2$NL 9-max
Hero stack: $1.87
Villian stack: $1.94

Villian is 21/0 over 41 hands

Hero is dealt 8:spades:8:clubs:
Villian calls $0.02 from hijack
Hero raises to $0.08 from button
Villian calls $0.06, making it a heads up

Flop: pot is $0.19
Villian bets $0.10
Hero raises to $0.30
Vilian calls $0.20

Turn: pot is $0.79
Villian checks
Hero bets $0.44
Villian calls

River: pot is $1.67
Villian bets $1.12 and is all-in

Do you call?

  • Just wanted to mention that if you had raised more on the turn (60-65) you would not face a hard decision on the river.
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 13:32

4 Answers 4


This looks like a flush. Let's take a look at the action:

We raise 4BB and he calls. Nothing out of the ordinary. Because his VPIP is so low, we can probably put him off of random suited connectors (even the 9dTd elephant in the room!). ATo+, KTs+, QJs, 66+ is a comfortable range I can put him on.

He opts for a 1/2 pot bet. Because he is a 21/0, we can safely assume that he hit something. If he has something like 9T and is going for the nutty draw, he likely checks on this street to see some more free cards. The range we have left is AJ, KJ, QJ, JJ+. The only hand that's nuttier than ours is the JJ. He calls on 1-to-1 odds, which is a signal that he's not trying to see any new cards. He thinks he has the best hand, which is great for us, because we get to go crazy with value bets.

Villain checks on turn, and we make a very standard 1/2 pot bet. We get called, which is not surprising considering he probably thinks he has us beat. The range of hands he's on doesn't really change.
As a side note, I like betting bigger here. A 1/2 pot is standard, but now we're defending our set against a potential flush draw and a straight draw. By betting 1/2 pot, we're giving villain 3-to-1 odds, which is good enough for a flush draw to call.

River shove, to me, looks like he hit the flush nuts (or King set). By pot odds, I think we're beating enough of the turn's range, but we're not beating enough of the river shove range. Given that he is a 21/0 player, we can pretty safely assume that he's bluffing here a small enough percentage here that we can't call for value. His range, unfortunately, also includes JJ, QQ, and KK. The cards in his range that aren't beating us (from the Turn call) are Aces (6) and AJ, KJ, QJ non diamonds (45), which is 51 hands total. He has 21 hands that beat us. Given that he bluffs 20% of the time here (generous), we still need 2-to-1 odds to call here.

We're beat, time to fold. I think the play that could have turned this around was to try and end the action on the turn. It seems that you gave the villain too good of odds to complete his flush draw, and you were punished for it.


I do not know if you call, I do know that you do not automatically fold. The majority of boards in hold'em like this have cards that are connected enough and suited enough for someone to hold a hand better then yours.

What it really boils down to is the dynamics between you and the other player that will dictate rather or not you should call.

Besides the possibility of 9-10, this being a hand the villain flops a straight draw with, and the hand I would most likely fear, you have the possibilities of villain making a flush, or not so likely having hit a larger set then yours. Lots of things to fear.

The villain may also made two pair or is just bluffing, because he figure the board is very wet and you would lay down a lot of hands here. The range of hands he could put you on do not generally involve draws.

So what you have observed about the player is the biggest factor in figuring out what to do here. If the player has been tight and careful your going to lay this hand down. If the villain has been playing fast and creative your going to tend to call. If the player tends to push a lot when they make the nuts or very good hands you are going to tend to fold.


His holding looks suspiciously like Tx9x (draw from the flop) rather 2 diamonds that he elected to call on the flop. The only play suited for this would be A⋄J⋄, since both K and Q were on the board. You can't expect a nitty/passive guy with A⋄T⋄ to donkbet you on this flop. He has something strong and his 21/0 shows that.

What i know is that people rarely bluff in micro-stakes, unless they have some history. His stats of 21/0 over 41 hands (which is close to enough sample for VPIP/PFR, about 50) shows the guy only limps and he's doing that with solid values. The real stats you need are the post flop ones, like mostly the W$SD (won money on showdown). If he has a high W$SD, combined with his passivity preflop, then you can be pretty sure he plays monsters and that means here A⋄J⋄ or Tx9x or even another set or something similar.

Your bet raising was very good and you did your part extracting money. He raised on flop, some players like to semibluff with draws. Your pot re-raise gave him about 33% pot odds which he called and that means a flush draw is highly unlikely (only 1 diamond on flop). He may had something stronger on the flop or he's a loose player with straight draws and doesn't paying much attention on odds (which he haven't).

Difficult but the pot odds are about %30 while your winning chances with a set on this board on River are 70%. Plainly on odds you have to call but i would check also the W$SD and his general AF (aggression factor) on river to catch a bluffer player.

Check the meaning of stats here

  • I'm not sure you can characterize this villain as nitty/passive or really put any weight at all into his stats based on a 41-hand sample. I agree that T9 seems more likely than a flush here, but AdJd, KJ, QJ also seem reasonable. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 15:20
  • @Chris Farmer, i agree the stats are a pretty much meaningless or misleading but 40+ sample is not so bad for a quick, first glance on a player. My reasoning for his nitty image was the guy saw 41 hands without even raising once. I don't know the table aggressiveness but that seems so tight to me. This guy had already see 4 orbits without raising once. Even if this guy likes more to limp rather than raises anyway, that's not the case either. Perhaps he's not passive at all postflop and just called marginally with his draw (slightly overpriced if he didn't had 2 diamonds, but OK).
    – user1165
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 5:58

The comments are full with people that are convinced you are beat, you don't know that. He could be bluffing, he could not be bluffing. Online poker doesn't come down to reads, it comes down to playing a good strategy. A good strategy in this spot would be, calling with around 40% of your range, since you are getting 2.5:1 on the river.

Let's look at your range in this spot: I think your range is around the following:

66, 88, JJ-AA, J8s, 86s, T9s, 97s perhaps 57s or some kind of AdX. I am not sure about this but you can potentially cross out or add some hands

The fact that you raised the flop makes your range very polarized in this spot. I doubt if you would even play overpairs this way, but I put them in your range anyway. Your opponent is mainly representing T9, a flush or a bluff. I think it is unlikely he would play a hand like QQ or KK this way.

Facing this river jam you obviously fold your bluffs. You have to call with T9, since it blocks him from having T9 and a straight is a very good hand. You also have to call with your flushes, since it is even stronger and you block him from having a flush. It is important to note that you have some flushes in your range here as well, so it would be reasonable to hero-fold some sets.

I wouldn't fold all my sets though, since I think you have all the sets in your range you would be folding a little too much. I think a good strategy here would be: call with 6d6x, JdJx, because these hands make it less likely your opponent is playing a flush. I would also call with KK, because you beat all his sets that he might play this way and you block KK yourself. It might sound strange to call with 6d6x and fold QQ, but with QQ you only beat 88 and JJ extra, which I think are hands unlikely to have played this way. Your opponent is mainly representing a flush, so it is extra important to have blockers in your hand. You can also call with QQ if you like, it is really close and up to you really. 8s8c is at the bottom of your ''sets-range'' though, so I think I would be letting that go.

Long story short: call with your straights and flushes. Also call with some sets. Which sets exactly is up to you, but you should mainly looking to call with your sets that block his value range. Therefore I think you should tend to fold this hand, but I think it is close.

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