Set of Deuces Multiway, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $1-3 game it folds to a Middle Position player who limps, as does the Hijack. You call on the Button with 2♠2♥, the Small Blind completes, and the Big Blind checks. It’s 5-way on a flop of T♦7♥2♣. Both Blinds check, the MP2 player bets $10, Hijack calls, and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a $1/$3 cash game we are dealt pocket 2s on the Button. It is folded to MP2 who limps for $3. The Hijack also limps for $3, the Cutoff folds and then action is on us on the Button. This is an excellent spot for us to call speculatively. We have a hand that plays quite well multiway, we get to invest a very small percentage of the effective stack, and we’re in position postflop. We call, the Small Blind completes and the Big Blind checks.
The flop is Td7h2c and we flop a set. It checks to MP2 who bets $10, the Hijack calls and it is on us. We are faced with an age old poker dilemma - should we raise now or slow play our hand?
When to slow play really depends on a variety of factors including stack depth. In this instance the pot on the flop is $15 and the effective stack is $497 which gives us a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of over 30. To get all the money in the middle will require multiple bets and raises. Lower SPRs tend to favor slow playing, while higher tend to favor fast playing. This is under the assumption we are comfortable getting all the chips in the middle - which we certainly are with a set.
Another factor to consider is the likelihood of our opponents having a second best hand with which they can pay us off. Board coordination and number of opponents have a significant impact on that. With 4 opponents (5 total players) seeing the flop, it is much more likely that someone else also hit the flop. Also factoring into the likelihood of our opponents hitting the flop is the fact that we have bottom set and not top set.
Pocket tens would have a better case for slow playing here because it makes it much more difficult for our opponents to have top pair, whereas with bottom set there are many more potential Tx hands in our opponent’s hand ranges.
This is an excellent spot to raise given how many players saw the flop, the effective stack depth, and the fact that we have bottom set.
Raising is the best play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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