How to Play a Pair of Queens

Did I play this hand correctly and just got sucked out on? I knew this guy was three betting light because he had been three betting me every time I raised - I put him on something like ace rag or worse so I shoved and he called.

Played 100% perfectly. Given his play with A8o, QQ is way ahead of his range, making your play massively +EV in the long run.

I have two points of feedback (both of which are actually wrong in this exact situation lol). Your initial 10x open size over 1 limper is too large, and players who play decent ranges or who know what they are doing are either going to fold, set mine if deep enough, or stack you with AA/KK. However, in the game you are playing it appears to be a perfect sizing to cut down on multi-way pots and get value from people who don’t care or know and will play any cards.

Facing the 3-bet over your massive raise, I would usually assume they have KK/AA (which also was wrong this time). But I haven’t played much low to medium stakes ring on Replay; I played tournaments til I had 8m and started with 2k/4k ring. If you have info on the player 3-betting a lot or being a maniac then obviously QQ is going to be ahead of their range. Against a lot of players who rarely raise I would consider folding hands as strong as TT/AQ if they suddenly 3-bet.

But, as played you got max value with a hand that crushes his range and that’s all you can do.

Hi @speculator, many thanks for the great questions you have been asking!

As someone who plays low stakes exclusively (for now!!!), I think that I can add to what @JoeDirk has to say. Note that it is ALWAYS good advice to listen to Joe and implement his suggestions!

Joe acknowledged that you played 100% perfectly and I agree. Joes advice, which he admits is “wrong” in this particular situation is, in my opinion, wrong nearly all of the time at the low stakes tables and, with emphasis, ONLY at the low stakes tables. If you read that you are against a knowledgeable player, even on the low stakes tables, Joes way is the only way!

Players at the low stakes tables are ridiculously sticky and, in my experience, 10BB is quite often the minimum required to reduce the field to a manageable number. I would certainly go lower with something like high suited connectors or big(gish) suited aces (in position!) because they play well post-flop against a big field, offer you a number of bluff and semi-bluff opportunities and you could easily take 2 or 3 stacks if you hit directly or hit the nuts draw and then hit the turn or river.

You have a specific read on this villain, which is great, but I don’t think you need to limit yourself to that extent. My experience is that many or most of the low stakes players will 3-bet or call with a range not tighter than 66+, A5s+, KJs+, QTs+, Jts, AKo, KQo and QJo; many of them will play a LOT looser than this - my AA shove was recently called by QTs who then took the pot. A one gapper that couldn’t even make the nuts flush!!! It’s tough being me lol

Assuming, as you read the villain, that s/he is 3-betting light, I think the above range is easily in his/her shoving range.

If I have read the hand correctly, you actually bet (when you shoved) 4691 chips into an expected pot of 13957 chips. If, and it’s always (educated?) guesswork, the suggested range is correct, your pre-flop equity is 67.18%.

EV = (67.18% * 13957) - (32.82% * 4691) = 7837 chips (rounded up).

For what it’s worth, on the low stakes tables, I would be very tempted to 3-bet and then call your shove with TT+. Even with a player that tight, you still have 50% equity pre-flop = 4633 EV.

Not only was your shove +EV, it was, in my opinion, the only way you had to realise your equity. QQ, as you know, is not a great pair and absolutely requires some help from the board. If you had simply called his/her 3-bet, I think you would have been well advised to fold to the c-bet which was nearly guaranteed to come.

Even the fairly tight (at low stakes) range that I put villain on has a number of kings which obviously killed you. If we loosen villains range, ever so slightly, to include 55, it really would have been risky business to call a c-bet. Also note that villains range includes a number of nut flush draws, all of which would have knocked you out if they hit on subsequent streets - note the 4h on the river giving 3 to a flush!

By forcing the villain to make a hard decision pre-flop, you will nearly always (7/10) over-realise your equity. Just understand that you lose your stack, or most of it, 3/10 times!

Hope this helps and, if in doubt, listen to Joe more than me :slight_smile: