A♦J♦ vs a Check-Raise, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a Cash Game, the player in the Hijack seat raised preflop and you reraised from the Cutoff with A♦J♦. The Small Blind calls and the Hijack folds. The flop comes 10♦5♠7♦ and the Small Blind checks. You make a continuation bet, and the Small Blind raises. Action is on you, what do you do?
PRO ANSWER: We have a relatively strong draw, holding the nut flush draw with two overcards on the flop. Once our continuation bet is check-raised, we must estimate both our chances of hitting on future streets and the likelihood of inducing our opponent to fold to an all-in bet.
Given we have two overcards and a backdoor straight draw, we can increase our number of estimated outs beyond the standard 9 outs for our flush draw. Our overcards are not always outs for us, so we can discount our additional outs from 7 (3 Aces and 3 Jacks and 1 for the backdoor draw) down to 2, giving us 11 outs total. Using the Rule of 4, we estimate our equity when all-in to be 41% ((11 x 4) - 3 = 41).
Assuming our opponent never folds to an all-in, we will be risking $870 to win $1410, making the total pot $2280 (870 + 1410 = 2280). To calculate the minimum equity we need to continue profitably, we divide 870 by 2280 to give .3816 or about 38.2%. Since our estimated equity is 41% and we only need 38.2% to continue, moving all-in is profitable even if our opponent never folds.
If our opponent sometimes folds to our all-in, the overall situation becomes even more profitable for us. Given that the opponent cold-called preflop out of position and check-raised this flop, we can estimate their range to consist of many big pair type hands, as well as sets and some draws. Many of these hands will call our all-in, however, sometimes this opponent will fold.
Moving all-in with our nut flush draw and two overcards will show a profit in the long run. This eliminates folding as an option. Calling the check-raise eliminates the chance of inducing our opponent to fold on the flop and is a worse play than moving all-in.
As a general rule, you must be comfortable playing certain draws aggressively so that you can combine fold equity (the value in inducing opponent folds) with your draw equity (the value of your hand itself).
Moving all-in is the best play.
What would you do here?
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