This is a hand from 200nl Full Ring on FTP back in early 2010. It's a pretty interesting hand and should generate a good discussion. Note that stacks for all players involved are >100bbs.

First hand at the table, so no stats/reads. Best line?

NL Holdem $2(BB) Replayer
SB ($222)
Hero ($400)
UTG ($287)
UTG+1 ($378)
UTG+2 ($381)
MP1 ($407)
CO ($262)
BTN ($63.40)

UTG+2 antes $0.30
MP1 antes $0.30
CO antes $0.30
BTN antes $0.30
SB antes $0.30
Hero antes $0.30
UTG antes $0.30
UTG+1 antes $0.30

Dealt to Hero J⋄ T♠

UTG calls $2, UTG+1 calls $2, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero checks

FLOP ($9.40) 7♠ J♠ T⋄

Hero bets $9, UTG calls $9, UTG+1 raises to $40, Hero?

3 Answers 3


Given that there is no information about the players involved, I believe there is no right answer here (I wonder who's answer you're going to accept).

To me it smells like there are 4 possibilities:

  • a set
  • big/top pair with top kicker (AJ or AT)
  • overpair (if he thinks you paired a Ten or a Jack)
  • flush draw

The flush draw is at the bottom of the list because it's the least likely.

An important thing to figure out is that, just as you don't have any information about the other players, they don't have any information about you.

Now, his raise is very big, too big even, especially because this is the very first hand: $40 in a $27.4 pot is just a lot.

The dynamic changes a lot because of that 3rd player in the UTG seat. So let's look at the possibilities:

  • if you fold, that's that. Your losses are minimal and you might feel a little bad about it :)
  • going all-in here is the WORST idea possible. DON'T !! Yes, there's a very big chance that you'll just take it then and there, but if you run into a set of Tens or a set of Jacks, you might just get called and lose everything in the very first hand.
  • if you call, the total pot then becomes $27.4 + $40 + $40 = $107.4. The guy in the UTG will have to make a $31 call. Depending on what he has, that amount could give him good pot odds to make the call. Unless he has a monster, this is very unlikely because it's a bad idea to go against 2 players at once in the very first hand. My best guess is that, if you call or raise, there's a chance of at least 80% that the guy in the UTG will fold. If you do call, then you will go to the turn out of position. No matter what the turn card is, a check on the turn will make your opponent bet it in order to steal it (at least a $60 bet, I guess). If you bet on the turn and he raises, then you'll know he's strong (or maybe he's just a very aggressive player ?).
  • a raise from you at this point will almost definitely get rid of the guy in the UTG seat except, just as I said above, if he has a big monster (set of Tens or Jacks; overpairs (QQ, KK, AA) are usually a fold here). The problem is that your raise would have to be to a total of at least $80 - $100, which is a too big percentage of your stack. The upside here is that, if he pushes, then you can safely fold. This is a problem because you would lose about a quarter of your stack there. The downside of a raise is that, if he just calls, then it means he's very confident about his showdown value AND you're both kind of pot commited.

Looking at my thought process above, I believe that, in this particular spot, a call on the flop is probably the best decision. Like I said above: this would probably get rid of the 3rd player. I would then make a bet on the turn to see what he does.

  • By "first hand" I meant that it was my first hand at the table. The other players at the table have already been playing for a while and I just got dealt in. I'm not sure if this changes your answer at all but I wanted to be clear about that.
    – Silversana
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 14:11
  • @Silversana Oh, I guess I didn't understand that. I guess that changes things a bit, I'll think about it. Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 14:56
  • @SoboLan's answer is OK, but calling is the worst option I think. Villain is aggro vs two opponents on a very wet flop. You can be almost certain he's continuing aggression at the Turn, and if you call, you're just gifting him the opportunity to draw out. I'd add the possibility of a made straight in there as well. To me, it's a clear fold. You don't really get worse to call, and better to fold.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 17:43
  • @TobyBooth Don't be afraid to include your own answer then. To stir the pot, I'll say that I think raising is the worst option. And while it seems we have little to no information on the villain we have more info on him than we think.
    – Silversana
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 19:50
  • 1
    Awesome hand to post! I'll be comment more thoroughly soon, but for now I just want to state: Call > Fold > Raise. This is the first time and maybe the only time that I might ever say that folding top two pair on the flop isn't a -terrible- idea.
    – skeelsave
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 2:47

UTG-1 Combos-Hand

  • 12 - 98 (16 combos weighted down a bit since its probably folded a lot PF)
  • 1(2*0.5) - JJ/TT (good chance of PF raise with these)
  • 3 - 77
  • 1 - J7 (6 combos weight really low since PF is unlikely)
  • 4 - Overpair (18 combos weighted down given action)
  • 3 - Axss/Kxss/Qxss (roughly 8 combos of these PF, weighted down a bunch given action)

15% equity 66% of the time
75% equity 33% of the time
~35% equity

Pot odds 31 to 107

I think we can assume UTG is behind us 95% of the time given the action, so I just ignore him. I say call and reevaluate the turn. Being out of position this deep is scary, but being this deep its very scary in position as well. We have backdoor flush opportunities, we can turn a boat, and lots of scary turns will often slow down the villain. Given all of this I think a call is in order.

As far as the turn goes, I'll be expecting pot control out of my opponents a lot, and I'll be calling a lot of spade turn action, and obviously be happy as a clam when a J or T hits.

Having said all of that, folding is not at all a bad alternative.


TT+ would/should not have limped pre flop
77 might have limped
89 suited is possible

Top 2 pair is good here 90% of the time

There are two draws you don't have a piece of. Well you have a runner runner flush draw. Time to shut this down.

They could do this with AT, AJ, KT, KJ, JT afraid of the draws.

Even is they hit a flush or straight you have redraw to a boat.

By the time you raise back $120 you are pot committed.

This is a jam every time for me.

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