What’s Your Play? Suited Broadway on the Flop

This is a continuation of What’s Your Play? that began last week. For discussion of the pre-flop action, please see this post.

You’re at a 9-handed $2/$5 NLHE table with $600 effective stacks. UTG is very loose, especially pre-flop, and the whole table is salivating over him. UTG+2 is tight-aggressive bordering on nitty.

UTG limps for $5. UTG+2 raises to $20, and the action folds to Hero in the CO with Qs Ts. Hero raises to $50, UTG waffles a bit and then calls, and UTG+2 quickly puts in another $30.

Flop ($146 in pot after rake) Ks 8d 6d. UTG and UTG +2 both check without much hesitation. $550 remain in the effective stacks. Hero?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts and preferred action. I’ll do my best to respond to comments over the next few days and will post the next decision point next week.

26 thoughts on “What’s Your Play? Suited Broadway on the Flop

  1. One of the chief reasons to 3-bet pre was because we wanted to use our position and momentum to steal a lot of pots. This seems like a great candidate to continue, since we flopped a backdoor flush draw, and other than the diamond draw it’s pretty tough for our opponents to have any strong draws. Obviously we’re not getting any Kings to fold to one bet, but we can get a lot of folds from AJ type hands and, assuming we continue on a fair number of turns (say spades and non-diamond Aces, Jacks, nines, sevens) if we get a call and it’s checked to us again, we can also get a lot of calls on the flop that fold the turn.

    I’d bet about $105

    • Sorry, hit submit to soon.

      I’d bet about $105, planning to fold to a check-raise.

      If I get one caller and I hit one of my continuation cards, I probably bet about $200, planning to shove most rivers. If I get two callers, I shove the turn if I hit a continuation card.

      In both cases, I probably check behind if I turn a Q or a T, planning to call a river bet on non-diamond rivers.

  2. I’m gonna round pot to $150 to make it account for blinds and make mathz easier for me.

    This is a great flop against UTG+1. I think his preflop bet sizing and call eliminates most of the top pair hands and the K looks good for your suspected 3bet range. KQ is possible and maybe KJ suited hands. Even with those hands it will be hard for him to call down against three barrels. If he hit a set he will likely check/call flop and CRAI turn. Obv there’s a little more to it but I’m typing on my phone

    UTG is the key factor. I suspect he’s going to continue more based on his hand as opposed to the size of your flop bet. I could go further but I think it’s key to line up your bet sizing so you have enough scare to fire three barrels. I’m more inclined to bet around $80 with plans to keep barreling for now. So easy to rep AK,QQ+ here as that’s what you’re expected to have. Also a ton of turn cards add equity for you. Betting higher is unnecessary as it doesn’t really draw more folds, you aren’t betting for value, and it makes it harder to effectively fire three barrels. Betting $80 allows you to fire three half size pot bets against one caller

    Assuming you get A caller I’m more curious to hear what cards (other than a Q for value) would keep you from barreling turn? Also do you change your bet size on turn depending on cards? I’m thinking about $150 on turn as a bet/fold. That leaves about a half pot bet of $320 for river if called.

    If they both call your $80 I’m inclined to check back turn as SPR gets awkward. If someone donk bets a smaller amount I would consider shoving if I pick up equity depending on the board and bet sizing (that’s off on a tangent though)

    Looking forward to your thoughts. I need to participate more to pick your brain. I recall how happy I was when our table broke the one time I had you sitting behind me.

  3. I may be wrong, but this is a flop I’m c-betting %100 of the time I 3b. This also feels like a magical flop where you can get better hands to fold (straight draws and flush draws lower than Q) to call and better hands to fold (which is pretty much everything other than small SC). $80 feels right. Anything less is suspicious and anything more doesn’t accomplish more.

    If only Nitty McGhee calls I’m just giving up (unless the turn is exactly the Js). I wouldn’t think KJs or KQo is in his iso range from that position, and there are only 2 combos left of KQs. I’d be surprised if he called a cbet with JJ or QQ. His continuing range is just too strong, unless he has a talent for folding AK to further pressure, but I wouldn’t count on that. If only Loose McGoose calls draws are going to make up a lot of his range. You could even go for thin value with a non diamond Q or T. If you shove blank turns he might call with better draws, so maybe a small turn bet and river shove is in order. If both call I think I’m shoving non diamond jacks and spade cards.

      • With KJs I think it depends on if he has an over limping range, and if so KJs would be limped at least some of the time and should be discounted accordingly. With 6 left to act plus the original limper KJs feels like it is not a standard raise for those with nitty tendencies in live games. I could be wrong, but I think it would be more likely he’d raise with JTs and QJs before KJs.

        With KQo while he may not fold getting such good odds, but he at least has to think about it. I know that I’m folding KQo to a standard live 3bet, and if I were to call I’d have to survey the situation.

        If he only 4bets with KK, AA, and maybe QQ (which is standard), then AK goes into his snap calling range, along with 77-JJ, JTs-KQs, ATs-AQs, plus the ones I would discount because the might be in limping range like 9Ts, QTs, KJs, and KTs.

  4. I think betting around $140 or so works best here.

    First of all, while its easy to envision a number of combos for UTG that hit this flop, I still think his range is wide enough that he won’t have enough good hands to continue correctly, and many of those that do will fold on a lot of turns. If he were to flat a pot sized flop bet like this he’ll have a K or a good draw almost always, and we should be able to pressure him into folding turn quite often (I suppose he could flat 88 or 66 but he may well choose to just raise given the player behind him and the draws that are out there). However, doing this may often require accessing stacks on the turn which is why I like this larger sizing.

    As for UTG2, I think he ends up continuing with a very small part of his range for seeing the flop. I doubt given the size of our 3bet and the presence of UTG in the pot that he ever folds there. However, we can discount KK and quite possibly AK from his range when he doesn’t 4b, and its entirely possibly he would limp 66 as well (I think it’s a little tougher to determine what he would do with 88). I think hands like 99-QQ are just going to fold flop here almost always. So again I just don’t think there are many hands that continue on the flop here for UTG2, and again those that do can be folded out on the turn.

    Finally there are some arguments for large bets that stem from our own range construction. We have the strongest range of the three players in perception and reality as the 3bettor. We are probably the only player in the hand that can credibly represent AK, AA, and KK. A variety of turns improve our hand: spades, offsuit aces, off suit jacks, off suit 9s (though that could be a dangerous card vs UTG). What’s more is that on blank turns I would expect to be able to win the pot by shoving very often, especially if UTG calls and UTG2 folds (though I expect it to be pretty effective against either player). Again, a larger sizing is crucial to accessing stacks and maximizing pressure on the turn.

    In short I think both players are very often capped at KQ here, and we can credibly represent every better hand. I’m in favor of potting here with the intention of shoving most turns. I think a diamond, Q or T would be the cards I would consider not following through on.

    • Thanks for the very thorough and well-argued comment, Matt. I will say, though, that as a theoretical matter a stronger range calls for a smaller bet. This is because your opponents will have a trivial fold unless you offer them good odds.

  5. I’m not crazy about the preflop raise vs just calling. You’re often dominated against utg+2’s range. And at that sizing and with this depth and the donkey in the hand, your immediate fold equity is close to zero imo.

    As played on the flop you’ve missed completely, and the board is wet. I check it back. The other option is to fire, but you’re going to need to fire a second barrel on almost all turns if you do and a third barrel sometimes. And low equity multi street bluffs multiway against loose tards, sounds like horrible spew to me. + it’s going to be hard to know which turns helped your opps since there are so many hands they could be playing.

    • “You’re often dominated against utg+2′s range.”

      Depends on whether his pre-flop sizing is a tell, as I argued it may well be…

  6. This is a pretty bad flop for our hand, with only backdoor draws we can’t expect to win at showdown and we are an equity dog in all cases when we bet and get called on the flop.  This is why we 3bet pre, QT rarely flops huge so we need to rely on position and the lead.   I think checking here is a terrible mistake, but I also think its a spot where our opponents calling tendency is very inelastic, if either player has a K they arent folding to one bet.   They also are not folding 99-QQ or draws unless we size faily large.  When we have AA/KK/AK our sizing on this flop given the action and position doesn’t have to be very big.   So I would make a fairly small bet which should get folds from small pairs/A high QJ etc.  If called I will probably bomb the turn on anything other than a Js or a heart but we will have to see the action

    I bet 60.

  7. I’m betting, probably about $100. A free card doesn’t do anything for us, and checking it through just invites them to blow us off whatever equity we have on the turn. If the nit calls, I guess I’m done, but I’ll try to barrel the loose opponent off any safe turn.


  8. I am not too excited about the preflop 3-bet (I don’t really dislike it) only because you said villain 2 was borderline nitty. Qt is going to be weak against his utg 2 raise range however 3-betting is much better than calling in my opinion.

    When utg2 calls, I think that takes KK out of his range. I think he is definitely four betting with KK. I don’t think a tight agg. guy is going to want to play a multiplayer pot oop with KK. AA is more likely in his 3-bet calling range considering the two players he is up against. 4-betting would basically be turning his AAs over. but I also think 10s-QQs as well as AK is more likely within his raise/3-bet calling range. I don’t see Raise calling with 22-99 oop with only 120 BBs against a competent player in CO.. He isn’t getting the right implied odds against hero. I am going to include AQ as well even though we have the Qs.

    Given the action up until the flop, I am definetely betting the flop. utg2’s check gives us a greenlight to bet and I will bet until he gives me a reason not to. I think $100-120 is a good bet.

    Disclaimer: I am only a recreational $1-3 player and not even a good one at that. I found your podcast while looking into improving my game as I am a competitive person. I enjoy your strategy conversations on your podcasts. I try to think how I would play the hand you talk about and am often surprised (not really) how you choose to play it and find it very helpful in improving my theoritical mistakes. Thank you.

  9. Sorry i was late to the party on the first part of this hand, I would have voted for flat pre flop due to the strength of UTG+2 range and I was worried that we either go 3 way at a considerable range disadvantage or 2 way with the UTG+2 who has us in reasonably bad shape. However with sizing tells this suddenly becomes a much better spot.

    Given all of that I think flop is a clear bet, UTG should continue quite often but still have lots of hands that will fold. UTG+2 shouldn’t have AK/KK given reads which leaves 88/KQ as the top of his range. a lot of both ranges can sustain 1 barrel but not much can handle multiple barrels if our pre flop read was correct. That seems to argue for a larger sizing since our multiple barrel bluffs basically act as value bets on the flop since we win their call later on with a high frequency.

    We also have lots of good barrel cards for our particular holding here with spade, 9, J, A, Q, T, 7, improving our fold equity or pot equity.

  10. The flop is Ks 8d 6d, $146 in pot and $550 in stacks remaining. Two quick checks on this board calls for a CBET. We have strong back door equity and the desired scare card on the flop. Assuming we do not get two folds, we may well get a call from the loose player with a weak range and get a fold from the PFR. In this case, there will still be a lot of hands in that continuing range that will fold to a turn CBET which we can profitably do on cards that either improve our hand or at least are bad for his range. In this scenario, middle non-spades are bad for us. Spades, 2,3,4,Q,K,A are good barrel cards for us. – J is good for both hero and villain and the 10 would take more evaluation but can often be bet too, perhaps even for value. If the PFR continues as well things are trickier and more villain specific. There will be more cards where we may want to take a free card on the turn. I bet $125 to maximize fold equity that still leaves a healthy $425 in stacks and a manageable / dynamic SPR with either one or two callers. If only the PFR continues I am checking a lot of turns as a K is quite likely.

    Another thing to consider, while there are advantages to the three-bet sizing, the down side is the nitty villians will not play quite as straight-forwardly fit or fold as they might with a larger three bet. They see this sizing in normal raised straddle pots a lot. The small sizing is requisite based on stacks and is why I am not so fond of this line generally

  11. Seems like the theoretically correct play here is to give up. We’ll have enough bluffs with more equity than this one in our range.

    Qs Ts probably isn’t even really close to our bluffing range so we should have a strong reason for deviating from ‘correct’ play.

    There is a decent chance that we have enough fold equity to bluff any two cards here. That’s the only argument that I can see for betting.

    I would just give this one up and c-bet with hands like QJ, Qd Xd, and maybe Ad Xx.

    • I realize that your flop range is wider than mine (I would have folded Qs Ts pre). This may mean that you have enough value hands to bluff Qs Ts.

      Are you playing like this and then value betting down through KTo, A8s, 99+? That may be enough value hands to get Qs Ts into your bluffing range but also will make you want to bet the flop smaller I think (which may take Qs Ts back out of your bluffing range). Hmm.

      Anyway, I assume you are playing this nearly straight exploitatively and that you think you’ll have enough fold equity to barrel this flop and lots of turns. I can see this argument for the flop considering how good it is for our perceived range. But, if the flop is called and we barrel aren’t we basically arguing that we could have taken this line without looking at our cards in the first place?

  12. Late to the party but I’ll take a shot:
    I don’t see how we can pass up a C-bet in this spot. It is a pretty bad flop for our specific hand (although the backdoor equity certainly helps), but the flop also misses much of our opponents range. And crucially, I think we can assume our opponents ranges are extremely capped and ours is uncapped. Andrew already suspected due to bet-sizing that UTG+2’s range was probably capped, and his reaction to our 3bet (quick call) should further confirm this suspicion. It is just hard to see either opponent ever having KK, AA, or AK in this spot (wouldn’t they have at least considered a 4bet with all of these hands?). So 88 and 66 are the only likely monsters, and I trust these types of players to let us know when they have a hand like this, at least by the turn. So I’m going to need a reason not to bet and barrel to take advantage of our uncapped range. Against UTG+2, I will barrel all blanks or cards that increase our equity. Against UTG, I might abort the barrel if he makes a call that looks very comfortable, which I would think is most likely a K or flush draw that he will never fold to a turn barrel.

  13. as a habitual 3-bettor, i’m checking this flop back versus two players nearly 90% of the time.

    on Ks 8d 6d, a single c-bet is never folding out 88, 66, AK, KQ, or KJ and rarely folding out QQ, JJ, TT, 99, or Adx. aside from being a wide swath of reasonable hands, these also strike squarely in either villains’ 3b calling range.

    the only better hands reliably folded out by a cbet are AQ, AJ and 77-22 which consists of fewer combos than the above calling range.

    double-barreling this spot with $146 in the pot and $550 behind is ill-advised unless one is commits to emptying the clip on the turn by structuring the pot with $135 on the flop and a PSB shove of $415 on turn. but on this flop, there are no scary turn cards, so the turn shove is aimed at a very narrow range of QQ-99 (too narrow, given the initial 3b calling range).

    steve’s plan of triple barreling is even more ill-advised. cbetting $105 and then $200 on the turn creates a pot of ~$760 on river leaving hero a paltry $245 behind. offering 3:1 pot odds on a river bluff in a huge pot is pretty much lighting money on fire.

  14. I am ranging them on medium pairs, broadways but not many Kx like AK or KQ and KT which we block, and some Axs.

    The top of their ranges would be the 88 or 66. I think we can get them off of hands worst than Kx and many of the Kx hands as well (but not Kdxd of course) with two barrels. We have to bet with our preflop raise and all of our back doors. I don’t expect many light raises from anything besides nut and combo flush draws. I fold to that because we don’t do well against them anyway.

    My plan would be to c-bet and barrel a lot of turns that improve my hand but fold to any flop raises. Half pot seems to be a decent size with the pot bloated. We could easily bet around the same amount again on the turn to set up a river shove.

    I’m combining both of their ranges here, so I should say that UTG has more Kx hands (including some offsuit broadways and some small to medium suited Kx) and UTG+1’s range is probably more pocket pair / Axs heavy. For this reason, I expect a call from UTG more so than UTG+1 (especially if UTG calls first). Also, UTG probably isn’t the type to take into account the fact that he does not close the action and call tighter.

    A half pot c-bet, a call from UTG, and a fold from UTG+1 seems to be the most likely flop action.

  15. I’m c-betting now but not too huge. Between $85 and $105 should be about right and I’d expect to take the pot there a fair amount of the time, repping top pair, top set, or AA and appearing to value bet in a straight forward manner.

    If only UTG calls, I believe his range is wide enough to barrel most but not all turns. His range includes draws, middle, bottom and even weak top pair hands, medium pairs, several gut shot straight combos and so on, and more rarely sets and two pair.

    If nitty UTG+2 calls, I want more pot equity to barrel with and apply significant pressure on the turn simply because decent Kings I think make up more of his range including KQ and I seem to be alone in this thinking, but I think he doesn’t always 4 bet AK oop pre either by any means. Sets enter the picture when he calls also (and a few medium pairs), but we will see a check raise a reasonable amount of the time OTF or a check call and lead turn line with sets. Good turn cards for us here I believe include any J plus any diamond esp when UTG has folded. And a few more along the lines suggested by duggs.

    Q or T on the turn are ok to check back as others have mentioned. I don’t mind giving up on the turn if unfavourable cards, reads or subsequent actions materialise. Still prefer the PF call to the fold (my original decision) or 3-bet but I agree with the bet sizing tell from UTG+2 capping his range somewhat and therefore presenting more semi bluffing opportunities with QsTs in position.

    Look fwd to more of this discussion!

  16. I think this flop, while not really good for our holdings, it’s still pretty good for our range vs their range. With their apparent disinterest in even thinking about whether to bet or check I’ll bet out about $92 assuming I’ll most likely take it down here. I think that gives us enough behind that we still have options if one or both call.

    • FWIW it would be very common for both players to check their entire ranges to a three-better on a board like this, so I wouldn’t read too much into that, nor the fact that no one tanked on the decision.

      • This is true, I’m probably betting here almost all of the time I’m checked to, regardless of their reaction. I feel like neither player is a really good candidate for a check-raise and I think we stand to lose the most by giving either villain free cards here and a bet is consistent with our story. I think even if the checks and cbet is pretty standard it still puts us as the aggressor and them as the defenders and it’s still difficult for them to continue with a lot of their range. I think there are a lot of turn cards that could be good for us to continue betting, there are also a lot that would be not so good, too. I’m not sure I would necessarily know the difference if I check it through. I feel a bet here keeps our range uncapped while further defining villains hands and I don’t think we should give up the hand altogether just yet. I think we open ourselves up to be exploited more easily if we don’t cbet, we give villains easier decisions to call our preflop 3bet if they know we slow down later on boards that are very conducive to our range. In terms of villains’ actions, I’m not sure I’m done with the hand if either call though I think I’m more likely done or at least treading more lightly if UTG+2 calls depending on the turn card. If both call I’m probably done with the hand and if anyone check-raises we’re out due to the percieved extremely low possibility of either check-raising as a bluff or folding to a shove on top…

  17. Pretty standard check for them, pretty standard bet for us. You don’t three-bet preflop just to give up when you airball. We can get a lot of folds here from ace-highs and pocket pairs.

    I throw in somewhere around $100, obviously hoping to take it down right there.

    Barring specific reads, any check-raise here looks like a set which I’m happy to fold to. A check-call from the nit really, really looks like AK. A check-call from UTG is a bit wider but I’d still be worried about getting called down too wide to keep betting turn/river. No triple barrels bluffs in my range here.

    If I get called, I’m happy to give up on the turn and river without some runner runner action.

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