Game is 1/2 cash, generally soft with good-ish players, 9-max. V is a MTT player that is adjusting to cash, so has reasonable fundamentals and not terribly out of line. Able to bluff in reasonable spots.

V raises $10 UTG (standard has been $7-$10, so its a reasonable open)

Hero 3-bets AA to $30. Folds to V who calls.

Flop is Q J 7 rainbow. Pot $60

Hero c-bets $30, V calls.

Turn is Q J 7 5 rainbow. Pot $120

Hero bets $40. V check-raises to $90. Hero calls.

River is a Q J 7 5 8. Pot $300

V bets $145. Hero?

Feels like a snap-call because of the price, but it also feels like Hero is almost never good in this spot. If AA was a bluffcatcher, can Hero fold exploitatively if he thinks V is under-bluffing?

  • 1. How deep were you and villain? 2. You were in position, correct? 3. What happened? I am curious. Of course you can tell us in a couple days, but do tell us!
    – Raymond
    Oct 7, 2019 at 12:01
  • I should be about 350, 400BB deep. V is about 300BB deep.
    – sakon
    Oct 9, 2019 at 2:03
  • @RaymondTimmermans Villain called flop light with 55, hitting a set on the turn.
    – sakon
    Oct 14, 2019 at 6:53

3 Answers 3


I think that hero is probably not good here, his line seems very strong. Not sure if V check-raises a lot, but that is the part of the hand that makes me think that he has 2 pair or better. Otherwise, a lot of hands like KQ, AQ, even AK, AJ, AT, QT could take this line if V likes to get very aggressive

If you think that hero is under-bluffing because of the check-raise or some other read that you have on him, I think that you should definitely fold here. V's lead on the river also seems pretty strong to me, almost seems like V flopped a set or 2-pair and he doesn't want to lose value by checking and hero checking back.

Ultimately, if V is deep stacked, likes to splash around, and likes to bluff, then I think that you can call here. Otherwise, he is probably pretty strong here and you should fold.

  • I was thinking more of a balancing perspective, where i call down with a % of my top hands. AA is not the top, but its probably one of the better hands i have. If i fold AA, then im only calling with QJs or top 2 sets, which feels too tight for me from a range perspective
    – sakon
    Oct 7, 2019 at 6:19
  • @sakon, I see. Ill revise my answer. I thought your question was whether or not you could make an exploitative fold.
    – Clarko
    Oct 7, 2019 at 18:31
  • That was part of the question yes, because i kinda feel that folding AA here opens me to being exploited. Still, unless i fold and show, people may not know im exploitable.
    – sakon
    Oct 9, 2019 at 2:01

Let's look at each street. Because stacksize is unknown I assume you are ~200BB deep and you are in position, because he check-raised the turn.


AA is a 3-bet almost all of the time. You should definitely call sometimes, but the majority of the time you should 3-bet. So I like the 3-bet, but your sizing is too small. I'd like to see at least $35, but probably $40 or even $45. It depends on exactly how deep you are, but you should size up here.


This is a very good board for your range, which generally means you should bet a lot. AA is a strong hand and doesn't block your opponent's value range like QQ or JJ would, so this is a clear bet. You can slowplay other hands. I think half pot is again a little too small. You are missing out on value and giving him a great price to call with draws like KT and T9. Bet 60-75% of the pot and put him in a tough spot.


Again a good turn. Nothing changes. You still have a significant range advantage. The majority of the time you should be betting here, but $40 is a way too small and to be honest really confusing bet. You got the goods. Get some value! Try betting a size where you can shove the river and stack a queen or a jack. Even if you have to bet close to the amount of the pot. You have AA-JJ. Put him in a tough spot. You wouldn't want to bet this size with bluffs, so why do it with value?

Now having bet $40 and facing a raise this small there is really no decision. You should call and see what happens. Raising with this particular hand doesn't make too much sense.


Will he play this way as a bluff? It is hard to say. I always think it is important to play a good strategy and then (slightly) adjust it to counter what your opponent is doing.

So what kind of hands will get to the river like this? The only person that can answer this is you, as I don't know how you play. I am just roughly guessing here, but you might get here with AK, AA-JJ and a couple bluffs pre-flop that couldn't fold turn like AQ, KT, QJ, which should be 3-bet a low, but not zero percentage of the time pre-flop.

So you call with QJ, QQ, JJ and fold KT, AK. You should probably fold KK, because you block KT. So far you only have like 5-10 calling combinations depending on how often you 3-bet JJ, QJ and maybe T9. He might never bluff here, but aces just need to be in your calling range. If he has it, he has it. Playing it like this you know your strategy is sound and if you lose you'll get him the next hand.

  • Im on the fence on the 3bet PRF sizing, since im UTG+1 against a UTG range, my range is hella strong, so perhaps i was hoping someone 4bet or smth :|. On the turn, i did consider checking back to play river, but decided to bet in the end, hence the small bet.
    – sakon
    Oct 9, 2019 at 2:04

This question shows a fallacy that a lot of poker players get themselves into: Over valuing some meaningless factor.

In this case, it's "if he thinks V is under-bluffing".

How do you think that? So you think these things:

  1. He is apt to raise 5x, then call 15x from UTG in $1-2. [This is basically a sign of a total fish in $1-2.]

  2. You can figure out his "under-bluffing" rate.

This is absurd. You cannot know if he under bluffs, and his incredibly weak play pre-flop does not indicate any reason for you to think this. In fact, his pre-flop play lends itself to him being a "typical" 1-2 fish, which means you absolutely cannot think he "underbluffs".

  • You can if you have history. V's bluff range vs value range is the main consideration in this spot, so im not sure how you see it as a meaningless factor. Also, if you do think it is meaningless, then perhaps its better to provide a better line of thinking in your answer, rather than a rant.
    – sakon
    Nov 8, 2019 at 3:09
  • Rant? Lol. As you get better at poker, you'll discover that moving up in levels requires disabusing yourself of your false premises. "Overvaluing a meaningless factor" is one of the major mistakes poker players make. In this particular case, you haven't given us a history, but you did give is a singular particular fact. That you think he's under bluffing. I listed the two facts in your post that are inconsistent with each other, so you could compare the two facts and see that they aren't related. You might disagree, but those are two facts in your post, and I'm saying that those two facts...
    – John Dee
    Nov 8, 2019 at 18:16
  • don't make sense together. That's how you've gotten yourself in the fallacy. Let me put it this way, there is no such thing as a 1-2 player who puts in 20x UTG who "under-bluffs" on the river. You haven't given us enough information to come to that conclusion. In fact, generally, a person who plays this way [all things being equal] is a RECKLESS player. So a RECKLESS player is not likely to "under-bluff" on the river.
    – John Dee
    Nov 8, 2019 at 18:18
  • Anyway... good luck. :)
    – John Dee
    Nov 8, 2019 at 18:19
  • You still havent answered the question though. Even if the premise is flawed as you claim, there still should be a suggested answer. If you were reading carefully, you'd also realise that the "underbluffing" part is an add on, and doesn't need to be considered in the original question.
    – sakon
    Nov 12, 2019 at 2:57

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