isolate him pre as often as possible, since you have position and he will let you know postflop if he has a hand. Just try to make your raises and cbets smaller, so that you save money when you have to fold. And find out if a delayed cbet works or if he might start to bluff if you check behind on the flop.
  • FrederickWalton Posts: 3Subscriber
    My first post. As a former poker dealer at a 34 table room in Hammond, IN I have seen a bunch of hands at all levels of poker. SPR considerations and a plan for the hand if you bink the flop is important in a 3 bet pot out of position with a 120bb stack. Unlike the players in this forum, there are plenty of bad players that will call the 3bet with dominated big cards and small pairs because they just can't fold after putting in $25 even though they are not close to being deep enough to continue.

    Can we say this is a way ahead or way behind hand and therefore a check on the flop is correct? The 3bettor is representing AA,KK,QQ, maybe TT and AK. Thinking that the player in position has a better hand than the small blind and because this is a semi protected pot he might just check back all pairs below a TT, but will never fold TT+ to the first bet.

    Flop options: Knowing that he never leads flop with less than AK check folding would be correct. The other option is a bet fold $135-165/double barrel to continue your story and maybe, just maybe get TT and worse pairs to fold. Seems like TT is in a tough spot and probably the cutoff point of hands that will play with you.

    A check gives smaller pairs a free card to boat up when they might fold to a normal cbet. Since those pairs will still fold to a turn bet with only a 4% chance to improve, a delayed cbet seems the best option for me.

    I would be shocked if he really had 88. If he did, he played it bad every street and would be welcomed to the game at any time. Difficult hands to play can still be +EV, they just offer a little higher variance as said earlier in a post.
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