During the first hand of a cash game against an unknown opponent, I was dealt JJ and I raised maybe three to four BB and the villain who was big blind was the only caller.

The flop was then a rainbow KQ5, and the villain bet the pot.

While he could easily have a K or a Q, there is also may be a strong incentive to bluff if he thinks he can get me to fold at least 50% of the time (e.g. as would be the case if I fold JJ here, or if I folded QJ or a variety of such hands).

Is this a good hand for the villain to bluff and should I be calling with JJ? What if I had QJ?

  • 1
    What was your position at the table? And what percentage of the pot was his flop bet?
    – Buh Buh
    Oct 6, 2018 at 22:33
  • @BuhBuh, it says he bet the pot, so 100% of the pot
    – Kenshin
    Oct 7, 2018 at 2:14
  • Yeah that's right, he was BB and I was after, so I acted first preflop, but he acted first postflop.
    – Kenshin
    Oct 7, 2018 at 12:58
  • @Kenshin check this out: goo.gl/images/3TuLY6 . an illustration of the names of positions in poker, maybe helpful for your future questions
    – Clarko
    Oct 7, 2018 at 23:24

3 Answers 3


AK, AQ, AA, KK, QQ likely would have raised the pre flop.

So many hands could hit that flop. KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, JT. Suited K or suited Q.

You are beat a lot more ways than you are ahead. I say it is a fold.

  • To clarify, I acted first preflop, and he was the big blind who called my raise. He then was first to act post flop and bet the pot. I've edited the question to make that clearer :)
    – Kenshin
    Oct 7, 2018 at 2:17
  • I folded and he turned over A4 off suit
    – Kenshin
    Oct 7, 2018 at 2:18
  • That was a risky bluff. You probably would have called with a king.
    – paparazzo
    Oct 7, 2018 at 13:21

It's a really really weird donk bet. I would depend lean towards calling a lot of times here (maybe 7/10). But it would depend on your image and how good he is.

Unless you have played super passively, there's a reasonable chance you would continuation bet on a flop like that... If he truly hit big (like KQ or 55) on that flop, a check to you gets him a free bet. There's no real scary draw with KQ5 flop so there's no reason to lead out and protect a well disguised monster. KNOWING that, I would not have folded so quickly.

So if I was in your situation I would think that "If he had a monster and I haven't played passively tonight, why didn't he let me continuation bet?" It doesn't seem to make any sense. However, SEEING that the flop "could've" hit my range MASSIVELY (I could have KK or QQ), I would reraise the flop, this serves two points:

1) Identify his hand. A bluff folds, random K or Q folds... So if he calls you, he got something.

2) Avoid turn decision. Your hand is marginal at this point, but his flop bet is so illogically weak... It's a tough decision on turn if you flat called him. Reraising would identify his hand enough that you can safely fold to a turn bet.

3) Free card. If he somehow called you with a marginal hand like KJ, there's no way in hell he fires again on turn so you got a free card until river (hell, he would probably even check river).

4) Allows him to make a mistake... Even if he had a reasonable monster like KQ or 55, he still has a tough decision. You were the preflop raiser, level 3 thinking says "He probably thinks there's a reasonable chances I have KK, QQ, KQ." So your raise is strong enough that even a random KQ or AK would fold.


It is very close, but against a pot size bet I think you can fold for two reasons. 1) your hand cannot improve easily if you are beat. 2) a good combination for your opponent to bluff is JT, which you block.

You need to defend a lot of hand though, or you are too easy to play against. Don't play too passive in this spot! You should be calling with QJ, QT, JT. These hands are slightly more stronger and they block more value and less bluffs. Throw in some raises with QQ, 55 or JT, J9 backdoor flush draw.

You are right though, folding jacks is exploitable, but I don't see the average player having a very weak range here, so we should adjust a bit.

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