Hero 8♠8♥

Let's say raised to 3BB from mid and had two callers
(solid players that will bluff and lay down but nothing crazy)

Everyone has 50+ BB


At this point hero only behind TT, 9J, and 69

Is there any situation in which hero should check or put in a small bet to build the pot?

What is the betting strategy for the flop?
Out of position (OOP)

My thought is a great hand that is vulnerable and bet the pot to take it down right there.

Say hero fires a pot sized bet at the pot and gets one caller.
If a 9♣ comes up on the turn should hero fire again?

  • What are the callers positions? Are they both behind you, in the blind, cold call etc.
    – Jon
    Mar 17, 2016 at 3:39
  • @Jon "from mid and had two callers". I guess not blinds as I am asking about betting out (OOP) on the flop.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 17, 2016 at 3:45
  • They both behind you? Where they are at in relation to me would make a difference on how the hand is played. where they are at is not clear.
    – Jon
    Mar 17, 2016 at 3:49
  • @Jon I answered that question
    – paparazzo
    Mar 17, 2016 at 4:08
  • 1
    No I'm not saying betting is wrong. What I'm saying is if you bet pot, you want them to call/semi-bluff raise with worse hand so you can win more. You don't want them to fold.
    – user1751
    Mar 19, 2016 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


Having a set, i would only check the flop if:

  • ..it was dry like 3⋄8♥J♣ My reasoning is there are not enough high cards and draws for someone to have hit something and following me.

There's no other case in my book for slowplaying a set. Slowplaying is overrated and a nice way to lose a whole street of value.

On a flop of 78T i'm suspicious of any 9X and a handful of other combinations and therefore i'm gonna bet every street.

It's better to bet straight away from the flop, most players think you can't have a set and bet it right away on the flop, so bet it.

In addition, many people just check/raise frequently and only on the flop, so don't waste a nice street of value, especially if you were the preflop raiser and just C-bet in their thought.

It's also depends on your opponents; check/raise on aggros, value bet or c-bet straight away against tight players.

If a 9♣ comes then it comes, you bet correctly anyway. This is where position becomes very important; you're going to witness how they react on Turn before you and gaining a free street (mostly) to the River, having around 25%-30% to improve to a full house after they check to you, which they do even with a straight, thinking you may bet again.

  • OK but how much to you bet?
    – paparazzo
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:47
  • @Frisbee, on the flop you provided i would bet big about 70% and on safer flop i would c-bet like 50%. Depends on flop mostly. On later streets mostly 50% since it's still does not give correct odds even on str8 / flush draws for 1-card coming.
    – user4090
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:28
  • 9x? I don't see 92 calling a 3bb bet. 9T suited is a marginal call. TT is the most likely hand to fear. +1 Overall good answer
    – paparazzo
    Mar 17, 2016 at 3:37
  • @Frisbee, i'm sorry, i meant 9X and not 9x, any suited connector and 1-gapper suited or ace suited, especially from the BB. It depends where you play, on cash you might get more of these marginal calls rather tourneys. About the overset, you cannot always fear the worst. You only slowdown on the 87T9 flop and only with 2+ players; heads up i'm betting, with position it becomes way easier to spot if you're beaten.
    – user4090
    Mar 17, 2016 at 4:29
  • i just set it to 9X to cover them all.
    – user4090
    Mar 17, 2016 at 11:59

I won't give the check to myself but I ran the numbers to see if they supported my intuition

Let's just go with 10 BB in the pot preflop

I ran the EVs

Basically have 3 options

  • play it slow
    assume 1/3 pot size bet each round
    villain is smart enough to get away on the river if they don't hit a draw
    hero will fold river if a draw hits and they did not hit a boat
    if both hit hero will stack villain (very low odds)
    EV = 16.5
  • play it fast
    pot size bet on flop takes down the pot
    EV = 10
  • play it fast
    full pot size bet every round is called round
    hero will lose 1/3
    EV = 50
  • play it semi fast
    1/2 pot size bet every round is called round
    hero will lose 1/3
    EV = 19

Clearly villain is not going to chase you every time you play fast. But if villain just chases 1/6 of the time then EV = 16.5. Villain will probably chase more than 1/6 so play fast is better than play slow. This is based on only one villain chasing but two is probably better - your money doubles but your chance of being good does not go down 1/2.

If villain will chase 1/4 when you play fast and villain wins 1/3 then your EV is 20.

Semi fast (1/2 the pot) to keep them in more often is not worth it. If semi fast keeps them chasing 1/3 the time then hero EV is 13.

Based on these numbers I think I would play fast even without chasing off draws. 50BB behind is not enough to play that pot size fast - need to slow down to get them stacked in 3 even bets.

Slowing down to get keep more player the pot does not seem to pay out. Blanks are going to fold to even 1/2 pot. You just don't lose that many from 1/2 to full pot compared to the payout.

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