Weak online 25/50 cash game with play money. Hero in the Cutoff Seat, Villain under the gun. Villain is pretty loose player with about 2K in chips, hero has about 5k.

Everyone up to Hero limps, then Hero raises to 100 with AK offsuit, everyone calls. This is a 6 seat table by the way.

Rainbow flop J 10 7. Villain bets 50, everyone calls. Turn doesn't matter, villain bets 50, a bunch of people call. River is an Ace. No flush possible and I did not realize there could be a straight. Villain makes a pot size bet - around 1000. Hero re-raises to 2000, villain shoves in about 200, third player folds.

Would do anything different? I was wondering if I should've made a larger bet pre-flop, maybe 150 or even 200 ?

Villain shows J 7 and takes the pot.

  • What was the game, cash (play money) or tournament? full ring or 6-max? In addition, everyone calls doesn't inform us how many called the Villain ;) How many called? since your correct raise depends on that number. (update the question with this info)
    – user1165
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 4:50
  • 1
    It's clear that you did not play the hand well because if you had, J7 would likely have not seen the flop. With AK, you do not want many opponents to see a flop, and with "everyone up to hero" limping in, you're quite happy to take the pot right now. General rule of thumb with AK and limpers: raise to 3BB + 1BB per limper. 6 seat table (assume button in seat 6), limpers were seats 3 and 4 and you are seat 5. Raise to around 5BB. As you played it, there was too much money in the pot for people to not call your tiny raise.
    – mah
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 17:11
  • With a hand like AK you should be raising at least 4x the big blind, so at the very least raise it to 200. This minimizes the amount of players on the board and further increases your chances of winning the pot. I would almost never recommend slow playing big hands, you are almost never able to read what anyone else has when you slow play.
    – Man Person
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:43
  • You had a nut straight draw on he flop and you did not see it?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 20:12

3 Answers 3


There are a lot of questions outstanding in this, but a couple of things jump out at me.

  1. It's a micro-limit play money game - people will play anything
  2. Your raise to 2x BB with multiple limpers is WAY too small. It's too small of a raise to be considered a raise, really, even in a big real-money cash game. The pot-odds almost dictate that the other players call that raise. For example, if I'm in the small blind and 4 or more other players limp in, I have pot odds and I will likely not even look at my cards when I call to see the flop - even 72os is juicy in that position.
  3. On the flop 89 makes a nut straight, on the river gives KQ the nut straight - so your comment that "No straight of flush is possible" is incorrect.
  4. The "villain" is shooting at the pot right away after the flop - he likely had something. At this point all you had as Ace-high.
  5. Hitting your A on the river never warranted a raise unless you thought the "villain" was an easy push-over and would fold a pair of Jacks or perhaps 2 pair. Apparently not. Top pair is a pretty weak hand to warrant that move - it could justifiably be called a semi-bluff.
  6. A bigger raise pre-flop might have helped. However in a micro-limit play money game, I'd put in something like 500 (10x BB) just to get everyone's attention. However, as you're likely going to be pot committed on the next betting round, an all-in pre-flop might be justified if you really want to maximize your odds. But that doesn't mean that J7 won't call you - even in a big real-money game.

AK (suited or not) is not some all-powerful hand. There is a tendency for some players to do what is called "falling in love with AK." (aka the Anna Kournikova syndrome - AK looks good but barely wins). Where once a player engages with AK, regardless of how strong or weak they are on the flop, they keep aggressively push the position. This usually doesn't work out well. Just sayin.

I this situation, I would have either just fold after the flop (after limping in) or just called on the river. I think that calling with over cards on the turn could be a justified play given the pot (in hopes of hitting a straight with a Q or perhaps a K or A would beat the other players pair). But raising on the river was not a play that could be based on the strength of the pair of Aces. Your top pair can only beat second pair or a busted draw. As we saw there were two possible straights. Just calling on the end minimizes your losses and give you a chance to win if, for some reason, the other player had a J-blank or perhaps a busted straight draw.

  • 1
    Yeah, I guess I missed the straight draw there. I put him on pair of Js due to his small flop & river bets. The only reason I re-raised was to get his last 200.
    – ventsyv
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 14:51

I decided to run some numbers to confirm if this is a bad call.

I did a simulation of around 500k hands, having the following as input:

  • 3 players
  • Pot size after villain pot-sized bet: +/- $ 2250
  • Villain bet: $ 1000
  • Board: J♠ T♥ 7⋄ 3♣ A♣
  • Hero hand: A⋄ K♥
  • Villain hands: random

The result:

  • Card-odds: 76% (easily found by pokerstove as well)
  • EV: + $1470

Based plainly on EV a call here is mathematically correct.

But you have to take into account some things:

  • Your hand is a bit weak for such big pot. Regardless it's a TPTK, you're on the last street against 2 players with a hand you made just now and caution is needed eg. a small pot is required.

  • Villain act very aggressing in River after goofing around in all streets. This signifies a trap! This is overused in play money. More often than not you'll end up against hands you'll laugh at, although winning ones and that's matters.

  • Your EV is big, but is not a monstrous EV; It's a bit bigger than call amount and way smaller than pot-size after the Villain raised. With this hand, i'm pretty inclined to fold here rather trying to win with a hand i made on river.

  • Villain is hardly holding a random hand used on above calculations; he certainly have something, that changes the EV anyway in worst.

Conclusion: With hands like AKo, you need to act very aggressively on earlier streets to:

reduce the field into 1 or 2 at most opponents

You have to raise much bigger than normal, a x10 bb may be the standard in a given play money table to kick out the usual limpers.

If you don't succeed in this, then always remind that an A on flop will keep any player with say a A♥ 3♠ in the hand, no matter how much you bet. Calling stations is all about play money. AKo is a good hand against good players that can fold a dominated ace, not against a bunch of stations.

  • 2
    The assumption of villain hands being random here is bad. Give them ranges they may have instead to get a better idea :)
    – pingu2k4
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 22:48
  • @Matthew Parker, of course it's bad and unrealistic ;) I'm saying that in one of my bullets, say a villain with a Jx here only makes your EV worst and makes these calls even more bad
    – user1165
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 22:56
  • I think your post makes a lot of sense Vlzvl. The range is pretty big, virtually everyone calls 1 or 2 BB bets, so I should've been more aggressive PF to weed out junk hands. If that doesn't work a CB (or a raise on a token bet) would at least give me some information what the other guy has, even though he probably would've called such a raise with a high pair of Js.
    – ventsyv
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 15:04
  • @ventsyv, that's the case ;) With AKo you want to see a flop with very few people in it, eager to invest larger preflop than usual, then shutdown if you don't hit or 6 players called down or Cbet vs 1,2 guys and just be done with it. Just remember the more people in the pot after the flop, the better the hand you need to have. In fact AKo is one of the worst hands for play money ;)
    – user1165
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 20:24

You asked would I do anything different? Yes I would. Raising by 1bb at a play money table, not a good idea. What's the raise trying to do? If it's to thin the field, not a chance. If it's for value, people would put far more in. Let's say instead of raising from 50 to 100 you raised to 650. I guarantee you at least one will call at a play money table - especially if you do this frequently. You will likely force a couple folds, so you thin the field and give your hand a better chance.

A straight will be possible a decent amount of the time. In this case someone holding a straight got there really cheap, putting in hardly any chips. Then when they got there they put a load of chips in and got others to follow. This means that they can chase that cheap straight many times whilst missing it, and the one time they hit it they get such a big pay off it makes it worth it. You need to make sure that people will be disproportionately chasing straights in the future.

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