Effective stack 80% max buy-in. Villain (UTG) bets 3xBB, Hero (Big Blind) calls with 5d 4d. Flop 6d 7d Ac.Action: Hero checks, Villain bets 3/4 pot. Hero goes all-in. Is it all-in good move considering that in most cases Vilain will throw best hand and if he does't throw hero will win in more then 50% cases at showdown. Also villain will throw his hand if he's on flush or straight draw.

  • The real question is a matter of you and your opponent's stack sizes: do you push immediately, check-push as you did here, or bet-raise-push? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 23:53

4 Answers 4


Shoving with a straight+flush draw is a pretty standard play for NLHE in my book. You typically have enough equity to be even money against your opponent's calling range. That means you could call their shove and see a profit due to the dead money in the pot.

Almost any time that you could call and be even money, a shove is better, and the more money in the pot at the time of your shove, the better it is. You profit from every time your opponent folds in these spots - much more than you do if you both stay in the hand.


I made a mock hand-history to illustrate the situation.

$1 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

SB: $100
(Hero) BB: $80
UTG: $80
MP: $100
CO: $100
BTN: $100

Pre Flop: Hero on BB has 5⋄ 4⋄
UTG bets $3, 4 folds, Hero calls to $3

Flop: ($7, 2 players) 7⋄ 6⋄ A♣
Hero checks, SB bets $5.25, Hero ?

Assuming all your outs are good and clean, then you have 9 diamonds (2⋄3⋄, 8⋄9⋄T⋄J⋄Q⋄K⋄A⋄) and 6 outs to a straight (3♣3♥3♠, 8♣8♥8♠).

Depending on your opponents range this very often equates to over 50% equity. Thus, you're likely to be the favourite to win the hand at this stage. All-in is OK but it may not be best!

There are a few things to consider when making a decision about the best play. Especially:

  1. Opponents range, broken into hands he folds to a raise and those that he'll call with.
  2. Your equity.

As I've laid out in the mock hand-history, you'd be shoving/paying $77 to win $89.25 total (your bet of $77 + current pot of $12.25).

I've tried to consider the range that your opponent would likely call with. I came up with 66-77, AA, A7x, A6x, 76x, AKx, 9d8d. In a simulated 100000 Holdem Hands (Monte Carlo) against this range you would win approximately 46.9% and lose 53.1% of the time. Of course, he may not call with this range all the time!

X=% opponent folds to shove. Y=% opponent calls.

(X)$12.25 + (Y)(0.469)($89.25) - (Y)(0.531)($77)

Obviously, your opponents UTG range is wider than this and he will fold a significant amount of the time to make a shove profitable, in addition to your strong equity.

I suppose it comes down to this, considering the other hands in your opponents range, Is it more profitable to give the opponent an opportunity to bluff some hands he might otherwise fold, by hero raising a smaller amount? I'd say yes. The only way to make this judgement is to know villains UTG range more clearly, which you don't mention. Calculating X and Y depend on this analysis of possible hand combinations.

It's difficult to come to a clear best answer but, when is it anytime in poker! I hope this gives you some ideas on making better decisions. :)

Adding the graph of dependance, X=% opponent folds to shove and f(x)=profit.

Dependance graph

As you can see, more opponent folds, more profit you make. But even if he calls 100% of the time (x=0), you will be in profit of 0.971$

  • Best, most detailed answer IMO. Was going to do the same myself before I saw your answer. Good job!
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 10, 2012 at 22:52
  • If there is a poker text book that comes from Poker SE, this answer should be in that book. This topic should naturally continue to calculating the Hero's fold equity into the Monte Carlo simulation which would skew the win/loss percentage in the Hero's favor - but by how much exactly? Interesting question, IMHO. Still, a classic example of augmenting straight odds by making a bold move that maximize equity. That's real poker IMHO. Then ask the question of what should the Villian should be thinking - then we're in the mental war part of poker. Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 16:56

If it is your strategy to be playing these marginal hands in the first place. you probably need to have a more subtle strategy for letting their value come forth when you hit a gin draw like this. betting more of your stack than would be mathematically valid for a flush draw, even with the guarantee that everyone calls you all in when you make it, puts other people off of their draws as well. Betting about a third of your stack still will have many of the hands that originally called you all in, raising you all in, but you just call those anyway, really what you're looking to do is give the people who have your draws crushed and would have called you all in as many opportunities to put dead money into the pot and fold on the turn as often as possible. The hand that comes to mind specifically is Adxd.

This is just my intuition for this hand


Given the fact that you said "effective stack 80 % max buy-in", I'll assume this is a cash game we're talking about, not a tournament.

If villain has about the same stack as you, I think the all-in move is not a mistake. Even if he has an Ace or if he hits a set on the flop, you say he will still fold. In the worst case (a.k.a if he calls and wins), you will still be winning in the long run.

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