Taken from Sit'N Go strategy by Collin Moshman:

blinds: t20/t40; 10 handed

Hero: Q♠Q♣ with t1940 in MP1.

UTG: (t1820) opened with t100

2 player fold.

What would you do?

The best move according to the book is to raise by t350. The reasoning is to create solid raise + to limit the competition.

What I failed to understand is why our hero must raise to t350 (8.75 bb)? To be exact, why that high? I thought it was because of the pot odds it created (51:35 ~ 1.44), but considering they're still 6 players left, if one played called then the pot odds will rise significantly (86:35 ~ 2.5) which makes marginal hand from late auto-call and defeats the purpose of limiting the competition. Thus, I believe because t350 won't be effective, we should just raise lower to minimize our loss.

Or am I missing something?

3 Answers 3


I don't think your logic makes sense. I think you're right that if another player in late position calls, it will be leaving attractive odds for the players still to act. However, that's still a big barrier with the stack sizes of less than 50 bb. If there's just a single caller (say it's the initial raiser), there's 19 bb in the pot before the flop, so the SPR is a little more than 2, implying that if you want to be in the hand you have to be willing to risk your entire stack. Also, QQ plays lots better heads up than it does in a multi-way pot, so isolation is the best way to maintain your equity. If he min-raises, he's immediately offering attractive odds to the remaining players, greatly increasing the odds of a multi-way pot. This sizing is relatively common for a 3-bet, IMO.


As with every raise, pot odds will improve if there are callers before you. Nevertheless, pot odds will grow less fast, since the raise is significantly larger than the initial pot. Also, first you speak of a raise by 350, but in your calculations you use a raise to 350. I would not consider a raise to 350 extremely large.

Furthermore, there are more things to take into account when deciding to make a call. With the larger raise, a caller would have to commit a much larger proportion of it's stack, which he might not be willing to do (especially in tournaments)

The bigger raise is part of a strategy to induce more value from a single player which you presumably have an advantage over. The strategie is kind of old fashioned, especially in online play. Nowadays more small ball poker is played since it is less 'risky' and multitabling wil still give an acceptable hourly rate.

I tend to agree with Mashman on this subject. Isolating a player will probably give you a winning change of > 0.5 (however a call would not exclude KK, AA, AK from the range of a very tight player) and therefore more value since you are expected to win most of the time.

TLDR: A big re-raise is used for

  • Isolating opponents
  • Increasing value

Well in general, unlike what your last statement suggests, in case you think that your 3-bet raise amount is not correct as it might be called by other than the original raiser, you should fix this by raising more not less (with QQ in early position). Remember, your ultimate goal is to play heads up with QQ and try to control the pot size unless you hit your trips.

Now, back to your particular situation, it's worth pointing out that players do not automatically call a 3-bet based solely on pot odds since there is the original raiser still to act. They usually worry about getting sandwiched between you and the original raiser, which makes the likelihood for them to call fairly minimal (suitable) for the suggested 3-bet raise amount.

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