Holding a Set on the River, what do you do here?
Decision Point: In a Tournament, you raise from Early Position with 10♠10♥. MP2 calls, the Button calls, and the Big Blind calls. The Flop comes 4♠5♥10♦. The Big Blind checks and you bet. MP2 folds, the Button folds, and the Big Blind calls. The Turn is the 7♠. The Big Blind checks, you bet, and the Big Blind calls. The River is the A♥. The Big Blind bets. Action is on you, what do you do here?
Pro Answer: We raised preflop, got multiple callers and then flopped top set. We bet both the flop and the turn and were called by the player in the Big Blind. Our opponent leads into us when the ace comes on the river.
Most casual players are far too passive when an opponent leads into them on the river and they hold a strong hand, but not the nuts. It’s true that some of the time our opponent holds 23, 86, 63 or AA and we are beat.
However, those hands are a very small portion of our opponent’s overall range. Far more often they have lower sets, two pair, or one pair hands.
Raising allows us to get additional value from many of the hands that we have beat. Hands like lower sets (44 and 55) and two pair (A4, A5, AT, 45) will usually call a river raise.
This occurs far more frequently than our opponent holding a straight or top set, since there are many more hand combinations that make two pair and lower sets than there are combinations that make a straight or top set.
Raising on the river for value is the best play.
What would you do here?
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