I am in a 1-3 NLH cash game. The table had 8 hands dealt and I am the BB. The button bet $10( he bets premium hands) SB calls I raise it to $20 and it is folded to the button he calls but small blind re-raised to $100. I move all in for $400 Button folds QQ small blind had AA. Was this bad poker on me? I read this guy with re-raising with AK QQ JJ he is even capable of doing this with 88. Thank you for your thoughts on this hand and how I should have played it different.

  • This is called "results-oriented" thinking. You have the 2nd best hand in the game. Going all in for 130 big blinds is absolutely fine. Sep 27, 2016 at 16:25

5 Answers 5


There is not much you can do KK v AA with an opponent who bets like that consistently on a wide range. In saying that:

A raise of $20 on the $10 bet on a loose player is kind of pointless and does not give you any information about their hand. If you had raised say $35-$40 then you could get more info on the opponent (and any other calling opponents) and narrow their range(s). The worst part about this is that there were 7 to act still on your min raise, you are just handing out value to any aces among the players.

His Three Bet of $100 was too much for a steal so he must have put you on a decent hand and want a call, suggesting he has a premium hand. Unless you thought this was a bluff but depends on how much information you had on him and how much of a fish he was.

Your going all in with 400 over the top is basically saying you want to shut it down now with only AA, AK or KK going to call you. Or did you just get a bad read and try to catch the bluff? If the latter, why not raise to $200? Your line didn't make sense regardless.

Against a loose opponent bet harder pre-flop with KK. Not to mention you are BB with SEVEN to act! Asking for trouble in my opinion and basically a slow play.

You played it okay, but I think you treated it like a tournament in the end. Think about this, you ended up putting in 133BB pre-flop with a single pair in a cash game.


Yeah you played it kind of bad. Your first raise was a little small. It should have been in the 30-40 dollar range. Your situation at this point is that the button could be stealing with anything, and the small blind who has called is on a fairly narrow range of hands, rank one and two hands, maybe a little wider. At this point you would like to give one or both players a chance to leave dead money behind, or call you with a dominated hand. If they had both called you are generally in pretty good shape.

But the little blind makes a big raise, after cold calling an average raise, this screams big hand, really big hand. Villain simply wants players in for as much money as possible. The only proper play here is to tank. You think about it, you go through all the variables and come up with the likelihood of him having aces or not. Great players will lay down the kings here, and players less than that will be more prone to make a mistake. I would likely conclude the guy had aces if I had been there in the situation, but I doubt I would have the trust in myself to lay down the kings. It is a very tough decision to make and then trust. As far as making the push, not so bad, it may take him off a move, and you're likely going to be getting it all in once you decide to go forward.


It is a good shove. Never fold KK pre-flop.

UPDATE: More details. First of all, the math. The probability for getting AA is 1/221 = 0.005 ~ 0.5%. This is the same for getting KK. The odds you are up against AA when you have KK vs 8 players is 0.0391 ~ 4%, and it is only in a full 9 handed table. The probability is even further down with BU vs SB vs BB.

The second point, KK pre-flop is the second best possible hand in Texas Hold'em. Think about it: would you fold a nut full house on a board thinking your opponent got quads? If you do - that is bad. You should never fold those kind of hands. Every street has its own nuts, and KK is the second nuts pre-flop. Even if you are unlucky to be against AA you will get lucky sometimes (18%) to hit the set.

If you thinking of the range he could had: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK - you still way ahead most of a villain's range. In a long run you will be in profit.

Poker is the game of probability therefore the variance is inevitable part of it. That is why a bankroll management is important for both cash games and tournaments. But, that is another topic.

And lastly, coming to these opponents, if that guy could do it with even 88 then it was a no-brainer shove.

  • 2
    Those are two very strong blanket statements without any arguments to support them.
    – RoToRa
    Aug 25, 2016 at 12:15
  • "unless you are up against aces!" haha
    – user1934
    Aug 25, 2016 at 19:20
  • 1
    you were not rude, just slightly mistaken. Great players occasionally lay down kings pre-flop, not because there paranoid, but because they don't do anything automatically. they have strong reads and are able to get away from big losing hands. that's what makes them great.
    – Jon
    Sep 7, 2016 at 8:37
  • 1
    great players sometimes do, I think the point I am trying to convey to you, is that great players do not do anything automatically, including auto calling big bets with pocket kings. And yes they sometimes lay them down.
    – Jon
    Sep 8, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    @KananFarzali That's not "never fold KK". Just saying the weaker the player the better off they will be always playing kings, the stronger the player will be able to accurately muck them occasionally.
    – Jon
    Sep 23, 2016 at 16:24

By the hand result, it was almost a cooler. Despite your gameplay, perhaps that particular hand would be won by the villain anyway (he was AA and was an aggressive player by your depiction). Sites like PokerStrategy tell you to always raise with such hand in strategies like bigstack, regardless your position.

Said that, you played slowly by just putting $20.

Additionally, I'd be careful to play any all-in preflop when there are more players (although inactive) willing to read you for future hands in the table.


You need to make your pre flop raise larger. Min raising from $10 to $20 when their has been a raise and a call is bad.l for a few reasons, 1.you don't get extra value from your KK 2.you give pairs and connectors far too good a price to continue

Good size seems like $35ish.

As for the result this is just unfortunate. Your KK are ahead almost 100% of the time especially after he flats the SB and you can never fold anyway.

Assuming the SB plays the same way with AK, AA, KK, QQ only

8 combos of AK - you have around 65%

6 combos of AA - you have around 20%

1 combo of KK - you have around 50%

6 combos of QQ - you have around 80%

21 hands in total

6* 0.2 + 8*.35 + 1*.5 + 6*.8 / 21

1.2 + 2.8 + 0.5 + 4.8 /21

9.3 /21 = 44%

Against this range you have 56% equity

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