I'm using Poker Academy Pro 2.5 to spice my game a bit (I'm always playing 6-max). I have a consistent problem with top-pair hands; while I can leave them if I sense much resistance, I don't know what is the optimal gameplay with these cards and I'm afraid I'm throwing value here and there. Consider the following game: (and please excuse the real names, but application does not have any Hero replacements or graphics for suite/ranks).

Short version is; I've got AKs on the BB and there are 3 limpers (loose bots) and I raised 3+3 BB to $0.60. I C-Bet the flop and got a call. Then I checked the Turn for pot-control which is a move I like especially when I have vulnerable hands like top-pair and the turn board cards seems suspicious. But my opponent went all-in and I just folded. Most of the times I'm losing the hand but I don't know if this play is EV+. Short term is sure is! My question is:

When do you think is enough to leave top-pair hand or even 2-pair bet-wise, talking about 6-max cash game ? I know it's kind of what's opponent likes to play but what a general theory might be? How much to risk for a top-pair on Turn after a pot-control and bet for an answer?

Note I'm quite aware of pot-odds; I know I have about 10% to improve my hand (5 outs to 2-pair or set). Still, I need to take into account my top-pair strength as well and poker-stove would indeed give me an equity (which would be a winning one); still, I'm going to lose my money a lot of times; Is the answer a correct bankroll in this situation and I need to gamble all of the time with a top-pair?

Poker Academy Pro #4,424
No Limit Texas Holdem ($0.05/$0.1 NL)
Table Short-Handed Random
March 25, 2014 - 04:09:19 (GMT)

 1} burzummewtwo (HERO)  $12.10  As Ks
 3) Jack Pott             $6.29  9h Ac
 5) Odin                 $14.20  Jd 5s
 7) Amanda                $7.96  8c 8d
 9) Phil Tilte *         $10.80  6s 2s
10) Sergio               $18.65  5c 7h

Sergio posts small blind $0.05
burzummewtwo posts big blind $0.10
Jack Pott calls $0.10 
Odin folds
Amanda calls $0.10 
Phil Tilte folds
Sergio calls $0.05 
burzummewtwo bets $0.60
Jack Pott calls $0.60 
Amanda folds
Sergio folds

FLOP:  2h 9d Kc
burzummewtwo bets $0.80
Jack Pott calls $0.80 

TURN:  2h 9d Kc Tc
burzummewtwo checks
Jack Pott bets $4.79 (all-in)
burzummewtwo folds

Jack Pott wins $3.20 uncontested
  • Did you post the correct hand? You have no pair in the hand above. Mar 25, 2014 at 11:16
  • Oops i messed up :) thanx for the catch. I had another game with a top-pair and went more uglier than the above (called al all-in) so i didnt post that, i know it was wrong.. I changed the above texture by placing a king. So in the above hand opponent can have a trips K or a KT or a K9 two-pairs on turn.
    – user1165
    Mar 25, 2014 at 11:34
  • For what it's worth, I think your pre flop raise of 3bb plus 1bb per caller was too light. AKs is a solid hand pre flop but you know it doesn't play well against multiple players. If you think the 6bb raise will thin the table then it's a good raise, but if not, you need to make the decision to call or fold a meaningful one. If you already believe your opponents to be loose then you need to increase the raise to achieve that. The C bet when you hit your K on a dry flop was too little; I think 3/4 to full pot would have been more meaningful.
    – mah
    Mar 25, 2014 at 13:17
  • Yes i raised exactly 1/2 the pot but this is good only for C-bet with air. Thanx :)
    – user1165
    Mar 26, 2014 at 0:55
  • @mah You write "The C bet when you hit your K on a dry flop was too little; I think 3/4 to full pot would have been more meaningful.". Do you base this on anything? AFAiK we should cbetting smaller the drier the flop texture is. And, obviously, our cbet size shouldn't depend on our made hand strength, unless you have a very good reason.
    – greg
    Apr 5, 2014 at 21:55

2 Answers 2


You definitely should not "gamble" every time with a top pair but if you often play against "loose bots" you should be prepared to do it more often.

For the specific hand I think the raise preflop is good. The only argument to make it bigger would be that you are out of position but even then I would not make it more than 0.7$ (0.6 is perfectly fine)

On the fllop when you see you are only vs the shortstack with such a good flop you should make a plan for either ship turn or ship river. If you want to ship river 50% bet is fine but then you should be prepared to almost blindly raise 50% turn and 50% river.

I personally like the other option better - raise more on the flop and push any turn.(make the flop raise so you push less than pot size on the turn)

  • Nice answer :) So you basically say i have to bet 2 streets in a row and forget any pot-control? Is this specifically for loose players? I dont like playing a huge pot since i'm going to fold on bigger re-raises after that. Or are you saying 3 raises (preflop,flop,turn) is a nice way to get a clear image of what hand my loose opponent have? (talking also about microstakes)
    – user1165
    Mar 28, 2014 at 7:05
  • 1
    The main factor here is that you have a monster on the flop - TPTK with no possible overpairs (he will raise AA pre). Only 3 possible hands beat you - 22, 99 and K9 while many players will even fold 22 preflop. Furthermore even when only few hands beat you many hands will call a flop bet(most 9s every king and poket pairs in between). It is very important to note that the opponent is short so he will be commited after the flop and he doesnt have enough to make the pot bigger than your hand. The fact that he is loose definitely helps but I would play it like that vs unknown opponent too.
    – Daniel
    Mar 28, 2014 at 8:19
  • In general it is very hard to get an image of what loose opponents have(this is the advantage of playing loose) but your hand is big enough to not care. If he had a more substantial stack or your hand is weaker (compared to possible ranges) or you have a specific information that he is tight then you should pay more attention to pot control
    – Daniel
    Mar 28, 2014 at 8:38
  • 1
    Thanx for your valuable information. I just found (after a heck number of hands) that in microstakes if Villain calls the C-bet he mostly have draws/middle pair. If he still calling Turn he might have even a set/2-pair and plans to destroy you on River. As a general rule i now C-bet the flop with my TPTK which i believe is still the best, until i get a sign it isnt (etc. re-raise). I will double-barrel most of the time, especially the scary cards. Still, i'm not going to bet all streets with TPTK, unless i encounter a VPIP > 35.
    – user1165
    Apr 8, 2014 at 23:42

Against a bot??

Against a real person if they had you beat there was no reason to push. Two pair or better would have checked or value bet. You need to call here at least 1/2 the time.

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