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Before Moving to $3/6

This section will go over some very popular, yet still very profitable ‘plays’ that you should do (and will see) against opponents.
I recommend you study these plays – how to use them to your advantage, how to recognize them when they happen,
and how to defend against them.

To set up the situation: You are up against a Tight/passive player and you don’t have position. You have QQ.
The hand plays out like this (Thanks to Fnord for the use of his hand):


Preflop: Hero is UTG with
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy



Hero raises, 1 fold, UTG+2 3-bets, 7 folds, Hero calls.



Notes: A tight-passive player that 3 bets usually has AK or better in this situation. Calling preflop against such a player is a good play.



Flop: (7.33 SB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)



Hero checks, UTG+2 bets, Hero raises, UTG+2 3-bets, Hero calls.



Notes: Notice the check/raise here on the flop. He does this to find out where he’s at in the hand. A 3-bet here by UTG+3 generally means our Hero is up against KK or AA.



Turn: (6.66 BB)
Limit Holdem Strategy (2 players)



Hero checks, UTG+2 bets, Hero calls.



Notes: Setting up our river play here by check/calling the turn.



River: (8.66 BB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)

Hero bets, UTG+2 calls.

Final Pot: 12.66 BB

This is the ‘play.’ An explanation:

The probability of UTG +3 raising the river here is very minimal. Thus, this is a way to minimize the amount you lose and maximize the amount you would win. If you check here, if you are ahead, there is a probability that he takes a free showdown. Thus, you lose an extra bet. If you are behind, you check, he bets, and you are out the same.

Now let’s look at it the other way. If you are behind and bet out, most of the time you will still lose one bet, because the guy will be afraid he was just drawn out on and will call the bet.
If you are really behind, the guy will raise and you will be forced to call another bet. However, this would lose money in the long run, if it wasn’t for the fact that the probability of him raising is much lower than the probability of him calling. It’s a +EV play as long as the probability of him raising is less than around 40%.

This is considered a ‘play’ of experienced players. I see it a lot on 5/10. If you think you are up against this play, then the correct thing to do is to raise. The goal of this play is to take away some of the edge the player with position has.

An example of defending against this play:

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy

4 folds, Hero raises, 1 fold, CO calls, 2 folds, BB calls.

Flop: (6.40 SB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
(3 players)



BB checks, Hero bets, CO folds, BB calls.

Turn: (4.20 BB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)

BB checks, Hero bets, BB calls.

River: (6.20 BB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)

BB bets, Hero raises, BB calls.



Final Pot: 10.20 BB


My guideline: If you can beat TPTK, you should raise the river when bet into if you think you have been ‘played.’ If you have TP no kicker or worse, then calling would be good. For example, if you have QQ on a board of K9434, then you should call, if bet into. But, if you have AK on a board of K9434, then raising would be the correct play.

This one here is pretty self-explanatory in the title. Even if your flush here isn’t the nut flush,
betting here, first to act with 4-to-a-flush on the board is positive expectation and stems from the
reasoning of the previous play I explained. By betting the river here, anyone without the nut flush will
simply call down. Some really passive players here will fold. Also, if you don’t have the flush,
and neither does your opponent, then betting will practically force your opponent to fold as well,
especially the smart, thinking players.
If your opponent doesn’t have a flush, most likely he will check behind and,
if you are ahead, you will also lose bets. Thus, for the same reasoning as the play above,
betting is a positive expectation when you are first to act HU facing a four-flush on the board.

This play is very common at $5/10, where the play is pretty tight and aggressive.
Here is an example of how to play if bet into:

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy

1 fold, Hero raises, 3 folds, SB calls, 1 fold.

Flop: (5 SB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)



SB bets, Hero raises, SB calls.

Turn: (4.50 BB)
Limit Holdem Strategy
(2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets, SB folds.



Final Pot: 5.50 BB

The SB bet here to try and steal the pot, and he undoubtedly didn’t have a hand either. This is a common occurrence.
One word of warning though, if you are three-bet here, you should undoubtedly call the flop and most
likely fold the turn if unimproved. As you get better, you’ll learn how to turn this play around and
actually steal a pot or two from your opponents. However, until you get this far, you won’t need to implement this strategy.

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