Context: Playing a 1/3 cash game at a B&M casino last night. Table is mostly tight passive except for villain; I'm picking up small pots and a few medium size pots all night with little pushback.

Hero bought in for $300 and now has a little over $700. Hero is UTG+1 in this hand.

Villain has about $235 and is on the button. Villain has rarely showed so little data on his holdings. He does love to make really big raises or re-raises (going to $50 - $80).

Pre-Flop: Hero gets Jd Jh and makes it $10. Folds around to villain who thinks briefly and raises to $85. Hero debates calling. Doesn't like acting first but the villain's range seems very wide (can't tell if he's a maniac or just being mega aggressive against passives). Further, hero has the chips to spare and figures he's got 4th best hand. Decides to call.

Flop: 10c 10s X (X is some lower card).

Question What should the hero do?

Hero opted to go all-in. Logic was villain will undoubtedly bet big so it's either push here or check-fold. Having two pair seemed pretty good and there were no overcards to my Jacks. Villain quickly called, despite claiming to believe I had a 10 since he has AA.

  • How many players where on the table?
    – Raymond
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 18:24
  • 9 players, but it was heads up before the flop
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 5:43

5 Answers 5



After his re-raise you should push or fold. He already commited 1/3 of his stack here. Raising so large in position is a very bad strategy. Take advantage of this by never calling, unless you want to do the occasional slowplay. Like you said seeing a flop out of position with jacks is not very good. Should you push jacks? Really depends on his range, but if there is the occasional pockets nines and AQs in there you should shove.


Having called you see a very monotone board. It does not really change the situation, if one player was ahead pre-flop he still is now. You should always check here. It is by far the best and frankly your only good option. If you go all-in you will make him fold AK, AQ, 99 or all his bluffs, but he will call with QQ+. A terrible situation for you. As a general rule you should check when your opponent has a range advantage, which is the case here.

So push or fold pre-flop and check the flop once you did call.

  • Pre-Flop feedback is interesting. I hadn’t considered shoving as I wanted help from the flop. But in that case, should I have called the 85 to begin with?
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 5:53
  • 1
    Regarding flop feedback, if I check, wouldn’t villain just C-bet regardless of the flop? Isn’t shoving a reasonable option as it puts villain on the defensive (potentially, as I could represent a third 10) and lets me pick up his 85 if he folds.
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 6:07
  • Pre-flop. You should not rely on the flop. The raise is so large. Go with it or not. Flop. You must check. If he c-bets with a worse hand you can call and you win chips. If you go all-in he will fold those weaker hands. Villain will never fold a better hand. If you shove are you bluffing or value betting?
    – Raymond
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 6:57

In my opinion, the most important decision you made during this hand was to call the $85 raise preflop. $85 is a huge 3-bet and will commit you to this pot if you call it.

calling the $85 3-bet with this hand would set you up for a shove on any flop where JJ is an overpair, and it would still be hard to fold if JJ was not an overpair.

After reviewing this hand, I think that the best course of action is to fold to the 3-bet and make it easy on yourself. He could just be some maniac that raises big on anything, but you don't know because you have not seen him show down any hands.

  • 1
    Whether you should fold depends on the table size I guess. 9 handed your point is valid. But 6 handed JJ is an easy all-in on these stacksizes right?
    – Raymond
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 18:23
  • 1
    While I didn’t mind the pot commitment, I think (FWIW) I also felt concern (in the heat of the moment) about being overrun by this opponent repeatedly so JJ seemed a good chance to play back.
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 5:46

Answer is much based on your comments.

No you cannot rep third ten on that flop. Even ATs should have folded pre. TT should check that flop 100% for value. Even ATs would check that flop for value.

If you were counting on spiking a J on the flop then you should not have called. You are only going to hit a set 1/8.5 and villain did not have enough behind.

Pre villain committed 1/3 their stack. This is push or fold pre. If you believe they are a maniac then push. If you think they are tight then fold.


I am a rather new player, and I could very well be wrong, so if you see a mistake, feel free to point it out.

With that out of the way, here is how I analyze this hand:

TL/DR: 3 good options:

  1. Fold and leave the table (best!);
  2. Fold and avoid that player until someone else busts him and he slows down;
  3. Re-raise to make sure you get good pot odds on your shove, then fold if he shoves and you think it's not a bluff.

Now for the reasoning:

Hindsight is always 20/20, but you could only go based on the data you had at the table.

Your assessment was that the villain was raising aggressively with a "very wide range". If your assessment was wrong, it's on you, but if you don't go based on your observations, whose observations can you rely on?

Let's say that "very wide range" translates to 28 VPIP or worse. Preflop, your "JJ" had 67.5% equity against that range. Postflop, that equity rose to 70%.

Calling that big of a raise, you weren't going to fold your cards on a dry board, so you were headed for that shove right from the start, and the flop didn't change that.

The EV on the shove was questionable: Let's say you play this same hand 100 times. There was $99 in the pot (Blinds: 4, your raise: 10, his raise: 85)

You win the pot 70%: $99 x 70 = $6,930 (you shove and villain folds
his bluff) 
You lose the pot 30%: $225 x 30 = $6,750 (you shove and
villain has the goods) 
Net EV: +$180 (+0.8%)

The shove is not a good move at that point (opportunity cost is too high for expected EV). However, folding your JJ means you lose the $10 you already committed to the pot and tell the villain that you will roll over anytime.

If you don't call him down with the 4th best hand in poker, what do you call him down with? You will have something better than JJ only once every 70 hands, so you can easily go bust waiting to get QQ+, and here he had AAs, so you'd really have needed to wait 220 hands on average for something that could match his bullets, and when you finally get AA, he would probably not even be in the hand, since he plays 28% of his hands, according to the assumptions above, so the perfect conditions for "revenge" would happen roughly once every 800 hands.

You had JJ, this was the right time to draw a line in the sand and you took a bad beat. However, the pot odds weren't good enough. You shouldn't have committed to the shove unless you were getting the right odds.

This could have been accomplished with a re-raise, to $120 or similar: If the villain calls, the pot now contains $154:

You win the pot 70%: $154 x 70 = $10,780 (you shove and villain folds his bluff) 
You lose the pot 30%: $225 x 30 = $6,750 (you shove and villain has the goods) 
Net EV: +$4,030 (+18%)

At that point, if you still think it's a bluff, at least you have the right pot odds to shove.

However, if it was a bluff, a re-raise is almost as effective as an all-in, and he'd probably give up right there: when you re-raise that overbet, his remaining stack is only enough for a 2/3 bet on the flop and nothing on later streets: There is almost no fold equity left. Either he has the goods and he will shove/trap, or he doesn't and he will fold.

Also, even if he shoves and you fold, this reraise will make him think twice about trying to steal your raises in the future. You still have the bigger stack, and chances are he won't have the goods next time, so now he has to either slow down and wait for premium hands, or take chances knowing that there is another aggressive player at the table.

Bottom line, I think you had 3 good options:

  1. Fold and leave the table. You were up 230% on that session. If you can't play JJ into an overly loose player, you shouldn't be sitting on the same table as that guy. You had a great session, go do something else and maybe come back in an hour see if the guy's still around.
  2. Fold and wait for him to bust or slow down. Play more conservatively, only the hands he is not playing, and play only KK+ against him if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity.
  3. A strong re-raise followed by a fold. You'd still have lost cash on that specific hand, but at least you can console yourself with the fact that it was mathematically sound.

In fact, a re-raise followed by a shove, even if you lose that specific hand, will force him to reconsider bluffing you, so there could be some benefits to that play in the long run.


I am a big fan of push/fold preflop. With AK you could call and play a bit of fit or call.

If you believe he's 3betting here with 99+ AQ+, the it's very good to shove. You probably get him to fold AQ and maybe AK and QQ and he could call with TT. If he's range is TT+ AK then it's a fold.

I would tend to shove based on what you're saying. Spot is a bit marginal but he could have a 30% chance of gambling all the way with TJs or 77 for example.

As played, on the flop you have 46% of equity against 99+ AQ+, but with so much dead money ($165 and $145 left in your stack) I would c/shove to make him bet with AQ+.

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