A♥K♠ vs a Bet and a Call, what do you do here?

AK vs a Bet and a Call-optimized.gif

In a Cash Game, 2 Early Position players limp, and you raise from Middle Position with A♥K♠. It folds around to the Small Blind who calls, and one of the UTG players calls. The Flop comes A♦Q♦T♠. The Small Blind bets and the UTG player calls. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: In this hand the Small Blind bet out into two players on an extremely coordinated, all broadway flop. It’s very unlikely that they have complete air. Leading out in this spot usually indicates they have two pair or better or a combo draw.

Given the lead and call, we should just call behind in this spot. We are closing the action and are guaranteed to see the turn if we call.

When we raise, we reopen the betting. Calling here allows us to realize our positional advantage on the turn whereas raising gives our opponents the option to 3-bet.

Continued below...

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We also will fold out many hands worse than ours by raising this flop. Hands like Ac5c might simply fold to our aggression. So by raising we constrict opponent hand ranges to include mostly better hands than ours. This makes raising for value a tenuous proposition at best.

Calling on the flop is the best play.

What would you do here?
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