On the big blind for 5$ with A♥2♥. Straddle for 10$ is on. UTG+1 makes it 30$ to play and gets 4 callers. I call. Straddle calls. Pot is now at 210$.

Flop J⋄8♥9♥. SB bets 80$ I flat. Pre flop raiser makes it 425$. It's folded around back to me. I have 750$. And raiser has 100$ left outside. What do u do???

I counted that I need to pay 345$ to win (425+160+210=795$). I figured I have over 2-1 pot odds so I put him all in. I assumed the pot odds would suffice cause I figured a flush would give it to me. Little did I know he had a set. Should I have folded? Why?

I lost the hand when he called with pocket Jacks and I got bricks on turn and river.

Please comment in detail I'm so confused did I make the right move?

2 Answers 2


Jam on the flop after the small blind bets $80 into a $210 pot.

This is a perfect opportunity to semi-bluff. You have 9 outs to the nut flush and 3 outs to top pair. The only hands that are going to be comfortable calling your all-in are a completed straight or combo draw. You'll get a fair amount of folds from overpairs/top pair in this spot and many good players will fold two-pair or a set here. And when those hands don't fold, you are still in fairly good shape against them.

Note that your 3 outs are likely devalued somewhat as an Ace coming down will likely give other players a better pair or two pair but not as much as you would think since, if you jam, you'll fold out hands such as AK/AQ/A9/A8.

So, when you combine the fair amount of fold equity you have here with your massive amount of equity in a multi-way pot it becomes a clear jam.

Many players will suggest the way you played it is best but I strongly disagree. If you call the small blinds $80 bet, you are obligated to call any all-ins from players yet to act (assuming reasonable stack sizes) simply because you are getting the correct odds to call — folding is far worse than calling in this spot.

Note that I'm not saying your line, as played, isn't profitable — it definitely is. But what many players don't consider is that you need to try and choose the line that maximizes expectation. There might be numerous lines you can take that will, in the long run, be +EV, but there is only one best option.

And that's really the most important point. By jamming over the small blind's $80 bet, you fold out a ton of hands that would have jammed themselves while still being in good shape if you do get called.

Any time you can achieve the same result playing aggressively as you can playing passively, you should always choose the more aggressive option (ignoring balance considerations) because you maximize your fold equity while also limiting your opponent's strategic options. By playing this hand passively, you give your opponents more strategic options. If you play it aggressively, you take away those strategic options while playing the hand just as, if not more, profitably.

  • It was my first question on this site. Not sure what I'm supposed to do. U mean I have to accept the answer by clicking somewhere? Or are you just saying you don't agree with his answer. Feel free to add your opinion if you disagree with him I am all ears would like to pick your brains.
    – user1538
    Jun 4, 2014 at 4:10
  • In the top left of the answer, click the arrow to accept the answer. It increases my reputation for answering question's correctly. :) Jun 4, 2014 at 8:15
  • It's a checkmark, not an arrow. :)
    – lnafziger
    Jun 4, 2014 at 22:11
  • Indeed it is! Silly me. Jun 4, 2014 at 22:21

I tend to agree with Brent that the best way to play the hand is to raise on the flop. But, I don't know if I would push here. Pushing looks an awful like a draw to some players. By just raising the pot to something less than the pot - you are suggesting that you flopped the nuts (QT in this case) and don't mind others calling. That can be much more scary to a thinking player. Of course with your stack size, if you do raise a little less than the pot, you will be committed to calling off against a push. If the UTG+1 flat calls your raise on the flop, you are pretty much hosed. 4/5 times you will miss your card on the turn. I would just check and fold in this case to a big all-in bet on the turn (assuming you both had much more money behind) since you won't be getting anywhere close to the necessary pot odds to call off. But, since he is somewhat short stacked, I would probably push the turn since you will most likely have odds to call an all-in bet on the turn.

Flat calling can be done as well, but now you give up the initiative. I tend to do this when I am not running that well and other players at the table are running well. So after calling the $80, when the player behind raised to $425 I would have thought that he most likely had to have a very strong hand since there is a bet and call in front of him. The tighter and more cautious the player is with his chips, the more I would have believed he had a set. For looser players, I would be more inclined to put him on some sort of draw. So, he most likely had a hand like QT suited or a pocket pair and flopped a set. If you enter your hand into Pro Poker Tools with the given flop and QT + JJ as the second hand, your equity is only 33%. If your opp is tight, and would not typically raise in early position before the flop with QT, then your equity drops to 25%. So, at 33%, you need pot odds of 2 to 1 to call all-in. Your problem is that while the pot is offering 2.3 to 1 for a call, you only make your flush about 20% of the time on the turn. So, typically you need pot odds of over 4 to 1 to make this call with significant money behind. If you think your opp most likely has a set, then the 4 to 1 turns into more like 6 to 1 - due to the fact that 2 of your outs pair the board and when you make your flush on the turn, your opp fills up on the river 20% of the time. So, I would have probably put the player on a set and folded here since pot odds of at least 3 to 1 are needed to profitably call. Again, quite a bit depends on your read of the player and how well he plays and how crazy he is. Against a tight cautious player, it is an easy fold. Against a loose crazy/drunk player, it is an easy push.

  • The odds change a lot since the raiser only has another $100 behind after his raise....
    – lnafziger
    Jun 4, 2014 at 22:13

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