Opponent is a smart semi-tight player, a TAG with tricks. 27/22/2.8 (VPIP/PFR/AF) over ~980 hands. I've been playing a similar yet slightly tighter style than him.

Villain's a good player so I know his pre-flop range is very wide here. Thus, I can assume that I'll often flop good equity with this hand and It's likely I have card-advantage in this situation vs this opponent. Generally, as we are deep there is a fair amount of room for manoeuvre here.

$6 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

Hero (SB): $1980
BB: $2826
UTG: $1176
MP: $837
CO: $1240
BTN: $1177

Pre Flop: Hero on SB has K♠ T♥
2 folds, CO raises to $26, 1 fold, Hero calls to $20

Flop: ($55, 2 players) A♠ Q♠ 3♣
Hero checks, CO bets $42, Hero calls $42

Turn: ($139, 2 players) Q♥
Hero bets $105, CO calls $105

River: ($349) 3♠

  • How quick was the turn call? Did he appear to consider a raise?\
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 22:09
  • It wasn't a snap call. It wasn't a lengthy decision either.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 10:26
  • 27/22 isn't a TAG, that's pretty LAGgy imo. 27% opening hand range is a lot of marginal hands that a true TAG would not play.
    – CheckRaise
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 19:59
  • @CheckRaise In 6max NL600 where this was, 27/22 is more the norm. Also I agree, it's not true tight-TAG. That's why I called him a "semi-tight...TAG". It's subjective of course but that's the terminology I use to differentiate the in-betweeners.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 20:04
  • I skipped right over where you said it was 6-max. That does make more sense!
    – CheckRaise
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 0:17

10 Answers 10


Check-fold. You are not repping a Queen on the turn, here. Rather, you are repping a bluff. If you actually had a queen, wouldn't you check-raise fairly often?

If you think there's dead money in the pot and you are trying to win it, check-raise the flop or the turn. But beware that against a good regular who has position on you, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a lot of dead money.

  • Specifically, what proportion of my hands do you think have a queen in them (compared with my whole range), that I would check-raise with? When would I do this and why? Thanks.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 18:39
  • 1
    Many players would check-raise on the turn when they had a Queen "fairly often" because they are expecting the Villain to bet again with an Ace, with a draw, or with air. Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:02

Kicker certainly still matters here for an Ace - anything above a 3 plays (referencing other answer). I just don't see villain folding any A8+ here with the way that you played the hand.

What is your plan here with donking the turn? What would you play for value like that?

I disagree with your statement that there is plenty of room for maneuver here. It's pretty clear that you only have one option and it's betting. He is probably checking behind a huge amount of the time with an Ax type hand, and he is NEVER bet folding here. You don't have enough information to think he would be floating the turn with air and bluff this river. If you want to win the pot, you have to bet - but I don't like it at all.

  • 1
    "The only way to win is by betting" is not a (valid) reason to bet. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 2:02
  • Maybe I misunderstood your point, then. :) You're welcome regardless. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 2:56
  • Not sure how you could. It's stated clearly in the last line. "If you want to win the pot, you have to bet - but I don't like it all." OP made it sound like he had multiple options to bluff - he doesn't, he has one and it's bad. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 16:04
  • It seemed to me that you were advocating a bet.you did say that you " didn't like [betting] at all," but earlier you also said" you have only one option and its betting." Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 17:56
  • Yes. His question is should he make this river bluff. The answer is, if you are going to bluff, the only option you have is betting. You can't check raise because villian is never bet/folding here. I'm not saying I like the option, I definitely don't - I'm just saying there aren't any other options. Anyway, it doesn't matter. OP doesn't upvote or accept any answers, so I'm not sure why I bothered. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 18:24

Yes, if you dislike money. Your line is always a bluff, and will always get called.

  • 2
    Do you care to elaborate on your thought process.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 15:05

Preflop this hand definitely will play better by 3betting from the sb than flatting.

Your perceived range for leading this turn will be fairly weak so actually leading a weak hand vs an aggressive hand reading reg is not a good idea.

Also with regards to your reads, over 980 hands you really should have a bunch more info than just vpip/pfr/AF

  • Why would you think that 3-betting Pre-Flop is "definitely" better than flatting? Also, as for reads on villain, that's not necessarily true. His quality is part due to his balance of bluffs to value hands. He's good because he's difficult to read. The number of hands is somewhat arbitrary as he may exploit others obviously, but that doesn't necessarily apply to how he reacts to me.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 18:46
  • You've said that you believe you have a card advantage over Villain. If you think you have the best hand preflop and you think he will call a re-raise, then you can re-raise for value preflop. I don't agree with the sentiment that a PFRR is "definitely" better than flatting. There are simply too many variables to make such an assertion. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 14:10
  • As a default it's better to 3bet or fold sb vs steals when the stealer is competent. In general you need a pretty good reason not to. Perhaps because our opponent makes a weird open size here there's an argument for flatting but even then with the small aount of info given I'd prefer 3betting, we don't even have an ATS stat here or anything at all that indicates any positional awareness. Given 980 hands we have so little information posted on how the opponent plays. Given the lack of info I think 3betting preflop gives us less chances to make mistakes postflop...
    – user86
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:51

this is above my stakes, but if you're going to rep the queen, I'm thinking it has to be a biggish bet. He's not worried about kicker problems with Ax anymore.

  • "He's not worried about kicker problems with Ax anymore." Why not?
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 18:39

It all depends on how the villian views your play. Specifically, do you call and defend often in the blinds. If the answer is yes then you will probably get hero called too much here for your play to be profitable. If the answer is no then you should be able to bluff the river here with a good size bet. However, this is all under the assumption that the "good player" knows how to fold. Some people just don't, but you don't need me to tell you that.


You are going to be playing the board. I am calling A2C if you bluff with a PSB or less. Best case the 3 scared him but I doubt it. I am guessing CO has you beat and knows it. Personally I am not even checking at this point, I may be on tilt for calling 23 in the first place let alone the 147 more I chased it with out even a good draw. There a very real chance that Villain is holding AQ.

A check call here and you learn nothing. A bluff call and you lose. And check check is not happening, because if I am villain continuation betting no matter what. Muck your cards now and save yourself the stress.


Whoo 7 years late, but i saw this question pop up and i thought it was an interesting one.

I think there's a general flaw in the way the hand is thought through by the other answers. Before you think about whether a hand is good to bluff, you should consider what your value range is. I disagree that you will never have a queen here, and if people are suggesting that any ace will snap your bet, it is a losing strategy because you can easily pot it with a queen.

To V's hand, the big bets PF and flop suggest to me that V is on a vulnerable hand (AK, AJ) or on a bluff. There are a ton of bad turns for these hands that lose them the pot or kill action, so IMO sets (AA,QQ,33) are going to be less likely. Anything like a weak A or Q (KQ, QJ) is possibly going to check back for pot control.

The turn is a Q. You should have some Qs in your range (KQ, QJ,... QT?) that called flop and lead out, as it is possible V checks back an Ace here. You will also have some bluffs (e.g. KJs, KTs, KJs) for the flush + straight draw that probably cannot call a turn barrel on a paired board. Opponent calls a hefty bet on the turn, which he is unlikely to do with a draw, so I'll put him on an Ace mostly, and sometimes a Q.

River is a bad card for your opponent because they are going to be mostly Ace pair on this board, while you have many more Qs, and some flushes. On this board i think you can easily valuebet all your Qs, and KJs, KTs, JTs, folding the flushes to a reraise. Thats 19 value combos. I highly doubt its +EV for V to call with any ace.

If your turn bet was for 16 combos of value (KQ, QJ), and 12 combos of bluffs (any KJ, KT, JT with at least one spade), this is reasonably balanced. By the river this range is 19 combos of value and 9 combos of bluffs. Even if you bet all your bluffs here its likely profitable with a 60-70% pot river bet.

Again, this is dependent on whether you would take this line with a Q, which i think is definitely possible, especially against a less aggressive opponent that may check the turn.


Imo, K10off should either be mucked from the SB or , (with a good read on the villain) given a slightly smaller 3-bet for a bit more info going into the flop. Which would lead to an easier decision as to stab or not. As previously stated you didn't rep the Q and a river bluff into basically an unknown range is typically a bad play. IMO No, you should not have bluffed the river . I believe the best chance at winning this pot would be on the turn with a checkraise or (if you 3-bet preflop) a strong bet on the flop. Not my stakes either so possibly I'm completely off

  • What software are you running to get his stats? Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 15:05
  • Pokertracker was the stats software.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 15:16
  • Check raise turn (or flop) does seem like a reasonable line to me.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 15:18

A semi tight would not have a very wide pre-flop range?

If they are playing 27% then you are on the bottom of their range with KTo.

If you really had a Q would you ever lead the flop here? Villain raised pre and cbet the flop. Villain is betting the turn almost every time here.

What are you trying to represent by betting out on the turn?

You cannot bluff the river as a set of queens would not have bet the turn.

You cannot represent a flush as a flush draw would not have bet the turn.

You cannot represent a 3 as a 3 draw would not have bet the turn.

You don't have a believable story that you have a real hand.

If you had check called the turn you could represent queens.

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