Here's the situation. Hero has pocket kings, raises before the flop and 1-2 people call. Flop comes up something like Q 10 7.

How would you guys play this? And is it significantly different if your overpair is aces, queens, jacks, or even lower?

  • 6
    The question is a bit too broad I think to get a (decent) answer, if any. Things like the suits of all cards involved, opponent types, game history, stack sizes involved, etc. The list could go on for a long time. Perhaps find a way to narrow down the question to a specific principle of NLHE and you may get a fast response.
    – Toby Booth
    Nov 1, 2012 at 3:29
  • Toby Booth is right: this is a bit too vague. A little more context is needed, because of the huge number of factors. If this was intentional and you want a more general answer, then this is also a problem; a good answer would have to make a few dozen assumptions, which means it will be very large and not very useful. Nov 1, 2012 at 10:27
  • Check out the FAQ for ways to improve the question.
    – Toby Booth
    Nov 5, 2012 at 22:30

3 Answers 3


You did not specify the suits. So, disreguarding a possible flush here is what I would do:

Current Odds A pocket pair of Qs 10s or 7s would have you dominated. The odds of someone actually having pocket Qs 10s or 7s is 3 in 221 or roughly 1.3%.

Another hand that could be ahead of you is two pair. The odds of someone hitting two pair while holding unpaired hole cards is 49 to 1 or 2%.

The other hand that could possibly have you is pocket AA. The odds of someone actually holding pocket AA is 1 in 221 or roughly 0.45%.

Playing the Player So looking at those odds, there is a pretty good chance that the other opponents do not have anything better than you. Your position in the hand could have told you a lot as well. If you were last to act and nobody raised in front of you or their raise was weak then they likely don't have pocket AAs. Now if you are out of position and put in a sustantial raise and get called by two people, then there is a better chance of one of the two having a really good hand like AA, AK, AQ, or QQ. You really get this kind of information by paying attention to betting pattern during the course of the game.

Future Odds Now with the above in mind you may be confident that you are ahead in the hand. However, there are still two more cards to come and you may not be ahead in the end. So what draws could possibly beat you? Excluding the flush possibilities and open ended straight draw is the best drawing hand at this point. There is the possibility of someone having a straight draw, maybe K J, J 9, or 9 8. If you bet heavy before the flop then it is unlikely that these hands would have stuck around unless they were suited. Lets say that they did stick around and they are trying to hit the straight. The odds of someone completing a open ended straight after the flop is roughly 31%. Wow now that is better odds.

What I would do So, considering all of the above there is a very good chance that you are way ahead right now. However, the open ended straight draw would have me worried. I would bet heavy to let the opponents know that you have a great hand and they should get out while they can. If they both fold then great you make a profit on the hand. If one of the players come along for another card then figure out your odds again while always watching the opponent for any give aways.

For more on odds calculations check out Poker Probability.

  • 2
    The odds of a certain player having AA is 0.45%. Against 10 players however, the odds of at least one person with AA is more than 4.4%. It doesn't matter if only 1 player calls, you still use this second percentage since no one will fold AA (see Monty hall problem)
    – Kenshin
    Dec 4, 2012 at 6:23

I trying to bet them hard to kick opponents that drawing to something better than pair.


Given the limited information and thinking at a very shallow level, bet for value.

Most of the time you have the best hand, and there are plenty of worse hands opponents will call with (a queen, a ten, many straight draws, a flush draw if one exists). As part of a more general strategy, you will probably also be semi-bluffing occasionally in this spot, and betting your good hands helps to balance your bluffs. Don't worry about them folding and you "wasting your kings"; you get this money back when you bet here with nothing some percentage of the time. And the more they fold too much, the more you can turn up the frequency with which you bluff the flop, the more aggressive in general you can be, and the more you can entice mistakes.

Of course this is considering no information The most important things missing from this question, in order:

  • Position: whether you are first, second, or last to act (did they check already?) always has a large impact
  • Stacksize: whether your opponents have 30 big blinds or 200 should change how you think about the hand
  • Suits: Whether the flop is monotone (Do we have one of that suit?), two-toned (do they have a draw?) or rainbow

And of course opponent-specific tendencies (or stakes, as many people have knowledge of macro-strategies employed by typical players at different levels) is always important, though there is a good amount of basic strategy to talk about apart from opponent tendencies.

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