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I was playing heads-up NLH $0.01/$0.02 against a relatively solid player. We were 200BB deep. See the action of the hand below:

Click here for an overview of the hand

So I decided to check-raise turn. I could have just called as well, but I think it is important to have a check-raise bluffing range on every street to make it hard for your opponent to play against you. I think Ts6s is a reasonable candidate to do it with.

The river is a very dicey card. I hit my flush, but it also pairs the board. At this point the pot is around $1.20 and we have around $3.40 behind. I think at this point there are three options on the table. (1) Bet-fold, (2) bet-call or (3) check-call. I think, if the first two options are chosen, that it makes sense to bet a normal sizing. 50%-80% or so. Much more makes your range way too polarized and I think you are overplaying your hand. If the third option is chosen I think it makes sense to call at least up to a pot-sized bet.

I went with the bet-fold option. I think it is reasonable to get value in this spot versus a good ace, a straight and perhaps a lower flush. I think folding to a raise is reasonable, since you can be betting with sets or Q8, K8 or A8. So you are for sure not at the top of your range. Besides it takes a lot of heart to check-raise bluff this river, after I check-raised the turn.

Bet-calling doesn't seem optimal since you are basically bluff catching at that point.

Check-calling, the more conservative option, doesn't allow your opponent to outplay you, but I think you might lose some value.

What do you think the best option would be in this spot?

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Bet/Fold > bet/call > check/call

Checking the river you miss so much value because your opponent will never bet worse hands that its a blunder.

bet/call you bet for value and call because he has some value hands in his raising range. mainly smaller flushes, remember we were trying to rep a straight on the turn.

bet/fold mainly because most people, besides phil galfond, don't have a river bluffing range here that's not a full house. Most everyone will just call with smaller flushes and Ax 8x combos.

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I would personally have to go with check-calling in this situation. With the bet-fold your opponent is only raising a greater hand and unlikely to call with a lesser hand. Yes it's more conservative, but with the pot getting to a decent size it seems like the best option. What do you gain out of raising? Villain either raises you to fold or they fold a lesser hand so you gain no value, I can't imagine any hand less than yours calling your river bet.

Now you've decided to bet-fold, after this I think your read was correct. Villain probably put you on a flush and thought they could get massive value. I agree that Q8, K8 and A8 are likely or even a better flush. However, a set would have (logically) defended earlier and not make it so easy for your flush to get there.

Obviously my comments disregard the randomness of micro-stakes!

  • There are hands that would probably have called the river like JT or AJ with the aces of spades. I do now realize that those hands can be safely considered hero calls at that point and there are not many of them. So I agree with you that betting is not the optimal option and you gave good reasons for that. However check-calling doesn't seem that great either. Having called a check-raise on the turn he either has a hand that has me beat and I will lose money to a value bet, or he has some kind of AKQJT type hand that will probably check back the river. Is check-folding ever an option? – Raymond Timmermans Mar 16 '17 at 20:02
  • I wouldn't even factor the likelihood that JT or AJ could call on the river on this board. Yes I think check-folding is the next best option to check-calling – Danny Mahoney Mar 16 '17 at 20:15

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