A♦Q♦ vs a Raise and a Reraise, what do you do here?

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An opponent raises UTG in a full-ring $2-5 NL Hold’em Cash Game and the player next to act reraises, what do you do with AQ suited?

PRO ANSWER: In a full-ring No Limit Hold’em Cash Game, the range of hands that a player should open raise with Under the Gun (UTG) should be fairly narrow.

When an unknown player in early position 3-bets the UTG raiser, you should assume they have a premium hand range (TT+, AQ+) by default, since most opponents in a live $2-5 cash game would reraise only with big hands in these positions.

If our opponent only holds pairs TT or higher or AQ or AK, we are a significant underdog with AQ suited. We are not getting the right price to call for speculative value, so we should fold. Stacks would need to be much deeper in order to justify calling speculatively (looking for two pair or better or 8 outs or more on the flop).

Generally, you should not invest more than about 5% of the effective stack preflop when only playing for speculative value. In this case, the call represents more than 10% of the effective stack.

Continued below...

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Our estimate of our opponent’s hand range dramatically affects the ideal play with AQ suited in this hand. Against an unknown opponent in a live $2-5 cash game, this is a fold by default. Against opponents that raise and reraise with many more hands, we may be able to continue with our hand.

However, with early position raises and reraises in a full ring game, we must be capable of folding premium hands preflop.

Folding is the best play.

What would you do here?
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