Playing 2NL. Hero has only seen villain in one hand where he called some large bets with top pair mid kicker and got lucky on the river. Villain has 9$ and hero has $1.90.


Hero is on button
Hero dealt K:clubs:K:diamonds:
Villain limps, hero bets $0.06, BB and villiain call.

Flop ($0.19)

3:diamonds: 3:spades: 4:hearts:
Checks to hero
Hero value bets $0.10
BB folds, villain calls

Turn ($0.39)

Villain checks
Hero bets pot
Villain calls

River ($1.15)

Villain checks
Hero is not sure what to do, but he ends up value betting $0.55 hoping that villian hit the queen on the turn.
Villain raises to $1.10
Hero calls

Showdown ($3.23)


Villain shows 8h6h and takes the pot

If it weren't for the queen I probably would have checked as villan only would have called with the flush or a set anyway.

Should I have played this hand any different?

  • Minor nitpick: it's not a 3-bet if it's the first raise. Dec 23, 2014 at 0:13
  • @Chris Farmer, sometimes my eyes are playing with me, like my hole cards :) thanx for the correction
    – user1165
    Dec 23, 2014 at 2:27
  • Betting river to get value from Q was fine. It was worth $0.55 to call the all in just to see what villain had but it is not a bluff.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 17, 2017 at 15:46

6 Answers 6


You were unlucky that Villain hits his flush on runner-runner. This frequently happen on micro-stakes where the play takes check-check and someones hits his K♠2♥ 2-pair on river and beat opponent's Q⋄Q♠

Your 3-bet raise PF was weak, you should 3-bet raise him $0.08 (3BB+1). $0.06 is a typical opening raise where no one limped yet, which he might call if he's loose (tip; he is). If i sense he is a loose-fish, i raise even more. Also you need to take care and not over-do it; sometimes this limp translates to AA for check-raise PF.

The Flop is quite harmless; what do you think Villain has? a 3 or AA or set? Don't allow him do that and re-raise strongly. If he has a 3 then bad luck, congratulate him for his very nice calling hand A3x, K3x (/sarcasm) and move on. You're not against AA also, he'll re-raise you down to TT since this seems like that kind of player. And if you're against set, boy, you're just unlucky since most good players would also lose lots of money on this since it's damn tiny chance of one hitting a full-house on the Flop. You should take the risk and bet large/check-raise large in this pot. Don't fear that he entered with a 3. These kind of players are so bad, they will check the Flop and check-raise with a 3, or donk the Flop otherwise if they sense their 77 is still good on this Flop or perhaps they prefer to semi-bluff.

So, bet more Preflop (to avoid others entering as well, don't give them the odds) and bet close-to-pot on any Flop. Also on Turn i would take a stab by representing a Q as well, and not only for $0.55 but all-in, thus allowing him to make a mistake and call, since you're willing to commit anyway, why the $0.55? By the looks, he is bound to make the mistake 110% of the time. You were unlucky at the end but this happens so frequently on poker.


One of my favorite poker sayings is, "I guess the rabbit had the gun that time . . ."

I think your play was just fine. You made the V take bad odds to get to the flush. So I wouldn't have changed a thing about your play. He laid you bad odds for what is, effectively 1.5 outs after the flop. Maybe your flop pot could have been bigger, but your bet was fine for that board.

Unfortunately, sometimes people will draw out on you. This is one of those times - the V made some bad calls, but thats OK, you'll get them next time.


No. You should not have bet the river. In micro stakes games, you have to get most out of your decent hands, so I don't think your initial play was faulty. Building a pot is appropriate, and you just got unlucky. Who wants to sit around all day waiting for Kings and then take down the $.03 blinds? His call on the turn was ridiculous, getting 2:1 value on a 1:4 hand. The value bet on the river was a mistake, though. Here's why: What can Villain call with that you can still beat? 55-JJ would have been played differently, so unless you can put him specifically on A4 or an extremely unlikely AQ, you are not going to get called. The EV is very close to $0 on your $.55 bet. You did a good job building the pot and $1.15 was probably the most you would ever get out of a win with KK (50x the BB). Check-check the river knowing you probably got unlucky and lose the minimum.

  • 1
    I'm not sure AQ, or even KQ or QJ (or even QT) is terribly unlikely here at the NL2 level. Lots of people float the flop with overcards, and hitting the Q seems much more likely than villain staying in for the flush. I think these hand combos are reasonable hands that villain might have called the river with. Dec 23, 2014 at 17:30
  • The play would've probably gone different. The check raise would almost certainly have come on the turn after the Q hit, trying to protect a marginal hand on a (now) draw heavy board. AQ would be extremely unlikely, although top pair/top kicker inspires more confidence. Even considering the range of hands and floats in these games, the EV is too small. At $.55, that's 48% of the pot and you need to win a call 2/3 times to make it pay off. On that board, a pair of kings is not going to win 2/3 of the time. Not even close. The question was "Should I have bet the River?". IMHO absolutely not. Jan 2, 2015 at 19:38
  • Well, maybe, but the question is about what the hero should do on the river, so we don't know yet that the villain is likely to check-raise, and there's plenty of passive play at this level. I'd like to know what you think the villain's range looks like here after the turn. I think there's plenty of reason to think that hero's KK is best, though admittedly that doesn't mean he should necessarily bet the river. I think his calling preflop, flop, and turn looks a lot like 22-TT, AhXh, AQ, KQ, QJ, or A3. That looks like 81% equity to me. What else is there to give less than 2/3? Jan 3, 2015 at 1:23
  • Villain's range: XXh, 56x,A3x, 44, A4x and AQ with AQ very slim as the check-raise would have come on the turn when the lucky Q hit, protecting against draws. This would be way more likely with KQ and QJ so you can rule them out as realistic holdings. Same logic with any pair. Check-raise comes earlier. -- Are they possible hands to have in Low Limit? Of course, but I think it plays out very differently. After the way it was played, I think the only hands that can call the value bet on the river, are A4x and AQ. And I seriously doubt A4 calls. So your EV on a "Value Bet" is almost $0. Jan 9, 2015 at 22:37

Well at this limits you can expect everything. I really go hard on turn because as I said earlier on this limits there are tons of calling stations. I wouldn't even be suprised if he had a 3 in his hand. Just play super aggro if you ask me. Don't bluff and you will win easly.


Yep, I agree with the other guys. I would've gone all in after the flop. You've got two pair at that point, probably either would've scared him out or would've had the same result anyway.


You should have made it a little bigger pre-flop and you probably shouldn't be betting pot on the turn, because it isn't a great size to be bluffing, so you can't be balanced blablabla. Details aside, lets look at your river betting range:

I think the value part contains: AA, KK, 33, 44, 99, QQ, AhX, KhX, A3s, K3s. These are all reasonable hands to get value. Your overpairs from Qx. Your boats from flushes etc. So: yes your value bet is completely fine. Next question: what part of your range should you be calling?

(You should work in some bluffs as well in your river betting range like 6s5s, 6d5d etc.)

Let's try and play an unexploitable, balanced strategy. Arguments like: this is micro stakes he is never bluffing, or he is always bluffing are invalid, you don't know that.

What should you do? You obviously fold your bluffs and you are left with your value range. It is ALWAYS okay to fold the bottom part of your range. Looking at your value range on the river, you got some seriously strong hands there, so it is okay to let Qx and most overpairs go. You can consider calling with overpairs that have a heart in them sometimes, resulting in him being more likely to bluff, because chances of him having a flush goes down. But generally I would still fold, because you have so many better hands in this spot you can call with. Your range isn't really that wide when you bet the river, so when you only call him down with your boats and flushes you will probably have enough calling combinations to not be exploited.

Long story short: you are at the bottom of your range in this spot and you don't block any value hands of your opponents. You should be looking to let this hand go. You should be calling with your full houses and flushes and if you feel like it, maybe call with overpairs that contain a heart.

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