How would you play this Broadway Straight on the River?
DECISION POINT: In a Tournament, it folds to you in the Cutoff with A♣K♠ and you raise. The Button folds, the Small Blind re-raises, and the Big Blind folds. You 4-bet and the Small Blind calls. The Flop comes 5♠10♠Q♦. The Small Blind checks, you bet, and the Small Blind calls. The Turn is the J♦. The Small Blind bets and you call. The River is the 6♦. The Small Blind bets. Action is on you, what do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a pot that was 4-bet preflop, our opponent check-calls the flop, leads on the turn, and bets again on the river when a third diamond comes. What do we do with a broadway straight?
In this hand, the Small Blind reraised preflop then chose to call our 4-bet. This typically narrows our opponent’s hand range to include reasonably strong broadway hands (both suited and offsuit), and pocket pairs. Most opponents will simply fold or 5-bet with more scattered and weaker hands.
The Small Blind then check-calls our continuation bet of ⅔ the pot on the flop. This reduces the likelihood of our opponent holding hands that completely missed the flop. Pure floats are less likely when our opponent is out of position and calling a ⅔ pot sized bet. This means they often connected with this flop in some way. Any two broadway cards, 55, TT, QQ are all a part of their range.
The turn makes us a broadway straight (the nuts), and the Small Blind chooses to lead out. We have a choice of either raising this turn now or calling and keeping our opponent’s hand range wide. Given the presence of two flush draws and the fact that our opponent often has a hand range that connects well with this board, we should raise now to avoid river cards killing our action.
However, in the moment we just called and the river comes the 6 of diamonds, completing a potential backdoor flush and our opponent bets again. Given that we just called on the turn, our perceived hand range is weaker from our opponent’s point of view. They could be value betting with many worse hands than ours, including sets and two pair.
Diamond flushes are far less likely, because our opponent 3-bet preflop, then called a 4-bet and check-called the flop. What suited diamond cards take that line? Potentially only KT of diamonds and AT of diamonds. This makes it less likely that we are beat on the river, so we cannot fold. However, if we raise, we will likely fold out many if not most worse hands than ours, so raising has little value.
That leaves calling as the best option. This hand illustrates why raising the turn is the best option. However, given that we called the turn, calling on the river is the most profitable option.
Calling is the best play.
What would you do here?
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