Poker Quiz! K♣K♦ On an Ace High Board, What Do You Do?

KK On an Ace High Board

In a live $2/$5 cash game you’ve just moved to a new table and have no specific reads. The action folds to you in Middle Position with K♣K♦ and you open with a raise to $15. Everyone folds to the Big Blind who calls. Your opponent checks the A♠Q♠9♦ flop, you continuation bet $25 and get called. The Big Blind leads $40 on the 2♥ turn and action is on you.

What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing in a live $2/$5 cash game. We are new to the table with no reads and the effective stacks are 100BBs. We raise first-in to $15 with KcKd in MP2 (often referred to as the Lojack) and everyone folds to the Big Blind who is the only caller.

The flop is AsQs9d and the Big Blind checks. This is a flop where we have a tremendous range advantage as the preflop raiser. It is unlikely our opponent has AK/AQ or premium pairs such as AA/QQ, as they would reraise those hands preflop at a high frequency. We on the other hand can have all those premium combinations plus other types of hands in our middle position raising range such as 99, A9s, and Q9s.

If we were to consider a checking range on this flop it should favor some of the weaker Ax hands and KK, however defaulting to continuation betting our entire range in this spot is favorable. Taking a closer look we can analyze this hand with a solver which confirms our assumption of a mix between checking and betting with KK specifically, with the overwhelming majority of the remaining combinations preferring to continuation bet this flop.

Continued below...

We bet $25 and the Big Blind calls. The turn is the 2h and the Big Blind leads into us for $40. This strategy of check/calling the flop and then leading the turn is typically only utilized by the Big Blind when an equity changing card falls on the turn. In the case of this specific flop the 2h shouldn’t really change anything.

Reviewing the recommended actions for our opponent based on a solver, the only hand the Big Blind is supposed to have that could potentially lead here is 5s4s. Against human opponents on draw heavy flops like this one, certain opponents may call the flop then lead with medium strength hands on a “safe” card that doesn’t complete draws on the turn when they believe they could be ahead.

While that perceived leading range does include some Ax type hands, it also contains many Qx and 9x combos that might be attempting to buy a cheap showdown as well. Considering the Big Blind’s range as a whole and how it interacts with this board, our pocket Kings have far too much equity to fold getting nearly 4:1.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

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