8♣7♣ vs a UTG raise, what do you do here?

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Decision Point: In a Cash Game, the UTG player raises, and it folds to you on the Button with 8♣7♣. Action is on you, what do you do here?

Pro Answer: In a 9-handed $2-5 cash game, the player in the UTG seat raises to $20. We’re on the button with 87 suited and must decide between folding, calling or reraising.

Let’s analyze calling first. To justify calling here, we must believe that we have implied odds postflop. One of the primary rules to govern calling with with speculative hands (like 87 suited) is known as the 5% rule. The 5% rule states that we should not invest more than 5% of the effective stack preflop with speculative hands when we are only continuing postflop with big hands or draws and not just one pair.

In this case, the call amount of $20 represents well under 5% of our stack, but is nearly 10% of our opponent’s stack. This means that on average, we cannot win enough chips from our opponent to justify investing $20 passively preflop.

Whenever you are considering calling preflop with a speculative hand, you should be aware of stack sizes and whether or not you are violating the 5% rule.

We should not call in this scenario.

When deciding whether or not to reraise, we should estimate whether our hand is ahead of our opponent’s hand range. Our opponent raised from early position in a full ring game, so we should assume by default that they have a narrow hand range.

Our hand is not ahead of this range. Therefore, without any other compelling information, we should not reraise with this hand.

That leaves only one option: folding.

Folding is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!


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