I just played a cash game hand yesterday that made me wonder if I'm too married to my overpairs. It's a headsup game, and we both have about 40X, with me slightly ahead. I wake up to QQ and raise to 4X preflop (my standard raise for the past hour). Villain calls. Flop is 442, I bet 5X, villain calls. Turn is 9, I bet 10X, villain calls. River is another 4, I shove. He calls and shows J9. Is it dangerous to shove on a board with potential quads like that, especially if he's calling two streets before that??

  • Could you clarify, is it just this hand your playing heads up or is there only two of you at the table?
    – Jon
    Aug 29, 2016 at 1:30

2 Answers 2


Why are you only worried about quads?

What beats you?

What hand might call that you beat?
JJ - 33 (except 99)

Hero should not have called pre flop with 2x

Pre flop call with 4x is wrong. And he does not have 44 with 3 on the board.

Pre flop villain should have raised AA, KK
In heads up you would likely get a raise from 99

Call pre flop with
A9 suited or 99 is in the range
J9 to me is a marginal call but this is heads up so OK

To me that is a good shove
VERY unlikely you are beat - to me just 99
The only hands (9x) that would call would likely call a big bet

In head up I don't really blame villain for making that call
He is only losing to AA-99 as 4 is not likely in your range

On the turn you were both pretty much pot committed


Let's say for the sake of argument that J9 is the worst hand this player calls the river with.

Your hand beats and gets paid by: J9+,TT,JJ (54 combinations of hands)

You hand loses to: KK,AA,99,42+ (59 combinations of hands)

Using this alone we see that it is barely not a profitable shove:

54/113 * 20BB - 59/113 * 20BB = -0.88BB EV

However, let's now consider a much more realistic Big Blind defending range and river calling range:

  • Remove TT-AA - These would probably 3-Bet pre-flop. I would include 99 too, except considering you are worried that 4's full of Q's 40BB deep with a SPR of 1:1 may not be a shove I'm going to assume the game dynamic to be passive.
  • Remove 42-Q4 - Your opponent is unlikely to defend the Big Blind with these hands.
  • Add 97+,T9 to the opponents river calling range - Likely he would defend the BB with these hands and is certainly not folding the river if we know s/he calls with J9.

In a standard HU you could add more hands such as medium pairs that bluff catch, heck even Ace High; but as I said above I'm assuming the game dynamic is not aggressive at all.

Now the EV becomes profitable:

78/89 * 20BB - 11/89 * 20BB = +15BB

This is a monster profit in the long term given the stack sizes.

  • To make it even better, by the river the hand combinations including a 4 are dramatically reduced by the simple fact that 3 of them are already on the board. Likewise, there are fewer 99 combinations now since we know there's one that villain cannot have Aug 31, 2016 at 21:58
  • I believe I already took that into consideration.
    – user4555
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:59
  • I didn't try to verify all of it, but it just stuck out to me that there were 59 combinations for AA,KK,99,42+. How did you get to that number? Aug 31, 2016 at 22:05
  • 1
    6xAA, 6xKK, 3x99, (3x42, 4x43, 4x54, 4x64, 4x74, 4x84, 3x94, 4xT4, 4xJ4, 2xQ4, 4xK4, 4xA4) = 59 total combinations
    – user4555
    Aug 31, 2016 at 22:08
  • You're totally right, I don't know what I was thinking before. Sep 1, 2016 at 15:11

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