Overpairs in 3bet Pots

Here’s the scenario, you have JhJs in the BB, 100bbs deep, MP opens to 3x, you 3bet to 12x and they call. Pot is 24.5bb, 88bb effective. Flop is Th3h8c. What do you do?

Now, you cbet 10bb and villain raises to 45bb. What do you do?

Recently, facing a flop raise in 3bet/4bet pots with an overpair has been the most difficult type of spot for me. I have seen villain raise with all kinds of things, 44 on a low rainbow board, 84s that somehow called a 4bet oop and flopped trips, top set. The board in the example was pretty wet, but even on low rainbow boards or low two tone boards, it is a tough spot. Against replay opponents I’m inclined to over fold, but against opponents with some bluffs it gets even tougher, especially with weaker over pairs like QQ/JJ/TT. How do you play these hands/spots?

I think it depends on who you play against. If they do it once you can let it go and not worry about it too much but if they are obviously raising flop cbets then overpairs become a call (against maniacs they can even be a shove). Its up to you based on your player pool if you should fold or call. Like you said, you have to think about the relative strength of the overpair aces in that situation seems like a relatively easy call while Jacks is more borderline. I think I would reluctantly fold Jacks in this scenario but if it kept happening I would call


What do you think is villain’s range to open-raise and then flat a 3b from you?

My gut feel is that you may be better to check-call the flop rather than cbetting. Given V is playing loosey-goosey then they’re going to have a lot of random junk that’s just going to fold to a cbet but you may be able to induce some extra bluffs by checking.

1 Like

3 bet shove on the flop

he said that he saw villain called a 4 bet oop with 84s so a wide range…

wrong approach mate.

Actually looks my original wording of the post is incorrect. It wasn’t this specific villain, it was various other players at the same stake level. If I’d seen this player raise flop with underpair 44 and call pre with 84s then it becomes a fairly easy (albeit reluctant) call.

Actual villain was a decent reg who is a bit looser and 3bets more than most. So I’d put them on a fairly normal range to call a 3bet ip, which can include 22-TT, A2s-AJs, weak suited broadways, and some suited connectors. They could definitely flop any set on this flop or top 2 pair, but they could also have tons of draws, though I’m not sure if they play them this aggressively. It is good to at least consider checking. It’s supposed to be good to check a lot oop to protect your entire range, but facing an actual spot I tend to just fire to prevent seeing future scare cards or letting them realize equity. Not sure which board textures are best to check, maybe lower boards where V can have all the sets and more draws and I can only have overpairs.

As played, I decided to call because the board was draw heavy, but they had TT, though I caught the runner runner flush :yum:


I was watching a video about GTO, and it recommended checking back the biggest pairs (AA/KK) sometimes on lower boards because villain has more sets and facing a check raise puts you in a really bad spot. And that was in position, so I think out of position we should be pretty check heavy, but JJ is still pretty vulnerable against draws or overcards, so maybe it’s a bet-fold against most opponents while bigger pairs might be better check-calls? These are some of the toughest spots to me because the pot is so big already, relative hand strength is good enough that you hate folding but not good enough to want to get stacks in.

What I don’t quite get about the GTO approach is that even if an ip caller vs oop 3bettor has more sets/trips on a low board, they also have more high equity draws that might show aggression. But I guess those draws still have good equity and are in position, while we have few/no nuttish hands, so pot control is the way to go. Plus, opponents here and at microstakes aren’t necessarily turning draws into bluffs anyway.

Another interesting post, JoeDirk.

Yes, TT is the hand that makes a lot of sense there. From your original post, I speculated (not knowing the opposing player) that you could safely remove KK+, since I would have expected a 4-bet with those hands. A 4-bet with 99-QQ and AK, seems a bit more dicey (though LAGs will do that), and flatting a 12x 3-bet with less than that does not seem to be +EV against your 3-bet range. But maybe that is my nitty tendency talking.

I am not sure about the sizing of your c-bet. The equity requirement needed to call a 10bb c-bet is a little over 20%, I think, so I would expect to get more calls than folds. Still, it could serve as an info bet, but the question is what did that info tell you?

The related question is how to interpret the re-raise on the flop, which was an overbet. In hindsight, the player was concerned about that flush draw, but the re-raise ended up being too small to get you to fold – maybe a shove was in order?

It’s very easy to say that you should have folded, even though it does not appear that you had enough equity to make the call. So the final question is: did you think your opponent was bluffing? I don’t think I would interpret the re-raise on the flop as a semi-bluff. What kind of draws did you think you would be up against?

1 Like

Its an issue of SPR. At 100bb effective, you’d have an SPR of about 3.5. You are fine getting TP+ in postflop with this low an SPR vs most decent opponents. Of course adjust if you are facing someone who never gets it in on just TP here. If you want to nitpick and say TP+ is only fine up to 3x, then TPTK+ is fine at 3.5x.

Also, you can’t consider all raises of your c-bet to come from the same range. You should expect to be raised more vs a small c-bet size than vs a large one. You are doing fine against the standard raising range vs your c-bet size. Again, adjust to the opponent as necessary.

As to the solver solutions - the pattern is to bet your weakest over pairs more than your best ones. In the case here, JJ is bet at a higher frequency than QQ and so on. The solver combines value and protection and balances it against the need to protect your checking range with some strong hands. It chooses the least vulnerable hands to protect checking ranges with and bets with the most vulnerable. That may seem counterintuitive at first but it becomes more natural as you implement that strategy across all hand types in your range.


I would expect my opponent to 4bet QQ+/AK and possibly AQ, so we can remove them from their range, but believe it or not, it is fine for MP to flat a BB 3bet with hands like A5s, 98s, KTs, and even lower suited connectors. Although, looking at some charts, I was surprised that JJ can sometimes flat opens in the BB rather than being a mandatory 3bet as it is from any other position.

Betting 10bbs into a 24bb pot means they need 23% equity to call, though the rake makes calling slightly worse. It’s become kind of a common size for my c-bets in 3bet pots because it gets trash to fold, gets some hands that otherwise might fold to continue (like 8x hands on this flop for instance) and doesn’t overly inflate the pot, while still creating a big enough pot for when I want to get stacks in by the river. I wouldn’t call it an information bet (I don’t intentionally bet just to gain information), as I might bet this size with KK or 88. It seems like a good size for my range on a board that maybe favors villain’s range (though I’m not sure that I’m correct in that thinking).

Against some players I’d view the raise on the flop as a way to purely extract value. As in this case, top set can get a lot of value from overpairs on this flop. I wouldn’t say villain was concerned about the flush draw, they were going for value against my strong looking range on a board where they can have draws. Good players will be balanced between bluffs and value, which kind of forces you to continue with overpairs in a low spr spot, while against players who almost only do this for value, it could be a fairly easy fold.

So to answer your final questions, I think villain could definitely have a bunch of Ahxh or other flush draws, straight draws, or combo draws (though I block some) like KhQh, J9, 97, 76 also possibly with hearts. These all make good bluffs. While they might be getting a good price to continue, they don’t have showdown value so they benefit from trying to generate some fold equity by raising. And some players might even just call this flop with sets because they can raise on future streets (though maybe not on this somewhat wet board), and raise mostly as a bluff.

While smaller bet sizes in 3! pots is common, I think you would do well to add a larger bet size as an option. There are many instances where you will want to make it a 2-street game and so need to look at setting up turn shoves as well. There is also a lot of merit to getting hands like KQ and AQ to fold their equity vs JJ in a spot like this one. On this particular board, I would have used a larger size with this part of my range and looked to shove favorable turns.

I’m curious as to why people aren’t considering at least ATs as a potential raise by villain vs the small size c-bet. If they aren’t ever raising TP in these spots, they won’t have enough bluff combos. They also give your higher equity bluffs a free card, which is horrible.

It makes sense to use a bigger size with strong but vulnerable hands. Would that be like a 2/3 pot? And what about facing a raise? Are we ok with going for stacks because the spr is so small?

Interesting about raising tptk. The way you put it makes so much sense, but I often think of top pair as being too vulnerable to raise, especially in a 3bet pot. I will definitely start looking for that possibility in future hands.

This is from Fried Meulders of Upswing Poker - he uses 3 bet sizes OOP in 3! pots. I simplify and use 2 (1/3rd, 2/3rd). As you can see, on the flop you referenced, the solver would bet less frequently but use the 80% bet size with your hand type. It looks for a turn shove when using this size. Yes, it is ok getting it in facing a raise vs a balanced opponent (though IP villain should never raise facing the larger size bet)

Remember, in low SPR pots, nut advantages aren’t as big a thing as they are in higher SPR pots. The required hand strength to stack off with in a low SPR pot is lower, therefore your over-pairs are carrying much of the value weight of your range on many textures. If you ever get a chance to look at equity distribution graphs, you’ll be able to see this clearly. Your top 1/3rd of range crushes his and the absolute top of ranges is so small that you can’t let it dictate your strategy.

Lastly, don’t worry about getting value from his 8x - he has almost none to get it from. He has 88 (you’re crushed) and sometimes 8/7s, if he’s even opening it. He shouldn’t have 9/8s.


:man_facepalming: :man_facepalming: :expressionless:

you are the only player that this forum should listen to when analyzing hands.

ok ill explain, villain calls 4 bets with 84s oop, villlain raise with all kind of things, therefore villain is a weak player with a wide range. you crush his range, you want to apply maximum pressure to players with wide ranges, you want value, check call is a passive line, you want to exploit not balance vs weak players…

come on dude you are ranked 16 you should know these stuff by now…

Thanks for explaining your thinking.

Yes, you would think that I would…

1 Like

I’m so used to playing 200b deep, I wasn’t thinking about just how small the spr of a 3bet oop and call is at 100 deep. It really simplifies things to just go with a tptk or overpair type hand in some of these spots, especially since villain’s range should be capped.

I’ve been 3betting north of 10%, and it has been incredibly effective because nobody seems to adjust, but I wouldn’t recommend it against the strong opening ranges of most players on replay.

Another spot related to this is the inverse. Let’s assume villain is a reg who plays normal but slightly tight ranges. We have 88 in mp, raise to 2.5x, v in the sb 3bets to 10bb and we call. Flop is 257r. Villain bets 2/3, we call, turn J, villain bets 2/3 again and we fold. It seems like whatever villain is double barreling is going to beat us, but I also don’t like calling flop when we have little chance to improve or folding the turn when few of villain’s bluffs improved. This is a less common spot, and in general I give people credit when they show aggression because most players don’t bluff with proper frequency, especially oop on a dry board. But this is another spot that confuses me.

1 Like

The poker bank on YouTube did a hand review today from 25 nl from a very similar spot, QQ 3bet from sb against ep open (4 handed) and flop is 6c7s2d. They also liked the 40% cbet size, and they describe a turn 9d as an “awful” card, which I think is pretty ridiculous. Only 99, T8s, or 97s improved and villain picked up some draw outs which is probably good for hero to get more value.

I’ve learned recently that the poker bank is great for beginning strategy, but it’s pretty limited at the upper end and usually seems to consider exact hands and put reads on opponents instead of thinking about range vs range and balance. But I suppose that’s ok for microstakes, if not for learning to progress. But it was interesting to watch them consider a similar spot.

In their hand, villain calls flop, hero bets about half on turn, which I believe should be bigger, river is 8 of spades which is pretty bad as it puts 4 to a straight on board. Hero bets 27% pot and faces a jam (need to call 17 to win 39). They say fold, but hero calls and beats JJ (which turned into a bluff for some reason? Or insane value bet?) JJ makes a good bluff because it blocks the nuts but it could also call and beat some bluffs and weird medium strength hands that hero might play this way like 7x/9x.

On this river, I believe I’d have checked to keep all of villain’s range in play and then look to call, but I’m not sure if there’s a correct answer.