# How to respond to a re-raise preflop?

I'm wondering what would be the best response to a re-raise preflop. Situation being that if I was holding a strong hand like AQ, KQ, AJ, AK etc and I raise 3BB preflop. If an opponent were to reraise this bet, should I fold, call or re-raise? Which factors can help decide with so little information?

• How much did they re-raise? – paparazzo Jun 15 '17 at 13:26
• I can't recall now, probably 6BB. I bet 60 and they reraised to 120 chips – Charlie Jun 15 '17 at 13:34
• Some relevant information is missing here - your stack size, and your opponent's stack size. If you are really short stacked at the table, your only real options are 4-bet shove or fold. If you are deep stacked, a call is probably reasonable. I also somewhat disagree with your assessment that KQ is a strong hand. – Daniel Hogg Jun 15 '17 at 15:08
• KQ isn't a strong hand? Why would you say it isn't strong? – Charlie Jun 15 '17 at 15:34

They could be on any of those hands plus big pairs. They could be on a semi bluff with 89s. A raise to 6 BB you are getting over 3.5:1. You can call and close out action. If you fold the whole table is going to bluff you. If you pair you are probably ahead as if you pair a K there is only one KK left in the deck but you also could be out kicked unless you are playing AK. If you do hit the flop I think I would just check to them. If you don't hit I would check. They are likely to C bet even if they don't hit so maybe you could maybe call up to 1/2 pot with AK even if you don't hit but I think you have to fold all the other hands.

There is value in getting to showdown to show you have a pretty big open range and you can get value with AA KK (bet them the same). KQ and AJ sould only open mid to late.

If they fired like 9 BB pre then you can only call with AK and hopefully suited.

6 BB is enough to fold out the blinds and play you heads up in position. A monster like AA KK would do that.

Suited only hits a flush or flush draw on the flop like 11% but it puts you in much better spot. You could win a big pot if you hit.

You have another answer to raise. You would need to fire like 20 BB to get them down to 2.4:1 so hard to fold them. Fire the flop like you hit with a pot sized bet is cheaper with more fold equity I think.

Here is the math on 3 bet pre-flop out of position versus open the flop.

sb 1
bb 2
hero 6
villain 12
pot 21 getting 3.5:1 to call
hero 42
villain 30
villain is still getting 2:1 to call


You are only going to fold out bluffs as 2:1 is a good price and they have position. If they were bluffing with air they would have bet more to get a fold. J9o should call. You risk 42 to pick up 21. You would need to get 2/3 folds and that is just not likely.

If you just smooth call then the pot is 27. You can lead out the flop for 27 and give them the same 2:1 You are taking the risk they did not hit and they believe you did hit. Now you only need to get a fold 1/2 the time versus 2/3 the time. Just check if there are flush and or straight draws you don't hit.

To be honest, these type of hands, while strong get people into trouble when they are out of position. I'm not talking about pocket pairs, or A,K, but often hands like K,Q or A,J or A,10 (these type of hands) get people into trouble.

What I'd advise you to do is re-raise, if you want to play. One of two things will happen, you'll win a nice pot with no fight or you'll learn your opponent likely has a decent hand. I.E. they'll call or they'll raise, I'd argue that a flat call from an opponent after you reraise again just screams strength. Now obviously this advise should be taken with a grain of salt as every player is different.

If you're against a player who loves to raise and reraise preflop and then just shut down once the flop comes, you can call, bet and take it down if they missed.

Key piece of advise is you don't want to be out of position and let your opponent dictate the hand, you want to be driving the action and be in control.

Of course there situations where you can call, there are many, too many to include as each player and game you play in will create new unique situations. You really need to use your best judgement, but when in doubt you're better raising.

• You already know your opponent has a decent hand. – paparazzo Jun 21 '17 at 13:38

As a casual observation most better players fold. I usually fold, because you really do not want to get in trouble. Any holding you have with the exception of pocket aces at this point is highly complicated and subject to being a big trouble hand. Rather you actually can make an exception and call or re-raise simply depends on your abilities to ascertain the opponent(s) in the hand.

The big trouble in this kind of situation is that even if you correctly know you have an edge, you are still going out with huge risk. This is the kind of situation that usually plays out with one player done and the other pumped. The better player you are, the more bankroll you have to fade the swings the more you should be getting involved. But even then you need great caution and likely are folding much more then calling or raising.

And of course as you suspect the re-raise is often a play, and a good one. but just the same the nature of NL is that you can be done in one hand, You will find many better situations then to make a play against a re-raise. Often the sucker at the table is easily identified as the one whom tends to call against a re-raise.

• Fold to a min raise getting 3.5:1? Don't bet in the first place if you are going to fold to a min raise. – paparazzo Jun 17 '17 at 22:15

A lot of things depends. For example first of all do you play cash game or tournament, or any other type of game. If you play cash game then depends what blinds are used on that table. Is number players on the table 6-max, or 9, or maybe 10. If is a tournament type of the game; again depends on number of players per table how many BB(big blinds) you still have. Also position where you sit when you make your 3B(three bet). Who was on SM/BB. I will update my answer when I remember more things but this all depends to make good decision.