A♠Q♠ in the Big Blind, what do you do here?

AQ in the Big Blind-optimized.gif

At a 7-handed tournament table, the player first to act opens for a min-raise and 3 people call. Action is on you in the Big Blind with AQ suited. What do you do?

PRO ANSWER: AQ suited can be played in two very different ways in situations like these. Being both a premium broadway hand as well as a suited ace, we could choose to generally reraise preflop with it or call and play it more speculatively postflop.

We have 4 opponents in this hand and are closing the action preflop, getting extremely compelling pot odds to see a flop. This makes for a very profitable preflop call.

However, the value of our one pair hands postflop will be significantly reduced due to the number of opponents we face and being out of position after the flop. This means we must be capable of appropriately getting away from one pair hands after the flop.

An additional argument for reraising is that this table is 7-handed, meaning that the first-in raiser likely has a reasonably wide middle position hand range, against which AQ suited is a solid favorite.

EP180 - 300x250.png

Stacks are also not very deep in this hand, as the preflop raiser and first caller both have less than 30 big blinds. If we choose to reraise, our standard reraise will represent more than a third of the effective stack and around half of the most likely effective stack (first-in raiser).

Since a reraise to 12-15k is already pot committing such a large percentage of stacks, we should simply move all-in. Both calling preflop and reraising preflop are profitable plays in this scenario, but reraising will be more profitable on average.

If we have reason to believe that our opponents’ hand ranges are much narrower, then calling preflop would be more profitable. In this case, with no opponent information, we should opt to reraise all-in.

Moving all-in is the best play.

What would you do here?
Share your answer in the comments below!

Posted on Tags