I played this hand that I thought was interesting, and wanted opinions on how I could have played it better. Texas Holdem with 5 players, sit-and-go cash game. Blinds are 2/4 and everyone has chip stacks around 100.

Pre-Flop I'm dealt pocket tens. I raise to 15 from under the gun excepting to get one caller or none. Folded to the small blind. She calls. I've played hundreds of games against these guys, so I have a good read on them. She's a very tight player and I immediately suspect I'm in trouble because she probably has two court cards. Maybe JJ, but probably not AA, KK or QQ as she would generally re-raise.

Big blind is a tricksy, bluffing loose cannon who likes to play drawing hands, and win in unlikely ways. He has a very wide opening range. He calls as well. He could have anything. It could be 45s, A8s or QJo. He would probably try to steal the pot with a big bet if he had a pocket pair rather than calling.

Flop The flop comes KQT, all diamonds. Both villians check without giving anything away to me.

My question is, given the stack sizes and reads on these players what should my move be here? I was quite unsure at the time, so looking for advice and better reasoning in this situation.

My Reasoning I bet 50 on the basis that either player could out-draw me quite easily from here and I wanted to take the pot there and then. I did not want to give anyone with a diamond odds to call. I figured the tight player could not have two diamonds given the board. The loose cannon might have, but there is really no way to tell so I have to assume not. My assumption was that with one diamond they were about 30% to hit. I also didn't want to see the board pair up, or fill in a possible straight.

Result The tight player re-raised me about 30 which put her all in. Loose cannon folded. Now I need to pay 30 into a pot of 175 to call. I figured she might have been holding the ace of diamonds, or have two pair. If I was behind I had a draw to a full house so I called.

She turned over black AJ saying "I've only got the straight". No help for me on the turn or river so I lost.

  • 2
    You mention you could catch a full house, but you said prior to that you "didn't want to see the board pair up"? Also, consider removing the final result and your last actions so as not to bias peoples answers.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 1:01

8 Answers 8


Raise less pre, 10 - 12 is fine. By betting 15 the pot is already 45 and then any cbet would commit you as you already would have put 50% of your chips into the middle...

You have flopped a set and if the board pairs have a full house so you have to think you are ahead at this stage. I would cbet the flop about 2/3 pot and evaluate the turn and shove on any non diamond.

In the end you were unlucky and many draw combinations / pair with a diamond would also shove in that position as they have some fold equity.


So they checked the flop, which gives you what information ?

Either : Someone setup a trap, with a made hand (NOT SCARED to see more board cards) or : Someone has a draw ( Wants to see some more board cards)

and you : WHO DOESN'T WANT to see more board cards, maybe another diamond or even one more for the straight with one hand card.

So what you can do is the following : Put in much money to kill the guys / girls who are sitting on a draw. Problem occurs as soon as someone has a made hand. Made hand in this cases mean : 2 Diamonds, QQ , KK or TT or already the straight. People with the biggest Diamond (A) might have called as well because straight and flush draw and even straight flush chance.

What you have to do :

FIND out where you are!

how to do : by betting

What did you do wrong in my opinion :

Your bet from 50 was a little hard, you were pot committed as you see, calling the later 30 was fine, but betting 50 was probably a little to much.

If no one made the straight or flush they wont even have called probably 30.

That's just my opinion of course and i didnt calculate all chances now, but thats what my feelings tells me. You have a nice hand, but regarding to what is possible with that monster flop, you hand is not too good.

Also playing 2 / 4 and everyone has a stack of 100 is not the best choice. you always want to have around 100BB's So when you play 4$ BB , better go in with 400$.

or set the blinds to 1/2 and play with at least 100 , better 200.

Otherwise you are pot commited all the time, you bet 3,5 BB which is a called standart bet. so 3 people are in means that you have already 45$ in the pot. Now you bet the pot size which is as well normally ok but what to do then ? you can't exit anymore, because you don't even have as much chips left as there are in the pot.

Check the Casino blinds, it's always 100BB's entry maximum and standart and minimum is half of that. If you had different amount of money there you have had more choices to go for, as easy as that.

  • 1
    haha of course, i edited that out to not blame me :D Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 11:34
  • They couldn't have TT because there's only one more T in the deck
    – Charlie
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 16:44

I think your raise preflop was also a bit tough. 12 would be fine too, and then it would be 36 instead of 45 in the pot preflop. As the girl called, you can put her on AK, AQ, AJ, AT. If she had a big pocket, she would reraise you. As the flop came, I would also not believe anyone flopping a flush there. However, betting the pot was way too much. If they already have a flush or straight (which was absolutely predictable after she called preflop), you just loose this money right away. I would bet 1/2 pot. just to see if anyone is drawing. There is no reason for any of them to stay in the hand, if they have no diamond, or no draw. After this the action on turn would have given you all the information. If there was another diamond, you would have to let it go, seriously. Otherwise, I would just check/call depending on the bet size of your opponent. The board was just very much unlucky for you, but that happens and in such cases you just need to be ready to fold. I think your only mistake was to bet the pot after flop came, as it didn't give you any info - it just boosted the pot and made it more attractive and committed you to it.


I don't think you did too much wrong here.

Personally I'd have been inclined to shove representing nut flush but that is just me. It is hard to say how this would have worked out for you without knowing your style.

The basic problem as others have pointed out is that you're all short-stacked which turns it into something of a crap shoot.

  • After my flop bet, I had to call any re-raise anyway so I might as well have shoved. Could have improved my fold equity. As for my style - I think these players would have expected me to bet that flop if checked to me because they would put me on two court cards based on my pre-flop bet. I guess that's what the eventual winner was relying on - or getting a read on if I had the flush.
    – WW.
    Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 0:59

You did the right thing. Once you got trips on the flop you goal was to get as much cash as possible. It was unlikely you were going to lose.

If I get 3 of a kind I am trying to get one of them to give me the most money they can. With a KQT you are looking at a possible straight situation, however it is in inside straight not an open ended, so i am not worried that much about it.

The flush has me a little concerned. People like to call with 2 of the same suit hoping for this situation. One of them might have it.

Since you raised pre-flop 15, I am going to assume that one of them (if not both) has at least an Ace, and the other might have pocket pair. I would think that if somebody had KK or QQ pre-flop they would of re-raised you, so I am probably ahead right now.

If opponent had ace anything and knowing that AJ is the only combo that at this point that can beat me. If they were looser I would also assume Kx or Qx as well, but I would still be ahead. I would feel pretty good about winning, the odds are in my favor.

My next goal would of been to get as much out of them as possible. A bet of 50 was a little high (what if they didn't have an AJ they might of fodled), I would of gone less on the flop hoping to get on or both of them to come to the turn and hoping I can get somebody all the way to the river.

This was a hand where the odds caught up to you. If you would of bet on the flop with a little less, say 20 and they went all in I would assume they have the flush or a straight. Then I could fold only losing a 35 for the hand of 3 of a kind. Only because I know them to be a tight player, if they were a looser player I still might of gone with them because I would feel they are trying to hit a draw, i.e. they have one diamond.

If they call then I can assume I am good, and see what happens at the turn. Since I am acting last they have to make the first move. On the river the person with the straight might of gone all in or raised which would of meant to me they had something.

Having somebody go all in with a 3 of kind is good. The only mistake is you might not want to commit yourself where you are forced to call no matter what. Remember you want to have them give you information as well as more of there chips.

  • If I only bet 20 on the flop, wouldn't people with likely draws have odds to call?
    – WW.
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 0:06
  • 2
    I don't think it's accurate to say that the "goal was to get as much cash as possible" into the pot. This is one of the worst flops you could see while holding trips against two players, at least one of whom is likely playing mostly broadway cards. Third set on a flop with an already-made flush and straight? You really want to keep shoving money here? I think your logic here works solely because all players were on short stacks. Hero is only a 3-2 favorite over a single random hand with broadway cards here, and if you add the other player in, hero's not a favorite to win. Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 5:48

I think you may have bet off too much of your stack with the 50 bet on the flop. By betting 50 on the flop, you have already put 65% of your stack in... you clearly had no option but to stay in the hand.

You said that you had a good read on both players. The SB has a tight range hitting exactly that flop (high "court cards.".) The BB is loose and therefore would likely be drawing on that flop.

You have a good hand that has potential to be great, and you close the action. I might check that flop down, and see if anyone bets the turn.

You lose one street of value, but given the stack sizes, there really isn't much more than one street of value anyway, so I think a check is warranted here.


I agree with other comment those stack sizes are too small compared to the blinds. You are in the Harrington yellow zone.

Raise of almost 4 BB is a little high. Especially considering you are short stacked. TT is strong but you are still looking to hit a set here. I think 10 would have been better. I could even argue for a call.

That flop is good and bad for you as you have a very good hand. But a wet board that is smack in your opponents range given they called a big raise pre. No ace makes it scarier as Ax suited is possible. You are behind a flush, AJ, KK, and QQ. But like you said KK QQ would have re-raised pre. The hands you are ahead are AK, AQ, KQ, QJ and lower pocket pairs.

You are like 80% equity against the top 25% hands. A draw or nutted type hand would check to you so you did not learn anything. Single pair or two pair probably would have bet. This is check or jam. Even if you only bet 30 you are pot committed. You have to shove and hope to fold out single pair and draws. If they have a monster you are going to lose all your chips anyway - don't let them draw. Not liking it as you are risking 85 to win 45 but you do have a set which is usually good.

That is the worst possible spot you could be in with a set on the flop.


Sometimes a person is just damn unlucky. In my opinion, that is what happened here. I probably would have put the player on AK myself and lost all my chips too.

  • 1
    What did you think about the bet size from our hero?
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 1:02

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