A♥3♥ on the Turn, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament, it folds to a Middle Position player who raises. The Hijack calls, and you call from the Cutoff with A♥3♥. The Button and both Blinds fold. The Flop comes 5♥5♠J♥. The Middle Position Player bets and the Hijack folds. You raise, and the Middle Position player calls. The Turn is the 9♣. The Middle Position player checks. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In general, we must be willing to exert pressure with our drawing hands in order to play them profitably. Semi-bluffing with our draws allows us to win the hand in two different ways: we can force our opponent to fold or we can hit our draw.
We chose to raise the flop as a semi-bluff, but were called by the preflop raiser. Whether or not we should follow up with a turn bet depends on both our hand range and our opponent’s hand range.
On this particular board, a turn bet should get our opponent to fold a decent portion of the time. Since we were the second caller of the preflop raise, hands with a 5 (which are now trips) are far more likely to be in our hand range than in our opponent’s hand range. In other words, we can represent a 5 very credibly in this spot, while our opponent cannot.
Typically, our opponent will only call and rarely reraise if they choose to continue against our bet. For these reasons, we can freely exert additional pressure on the turn by following up with another bet.
We can often get marginal one pair hands and various Jx hands to fold to this bet. If they don’t fold, we still usually have a significant number of outs going to the river.
Betting again on this turn is the best play.
What would you do here?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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