Laydown gone wrong

here an interesting hand i got a moment ago. i rivered a flush only just to fold it in the end, and after i did i saw my flush was ahead anyway. this probably sounds like madness but here the hand and my thought process:

first of all, it was the beginning of a 1M tourney and i didn’t had much reads yet except for the fact that the table is very limpy.
i have 4d2d

preflop: seems like an easy check to me
villain could have anything cuz of the limp thing i mentioned

flop: villain minbets in the pot while i have a flushdraw, seems also like an easy call to me. no reason to semi bluff because there are still opponents after me.
villain probably has a weak hand, a draw or a slowplayed monster

turn: it’s checked to me. i could try a semi bluff here but i rather just check it back.
villain can still hold the same range

river: this is where it gets interesting, i get my third diamond and hit my flush. i’m acutally quite happy to see him bet before me. it could still mean the same range as a weak hand might decide to bluff me out considering the action and the river card, but it also adds potential Ax hands he might have played, which i can get value from, so i raise the bet so i can still get calls from hands like Ax two pairs and sets making it a good value bet imo, however i get easily 3bet shoved which seemed to barely needed any thought. i am clearly repping strength by raising the river and there is a potential flush out there (which i happen to have) and i have played in a way that could easily suggest a FD in other words i assumed it would be easy for him to put me on a flush and he still had no problem to shove, so i folded my flush assuming to be looking at a higher flush. but in the end he only had just 2pair.

long story short: my quetion is was it right to make the laydown here or was i being too nitty and should i just have got it in?

1 Like

As played I think your laydown on the river is fine, given that you have no specific read on villain’s tendencies. A majority of players at this site would only 3bet shove that river with a decent flush. 2 pairs shouldn’t be shoving here. Obviously now you can make a note on this player that he is only thinking about his own 2 cards and not what you might have.

4d2d (and small flush draws in general) should be excellent to bluff-raise on the flop and fire again on the turn because you have zero showdown value. On flop and turn, your range assessment seems very accurate to me - and you should be able to get a lot of those weak pairs and draws to fold. You can also fold out all the unpaired Ax hands that people love to limp with and that are ahead of you.


IMO, it was an easy call on the river but not a raise. Your hand was strong enough to call a pot sized bet, even understanding you would be behind a fair amount of the time. If you raised, you had to ask yourself what hands that you were behind were going to fold and what hands that you were ahead of could/should call? Forget what villain actually had here because you couldn’t have known he would turn that strong of a hand into a bluff.


With a flush holding 42, you should have not raised the river, and just called. Raising left you open to a re-raise, and you couldn’t sustain it, making you vulnerable to bluffs. Two pair here isn’t a bluff, it’s a legitimate hand, and you didn’t have a hand you were confident enough in to call.

You probably shouldn’t have played the hand at all, given that a 42 flush is very weak if anyone else has a flush. With 3 diamonds on the board, only someone else with two diamonds could have it, but anyone with two diamonds, at the very minimum, would have had 35, and that would have beat your flush.

1 Like

thanks every1 for the information.

i also like to add my thought process why i didn’t semibluff the flop/turn and why i did raise the river: since the only read i had was that the table was limpy, i kinda classified em as loose. in other words, i assumed a semi bluff wouldn’t work often enough to make it profitable, especcialy not when i’m already getting a good price to play my hand. and i did raised the river because i could get more value out of Ax, sets and two pair kinda hands, which is a pretty big range. however i just wasn’t expected to get 3bet shoved there, certainly not with one of those hands.
of course my thoughts may be wrong, just explaining why i did what i did :slight_smile:


I respectfully disagree with your reads here, especially on set. In a limped pot on a fairly wet board, what sets are going to slowplay? On the flop there was a straight and flush draw. On the turn a 2nd flush draw came into play. Most people will protect 2-pair+ on those types of boards. IMO, there were more missed draws than 2-pair+ and you couldn’t get any more value from hands like QJ or 8/7 or busted clubs than you get with a call. The rest of the range should have been Ax and diamond draws. So, the bulk of his value range had you crushed and the vast majority of everything else was busted draws. I just don’t see any extra value here for you with a raise enough of the time to have gone for it. A pot sized bet on the river is pretty polarizing so I think a call is the better play.

Still, I like the way you are looking for thin value. If we aren’t value-owning ourselves sometimes, we aren’t going for it enough.

1 Like

One of the questions I like to ask myself when I bet or raise - particularly on the river - is what value bets and bluffs I’ll have in my bet/raise range.

The lowest possible flush is probably the weakest hand you’ll have for value when you bet here. Maybe you’d have the straight with 5 :clubs: 2 :clubs:, but I’d probably get out of the way facing a minbet on the flop with only a backdoor straight, really low backdoor flush draw. Sets would have bet on earlier streets given the board texture, to scare away the possible flush draws and straight draws that have been around since the flop. Most of your combo draws - a pair of diamonds with decent straight potential, like KJ, KQ, QJ, Q8, J8, J7, and 87 - should have raised on the flop. I’d probably bet my King-high diamond flush draws on the turn, and maybe some of my queen-high flush draws that have gained equity, like QT and Q4. Throw 76 in there as well, since you’ve picked up a double-gutter, along with 65 and 52, which now both have open-enders.

So if you’re going to bet 4 :diamonds: 2 :diamonds: for value, what other flushes will be in your value range that would have checked preflop, called a minbet on the flop, and checked the turn? Q2, Q5, Q6, Q7, J2, J4, J5, J6, T2, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, 82, 84, 85, 86, 72, 74, 75, 62, 64, 54, and 42. That’s 25 combos.

If you raise to 800 facing a pot-sized bet of 280 on the river, your opponent will need to make a call of 520 to win a pot of 1360, so he’ll need about 3:1 odds on a call. As a result, you’ll need 9-10 combos of bluffs in order to be balanced. What bluffs are in your range here? It’s tough for me to name some reasonable ones that would have checked preflop, called flop, and checked turn - maybe pocket 2’s with 2 :diamonds: (3 combos), pocket 5’s with 5 :diamonds: (3 combos), and 53o with 5 :diamonds: (3 combos)? TBH, not sure I’d have the stones to make those plays, particularly early in a tournament. Because of that, I probably would have opted to call on the river.

In any case, assuming you’re well-balanced, when he does jam, you need to call 4K in order to win a pot of 5880. You should be folding about 40% of your range here, which will include all of your bluffs, as well as your 4 weakest value hands. Since 4 :diamonds: 2 :diamonds: is one of your four weakest flushes, you made the right laydown, even though you had him beat. Just note that he’s willing to make overbets with fairly thin value in the future and chalk it up to a learning experience.


Great analysis - so long as you make adjustments for the stakes/players you are facing. IMO, you lose tons of value and set chips/$ on fire if you balance vs a population that simply isn’t at all. I’m not saying to cut out all bluffs period by any means. Just being more selective and realizing when someone can and can’t lay down a pair will save you a lot of heartache. In low stakes, having relevant blockers to the nuts is the key. On the other hand, people call so lightly because they are concentrating on their own cards most of the time. I hate running a really sick bluff that would work against 90% of players who paid attention to the board and action only to be snapped off by someone who made 3rd pair in the flop with no kicker. :slight_smile:

1 Like

This hand illustrates why it’s important to balance your betting range with bluffs.

You’re going to have very few flushes in this spot - just 25, compared to the hundreds of other hands in your range. You’ll want to bet-fold with as little of your value range as possible, particularly when your entire value range beats portions of your opponents’.

If you had no bluffs in your range when you raise in the river, then you have to fold way too many of your value hands - not just your 6-high flushes, but also your 7- and 8-high flushes. Not a good situation.

True regardless of the stakes.


thanks for the analysis both of you. very nice :+1:

also very good points, i guess i totally overlooked that fact by overthinking the other stuff.

1 Like

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying as a strategy when playing hands heads-up. This hand was a 4-way limped pot. As a result, all ranges get condensed - more so every street. By the time any 2 hands reach the river, there should be far fewer bluffing hands in either players range. Therefore, having a balanced bluffing strategy as you would for a HU hand is no longer appropriate. Multiway pots are much more about value than balance. At least this is how I understand it.

How are you adjusting your balanced strategy to take into account multiway pots (if you are)? Is there some study material you can direct me to that would address this concept? Everything I’ve read about it says that multiway pots require a far more value oriented approach than HU ones.


That’s a great question/point. It’ll take me a few hours to work out the math and provide an in-depth response. In the meantime, long story short, it provides an even better reason to call with your weakest flush instead of raise, and to fold facing the jam.


Cool - I came to the same conclusion you did about just calling the river bet and folding to the jam but from a very different perspective. If there is a better (more precise) way to make these decisions, I’m all for learning them. I’m an old-school donkey, used to the idiosyncrasies of low-stakes poker. The games are hugely unbalanced and my approach works really well for them. Unfortunately, I hit my ceiling at 100NL and can’t seem to do more than break-even at 200NL online. I’d like to do better than that so I need to learn some of the more balanced approaches.


I call there with a baby flush instead of raise, probably for different reasons too.

First, you usually only get called if you’re beat.

Against a bluff, you’re giving him a chance to jam and force a fold.

You have enough value to go to showdown… barely. So just call and see if your hand is good.

I don’t see a way to extract more value there at all. There’s no need to get frisky with a marginal hand. Maybe I’m just timid? Yes, that might be it. :slight_smile:


I’d be calling, biting my nails, expecting a bigger flush and asking myself why 24s is ever worth playing.

OK, I guess turning 2-pair into a bluff when flush draw completes is really a thing. I don’t get it but it just happened to me. Easy call with a set but no idea why he’d lead for pot when the obvious flush draw fills holding 2-pair. That card likely slows down the action and he could call reasonable bets with that hand. Is it possible that players are betting 2-pair for value in spots like this?


Yes, it’s possible that he was betting for value. I see a lot of people who will call there with one pair, no kicker.

He could also be betting you didn’t have a flush, and couldn’t call without one.