From Analytical No Limit Holdem:

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Question: Why exactly does our opponent have reason to "put his money into the pot with almost any hand", leaving us with almost no fold equity?

I get that villian's stack is low ($185 upon seeing the flop), but that doesn't seem low enough to commit him to going all in on low pairs, does it?

  • 2
    I'm curious, does the book give more information on the situation or is this it?
    – Grinch91
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:31

3 Answers 3


In a $5/$10 cash game, $185 gives the player on the button basically no room to play any hands. (Meaning it will be difficult for him to bluff, raise, or bet without going all-in or committing a large portion of his stack).

Generally, an open raise to 2.5x in a cash game in late position is a bit on the small side. if a player were to 3-bet preflop or bet the flop, the villain would either have to go all-in or fold. I disagree with the book and think that there is some fold equity for a bluff here, but it will be very small. The open raise preflop with such a small stack means that the villain has a hand they are willing to go all in with a large percentage of the time.

  • 2
    I think in general an open raise, 2.5x for example, is extremely dependent on the cash game in question. In some games it may be a perfectly fine open to thin the field, in other games it may need to be a 6x. Not a critique of your answer, just an addition. Often games have the 'standard' open for that table, I don't think we can reliably say that opening like this means the villain wants to get it all in. They very well may want to, but we don't know if this open is unusual for this table to make that judgement.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:28

Villain is not pot committed here.

It is just a strange example.

Villain could be on a blind steal. Pre flop to me J9s should have folded or 3 bet to like $75 for a re-steal. J9s is not great but it has a lot of ways to hit if he does get called. With just a call J9s is going to have trouble getting paid off OOP if it does hit.

On the flop hero could bluff the size of the pot and maybe take it if it missed the villain. But what is hero selling? TT+ would have raised pre flop. Not likely hero called with 78s or 79s pre. If hero is on 2 overs trying to take down the pot then villain should call with 2 overs. A donk bet makes no sense here.

A check raise then villain is getting close to pot committed.

A better play is to check the flop and if checked back then bet like 1/2 the pot on the turn. Betting like you want action is actually more intimidating here.

If hero checks the flop and villain bets then I would fold. It is just not spot for the villain to bluff. I would put them on a set.


This is just plain wrong. I agree that we shouldn't necessarily be bluffing with J9cc. We can pick better hands to bluff. Also I don't think we should donk lead the flop as a bluff; villain has a range advantage. But we should absolutely bluff check-raise or bluff the turn or river sometimes.

The button got THREE times the pot left. Is he never folding any hand? Of course he isn't! It would be different if he had a half or perhaps full pot size bet left. But hero should absolutely be bluffing here sometimes.

Also, I strongly disagree with Clarko. The open raise with a small stack means absolutely nothing. He could be very tight, but also very loose. We cannot make any assumptions here. It of course depends on the opponent, but in general you have fold equity in this spot.

  • Here's the thing though: If we think we have fold equity, then that means we think Villain is willing to fold when we hit the flop too. In which case, why are we calling preflop? To reap that sweet FE whether we hit or miss? And if Villain puts that all together, then he's snapping light because our story doesn't make sense. So we are back to having little FE :D
    – Corey
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 16:58

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