Trips Facing a Bet and Raise, what do you do here?
DECISION POINT: In a live $2-5 game an Early Position player raises to $25. It folds to the Hijack who calls. The Cutoff folds and you call from the Button with A♦6♦. Both Blinds fold and you see a flop of 8♠6♣6♥. The UTG player bets $50, Hijack raises to $180, and action is on you. What do you do here?
PRO ANSWER: In a $2-5 cash game we are dealt Ad6d on the Button. UTG raises to $25 and it folds around to the Hijack who calls. We have a hand that plays quite well multiway in position versus an opponent who likely has a narrow hand range since they raised in early position. This call is for only 2.5% of the effective stack, well under 5% for speculative calling. Given those factors, this is an ideal spot for a speculative preflop call. We do call and the Blinds fold.
The flop comes 8s6c6h and we flop three of a kind. The UTG original raiser leads for $50 into an $82 pot. The Hijack raises to $180 and action is on us. Even though we flopped a huge hand here, this flop action is less than ideal for us. Both our cold calling and cold three betting range are going to be extremely narrow against observant players which may actually make it harder for us to get action from worse hands in this spot. Our hand is too strong to fold, but we must consider which option makes it most likely for us to win as much money as possible.
If we cold call in this spot (cold calling is when we call this bet and raise without already having committed any money to the pot postflop) UTG is getting a pretty good price on their call and may be persuaded to stay in with overpair type hands that would fold if we cold 3-bet. These overpairs are really a vast majority of what we are targeting with our action here.
The Hijack has put in 40% of their chips so any future bet from them is likely to be all-in. Keeping the UTG player in this pot with hands that are drawing very thin like overpairs would be the ideal situation.
If we cold 3-bet here (3-betting without putting any money in the pot postflop first) we are quite likely to get the Hijack player to put in the rest of their chips. However it will be extremely hard for UTG to put additional money in without having a better hand absent some sort of read that they just aren’t capable of folding a hand like KK here.
Given the advantage of keeping UTG in the hand with their overpairs and no significant reads indicating they wouldn’t be able to fold overpairs in this spot to a cold 3-bet, calling is the higher EV long term play.
Calling is the correct play.
How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!
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