Hand Review - Double Check-Raise

We don’t typically see check-raising on Replay, much less twice in one hand. I’m rather happy with this hand. Probably got the most value out of it that I could, considering I was out of position.

I’m sitting in the small blind at a 2K-4K ring game facing 6 other players. The hijack is committed to one big blind, as this is his first hand at the table. It folds to him, and he checks his option. The cutoff flats, button folds, and the action is to me.

In this spot, I opt to flat as well. My hand is too strong to fold, but too weak to raise, considering I’ll be out of position for the rest of the hand. It’s fairly rare for big blinds to raise when they have the option to check at these stakes, so I’m fairly comfortable the extra 2K I’m committing to the pot will allow me to see a flop. As expected, the big blind checks his option, and we see a flop.

The flop comes 5h4d7c, giving me top pair with top kicker. This flop is great for my range - in addition to my current hand, I’m probably going to flat 44, 55, 77, and maybe 68s preflop. However, I don’t want to bet now and drive away potential callers, so I opt to play this as a check-raise. The big blind obliges me by min-betting. After both the hijack and cutoff call the minbet, I check-raise to 5.5BB into a pot of 7BB. This got folds from the big blind, but both hijack and cutoff call.

The turn brings the ace of hearts, making the board (5h4d7c)Ah. This doesn’t change the strength of my hand relative to my opponents - I’ll still have the nut straight and all the sets in my range, and nobody should have made a set with the ace, since nobody opened preflop. However, there’s now the potential for a backdoor heart flush. As a result, this is a mandatory barrel. I opt for a size of 65K into a pot of 86K. The hijack calls, cutoff folds, and we head to the river.

Yahtzee. I make top boat when the ace of diamonds falls, making the board (5h4d7cAh)Ad. Now, how to extract maximum value? I opt to check and induce a bluff from my opponent. Thankfully, it works. He makes a half-pot bet of 108K into a pot of 216K. I check-raise to 324K… but he folds. I don’t think I could have used a much smaller size, and even if I did I’m not sure he would have called.

Thoughts on how I played the hand? What bluffs, if any, would you have put in my range on the river?

I think when you raised on the river, you raised a bit too much. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was a mistake. You could have gotten a call there with that bet, there are many players on RPP who will call that big of a raise. You certainly got good value out of your earlier check-raises, and out of the hand overall.

What would this player have called? I can’t begin to guess without knowing more about their hand history and what cards they held. I’d guess if they had top set on the flop – or any set for that matter – they would have bet it more, and would have called the river raise. But maybe just raising them 50% again of what they had bet on the river would have gotten them to call you, or even re-raise you, and then you could have jammed and trapped them. Betting more than is in the pot to begin with seems like it could have been a bluff and begged to be called, but unless you have something here like 77 or AX you don’t call a raise that big. I’d be pretty happy with taking the pot at the size it is though.

They weren’t betting like they had an overpair, and if they’d had any Ace here they most likely would have called the river. So if I had to guess, I’d say they had a Broadway-Rag combination that paired the flop, and they were hoping to hit two pair and missed it, OR a straight draw that they also missed, so something like Q6 or K5 or J7 would be likely here.

I am seeing check-raises a lot in my games, in recent weeks, and have been falling victim to it quite a bit as we’ve been discussing over in the other thread. It seems like in my games it’s everyone’s favorite thing to check an under-pair on the flop, and then raise when I bet. Sometimes they raise me with nothing. I’ve started calling there sometimes, and have caught players who didn’t have any business trying to raise me, but thought they could get away with it.

I think you played the hand well. I would question the “mandatory barrel” on the turn though. Yeah, he could have had 2 hearts, but he mostly doesn’t. Even if he does, he still has to hit to win, which happens less than 20% of the time. Your check raise/lead showed a lot of strength, it’s hard to get much more out of him after that. Maybe a check call would have gotten your check raise called on the river.

Other than 66 or a busted flush draw, it’s hard to credit you with many bluffs on the river. I guess you might take that line with 88 or 99, but you would likely reraise preflop with anything bigger.

@WannabeCoder - a great tool for proofing your play is CardrunnersEV. There is a free version of it if you want to try it out. Not the easiest tool to use but its a very good way to go over your lines and see which would have been the most EV+. You seem to be a technical player so the result of this hand isn’t really relevant but the line is. I haven’t done more than just look at the hand briefly but my initial impression is that just completing preflop wouldn’t be great against decent players. Against people with virtually no postflop abilities, splashing around with normally unplayable hands, even OOP, isn’t going to hurt you much.

Just curious, in case we wanted to look at the hand in a more in depth manner, what is your limp-behind range in the SB here? Some of the range you mentioned above seems way too strong to limp behind with in this spot (2BB’s posted with random cards). Is this an adjustment you’ve made because of the population tendencies? Are you protecting that range with some stronger holdings?

ADDED: If you feel like it, how about posting what range you assigned to each player as well? You had a checked-option from the new player to the table, a limp behind from the CO and another checked option from the BB. To me, this looks like a bunch of dead money with weak/capped ranges. Unfortunately for you, A7o is just a horrible hand, especially multiway (under normal circumstances).


I disagree with this… the V x’d his option after paying a forced BB and has at least 12 combos of 86o (he may open 86s) all 16 combos of 63 and at least probably some flopped sets and turned two pair ( we block but there are still 6 combos of A5 and 6 of A4.) If we only give half of the sets expecting he would sometimes open with 44 55 or 77 then I’m counting 4.5 so we’ll say 4. Now we have an A and 7 in our hand, so that gives V 4+8=12 full house combos and 16+12=28 straight combos. This is 40 combos of value and I think V has plenty to call or even 3! shove with. V has some bluffs that are snap folding but most of his value is going to call or raise with a high frequency, therefore I think H(hero) should be sizing up a x/r otr as he’s probably getting calls or folds at the about the frequency by all of the V’s holdings. Meaning if V is calling 216K x/r then he’s probably calling 316K or shoves at the same frequency.

Just my humble opinion. I don’t like limping the sb her for a couple of reasons. A7o is a hand that doesn’t play particularly well post flop, especially oop in a pot where you haven’t defined anything about your opponents ranges and are going to be multiway. I would fold pre, and I think calling is the worst of the 3 options. A7o, fold pre > raise > call.

On the flop I think x’ing is best as we don’t have opponents ranges narrowed down at all and A7 while pretty strong on this flop in a raised pot is meh in a 4 way pot where at least two of the hands if not all 3 held by our opponents are ATC (any two cards.) I’m okay with x/r to charge draws with the intentions of folding to a 3! We just can not get married to this hand facing extreme aggression from this very passive field.

On the turn I think the Ah is a good card for us to barrel. Not that we can rep it a whole lot but the HJ and CO should have even fewer A’s than we do. Even though there is a trend in this population of over limping hands as strong as AKs and even some broadway pairs up to even AA I wouldn’t be looking for MUTB (monsters under the bed). I like to down betting here having been called in two spots and knowing our specific V floridajetski is a very capable players and will flat your flop x/r IP (in position) a good portion with nut hands like 86 and 63 so as to let the CO come along and allow you to continue with your bluffs if that’s what you have. I also think that 3/4 sizing really narrows your villain’s continuing ranges after you x/r flop and I’d like to keep them as wide as possible believing this is a way ahead/way behind spot we’re in.

I think I would just lead because I can’t find many bluffs that V can show up with and V has a lot of hands he can and would call with that will probably just x back and I hate to miss that value. AP (as played) I would be sizing up huge here having him bet he either has something very strong we want to get max value from or one of the few bluffs that he gets here with. I also think that shoving can look more like bluffs and get some lighter call downs than giving him 4:1 which looks like you can never have bluffs.

As far as bluffs go on the river, I think your most obvious bluffs have to be counterfeited two pairs off flop… 75, 74 and 54 with probably like @SunPowerGuru said some 66. Not many busted flush draws having x/r flop though. The counterfeited 2 pair combos give you enough bluffs to get called down by the middle parts of V’s range including any trip A’s he can get to river with, i.e.A8, A6, A3, and A2.

I’d like to know how you feel about my analysis, please I like the way you think about the game and have agreed with many of your forum postings even though I do not comment a lot. @WannabeCoder

Yeah, I hadn’t considered the counterfeited 2 pairs, good catch. I also agree that he wouldn’t have a busted flush there often, but it could happen.

The line taken looked a lot like a flopped set to me. There aren’t many hands that pay you on the river.

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Right, mandatory bet with the nuts though… nh! Thanks for the kind words, I do appreciate them.

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I’ll admit my limp-behind range here is pretty wide, and I can probably tighten it up. It would look something like 22-77, A2o through A9o, 65s-T9s, and some of my weaker broadways, particularly if they’re offsuit. This is absolutely an adjustment to the player pool at this level - raises tend not to get folds unless they’re 6BB or bigger, and I don’t particularly want to get involved in a bloated pot (potentially over 20BB preflop), out of position, with a hand as weak as A7o. With the weaker pairs I’m getting basically direct odds to hit a set on the flop, and if I do make a set, it’s usually pretty well disguised. Similar with hitting top pair when I have a weak offsuit ace.

Because 75, 74, and 54 aren’t going to be in my preflop flat range, and I’d probably opt to check-call the flop with A3, A6 or A8, bluffing on later streets with those holdings, my only bluffs here would be 66 (6 combos). Because I’ll want to bet with all 15 of my boats (3x 44, 3x 55, 3x 77, and 5x A7o), I’d be worried about balance if I jam here - particularly if I add in 68s. I’d probably play that as a preflop flat only rarely, so maybe add 1/4 of the 4 combos of 68s to my range.

I very much appreciate all of the comments so far. @floridajetski - would love to know what you had. You’re a very strong player, as @dayman said, and I definitely respect your decision-making. My guess is 76o or 87o, or possibly 88. Don’t think you would’ve folded a straight.

And @1Warlock, thanks for the recommendation on CardRunnerEV. I’ll definitely have to check it out.


@WannabeCoder Nice reply, thanks. I would love to see ski give up his holdings. I don’t know if he bets 87o and 76o on the river after you x/r flop and .75 turn… I can’t see what he beats that he would expect to get calls from. I do think he’s disciplined enough to fold a str8 but he going to be raising those and or 3! them at some frequency on the flop. I think facing a min bet and a smallish x/r he could have some bdfd hands that turned equity like Kh6h Kh8h or Kh9h all make really good river bluff hands in my eyes. Hopefully he’ll let us know. :slight_smile:

double check raise is very rare indeed. double check raise is rarely a bluff by the chech raiser. So if you are on the recieving end fold (if you have marginal hand.)