A♦K♥ on the Flop, what do you do here?
Decision Point: In a Cash Game, a Middle Position player raises and it folds to you on the Button with A♦K♥ and you reraise. The Small Blind calls and the MP player folds. The Flop comes 9♥8♣10♥. The Small Blind checks. Action is on you, what do you do here?
Pro Answer: After 3-betting against the Hijack players open raise, the player in the small blind cold calls our 3-bet. On the flop, they check to us. Should we continuation bet in this situation?
In general, the profitability of continuation betting after missing the flop can be determined by the number of opponents seeing the flop and board texture. The fewer opponents and the dryer the flop, the more likely a continuation bet will win the pot uncontested.
Against a single opponent, continuation betting will usually be profitable, even on coordinated boards. When one opponent sees the flop, it is simply unlikely that they have connected with the board.
However, certain opponent actions preflop can narrow their hand range. In this case, the small blind cold-called our 3-bet preflop. This generally indicates a more narrow hand range consisting of some medium to large pocket pairs as well as some broadway cards. That hand range connects very well with this specific flop.
Therefore, despite only having a single opponent to the flop, the probability that our opponent connected with the flop is higher than usual. This makes continuation betting as a bluff less profitable. We should choose to not fire a continuation bet on the board and instead check behind and be willing to get away from our hand on the turn or river.
Checking is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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