Cash table with 7 opponents.

In early position Q♥6♥ and I opened for 3BB pre-flop. Three opponents called.

The flop was 7♠Q⋄8♣ giving me top pair. I opened for 15BB to take control. Two folded immediately, the last hesitated, but folded then too, so I won.

So now my question, was this a good move? At least it brought me the pot, but some guys called it an overbet. For curiosity we exposed the turn and the river, and the guy who hesitated would have hit a king, so if I would have bet less and he would call he would have taken the pot. So I think this high bet was necessary to get him out of the pot and defend my made hand?

  • 2
    You have a single pair with a weak kicker. This is not a "made hand".
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 19:53
  • you bet more than the pot, a dicey proposition with top pair, bad kicker. You are only getting called when you are beat here, although you might get some slightly better queens to fold, and any draws, there is still no reason to risk a bet that big.
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 3:03

5 Answers 5


What was your position ? Q♥6♥ is a hand I would've only played only for a steal (maybe) or in SB (also maybe). It's less than an average hand.

The fact also you got 3 callers sounds like you were in a very loose table. I expect at least one out there to have a better Q than yours. CBet was reasonable, but the bet size was plain wrong in my opinion. A 3/4 pot would be better and enough. You're obviously kicking out hands like 44, 55, Ax or maybe 99 but hands like T9,QT are going to stay if players are loose, hands like AQ,KQ are going to call/raise and hands like Q8,87 will go for your stack. All reasonable hands that may have called you preflop.

Always try to think before betting if that texture hits your opponent calling range. Now, you have 3 loose opponents, so it's much more feasible you're already beaten. A Cbet is certainly in order, but after that keep the pot small.

  • I was in first position. But if I betted as you said I would have lost, cause if they call they are better, so I want to prevent them from calling by making a huge bet?
    – StefanH
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 19:52
  • 3
    @Stefan, sure you won that pot but next time you might lose your full stack against his set or higher pair or higher kicker. It's not bad to win in that way to test the waters, but make it a habit and most often than not you'll be against monsters when they call. You would bet again the Turn ? you would call his bet on Turn ? The problem you're creating is you're bloating a pot with a hand that asks for a small pot. We don't bloat the pot with marginal hands, in fact UTG you should fold that hand, up even QJ.
    – user1165
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 20:09

Fold preflop. Q6 is not a hand you want to be opening with from first position as you said you were in.

  • 1
    Could you elaborate?
    – Jon
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 20:29
  • 3
    What you say isn't wrong, exactly... he probably should've folded pre-flop. However, the question he's asking is what he should have done given that he didn't fold and play did progress as described, so this isn't really an answer.
    – Pops
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 3:40
  • q6 is not a hand that you would normally open from any position except the button: notedpokerauthority.com/articles/…
    – Ray Tayek
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 23:38

Yes there are times to defend a made hand and this is not one of them.

That is an overbet that really buys nothing over a 3/4 pot bet.

You have to get that bluff through over 1/2 the time - you got lucky. You are not going to get that bluff through more than 20% of the time in that spot. When you don't get it through you are definitely behind playing out of position. I give that play an EV of -5.

Open early with Q6s is wrong. QJs maybe. And I would still check that board with QJs.


In general there are two good reasons for betting:

  1. Value betting: Putting money into the pot because you think you have the best hand and want to extract maximum value from worse hands.
  2. Bluffing: Putting money into the pot when you don't think you have the best hand to get better hands to fold.

Betting for protection/probing aren't very good reasons at all. Not wanting your opponents to realize their equity is definitely a valid reason in certain scenarios, but not in this situation. If a smaller bet would have gotten a K-high to call, in the long run, that is definitely the +EV move to make.

  • You've got to be kidding. Protection and information betting is fundamental strategy, at least in NLHE...
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 3:04
  • Can you explain why you think that's true? Beyond reading it in a book David Sklansky wrote about the game 30 years ago...
    – ejLev
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 7:44
  • 1
    If you are going to try to discredit Sklansky, who is still widely considered one of the top writers and still widely recommended and read, this conversation is over.
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 12:20
  • 1
    I have an unbelievable respect for Sklansky. His book was the first poker book I ever read and it fundamentally changed my game and actually was what inspired me to get more involved with poker. However, there are certainly things in that book that are outdated or just flat-out wrong. betting.betfair.com/poker/poker-strategy/… Here is a nice article explaining a bit about why there really is not enough of a benefit to use "information" as your primary reason for betting. Again, as I can't state this enough, Sklansky is a poker God.
    – ejLev
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 17:57
  • Well, I'm sure some of it has evolved a bit. But let me say that Sklansky's most widely read and recommended book, one that I consider to be the very best for NLHE cash, came out only 10 (TEN) years ago in 2006, not 30. It's called "Theory and Practice" and if you haven't read it, you should. There is no better book, and many/most people who have read a lot of poker books agree. Thanks for the link.
    – B. Alvn
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 17:33

I think betting is a good idea there, but not that much.

You want to think about defending, sure, but you also have to be worried about already being beat. When 4 people see a flop, there are a lot of possibilities. I'd try about a 2/3 pot-sized bet, which should get a straight draw to fold (if the player is any good, because you are giving the wrong odds), as well as give you information.

If you get any callers, you should slow down on the next street because they are probably telling you they have a queen. If you get raised, it's time to fold, because of your kicker, and the potential someone has two pair, or even a set.

The worse thing here is that being in first position opens up complex things such as next guy calling and then the third guy with an open-ended straight draw is "priced in" ... And the last guy with A-whatever becomes priced in too, kind of....4 to the turn. At that point, you better not bet again! See the problem?

Any time 4 people see a flop and you only have one pair you must be very wary. But I'd still go with my plan above and play it by ear.

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