A♦Q♥ Facing a Raise and a Call, what do you do here?


Seven-handed in a live $1-2 game both Middle Position players limp and it folds to you in the Big Blind. With A♦Q♥ you raise to $15 and both players call. You continuation bet $25 on the Q♠5♥3♣ flop. The MP1 player raises to $75, MP2 calls, and action is back on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing in a $1-2 cash game seven handed. We are dealt A♦Q♥ in the Big Blind and the Under the Gun player open limps for $2 with the player directly behind them also limps. Everyone else folds and action is on us.

While we are often happy to be able to take a free flop in the Big Blind, in this case we have one of the top 5% of hands that can be dealt preflop in No Limit Hold’em. Our hand would benefit from going heads up to the flop as most of the hands we hit postflop are one pair type hands. We elect to make it $15 and we fail to thin the field as both players call.

The flop is Q♠5♥3♣, which is an excellent flop for our hand. Even if we’d missed, this is the type of flop that is much better for our range as the preflop raiser as it is quite dry and disconnected and tends to miss the other players’ ranges. A continuation bet will be quite profitable here.

Typically on this dry of a flop we can use a bet on the smaller side of $15-$20 but we do decide to make it $25. The player to our left raises to $75, the remaining player cold calls the $75, and action is back on us.

Continued below...

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This is a very tricky spot. We started the flop with $150 in our stack and $46 in the pot. This is a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of just over 3. Typically with that kind of SPR we are quite happy to just get all-in with hands as strong as top pair with top kicker. In this instance both of our opponents limp/called preflop so hands like QJs/KQs/QTs should definitely be in their range although we block some of those only allowing for 2 combinations of each.

In some looser, low stakes games you will see people make this play with off suit broadway cards as well, which would be much better for us as it would expand the combinations of hands we beat. The hands that beat us that are represented here are really just 55/33 (of which there are 3 combinations each), although in some very loose games we could see the occasional 53s.

There really aren’t very many logical bluffs for our opponent to have here. Maybe hands like A2s/A4s would play this way. Some aggressive players might play a hand like A3s/A5s with a backdoor flush draw this way. Given that there is already $221 in the pot and we have $125 total behind we are getting quite good odds to get the rest of our chips in for value.

If the stacks were much deeper we should consider calling. Against very rare opponents that never bluff and never raise with worse, we could consider folding. However, given these stacks and the amount that is in the pot, folding or calling would be a mistake.

Moving all-in is the best play.

How would you play it?
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