A♥4♣ on the River, what do you do here?

A4 on the River-optmzd.gif

Decision Point: In a Tournament, it folds to the Small Blind who min-raises. You call with A♥4♣. The Flop comes 10♥7♠2♥. The Small Blind bets, and you call. The Turn is the 4♥. The Small Blind checks, you bet, and the Small Blind calls. The River is the J♠. The Small Blind bets. Action is on you, what do you do here?

Pro Answer: Our opponent bets big on the river, should we fold, call, or raise with our low pair?

In this hand our opponent min-raised from the small blind with antes in play, giving us excellent pot odds to call preflop with our small offsuit Ace. On the flop, we have a backdoor flush draw, backdoor wheel draw and ace high.

This is a good hand with which to to “float” the flop. We can call a small flop bet with the intention of taking the pot away from our opponent when they check the turn.

The turn card gives us additional outs and we bet as a semi-bluff, however, our opponent calls and we see a river. On the river, we did not improve they bet around ¾ of the pot, leaving themselves with less than a pot sized bet.

In order to justify a call, we would need a significant portion of our opponent’s range to consists of bluffs, since they would unlikely to value bet with worse hands than ours. There are not enough bluffs in their range to justify calling.

Raising as a bluff is an interesting play, and since we hold the key card, the Ace of hearts, it will work a fair portion of the time. However, strong hands like flushes and straights are definitely a part of our opponent’s range. In addition, they have invested a significant portion of their stack in this pot, making them more likely to call a river shove.

Overall, folding is the best play and allows us to continue in this tournament with a highly playable stack size. Raising as a bluff would be the second best play, but not as a profitable as simply folding.

Folding is the best play.

How would you play it?
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