5♠6♠ vs a Raise and a Call, what would you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a $2-5 No Limit Hold’em Cash Game, the player UTG +1 raises to $20, it folds around to the Cutoff who calls, then action is on you on the Button with 56 suited. What do you do?

PRO ANSWER: Whenever you are considering calling with a speculative hand preflop, you should consider your implied odds. Generally, the more multiway the hand, the deeper the effective stacks, and the stronger the opponent hand ranges, the better implied odds you have.

In this case, you have 2 opponents with an effective stack of $400 (the Cutoff’s stack), which means the $20 call is 5% of the effective stack. With a suited connector, 5% would be the maximum you should be willing to put in passively preflop with the intention of continuing postflop with two pair or better or a draw of 8 outs or more.

However, in this hand you are much more likely to get action postflop from the initial raiser, who only has a $100 stack. They have by far the stronger hand range of your two opponents. Since the Cutoff player only called preflop, their hand range is skewed towards weaker and more speculative hands.

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Because of the likely hand ranges your opponent’s have and since this is a very borderline call based on the 5% rule, you should tip your decision to a fold in this hand. The initial raiser having only $100 significantly limits your implied odds with this hand.

Despite this being a close decision based on the 5% rule, you should fold when your opponent’s hand ranges and specific stacks will limit your implied odds.

Folding is the best play.

What would you do here?
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