Paired boards

I am appreciating tonight the effect of a paired board.

We all see the obvious, paired board makes someone trips, or makes someone with a set a full house, or makes someone quads.

The less appreciated things I’ve seen today: paired board counterfeiting a player’s two underpair, giving the hand to the player with top pair, having improved them to top two pair.

There’s also when you have pair vs pair, and the dominant kicker gets invalidated by the board pairing plus an overcard on the board giving both hands the same top kicker, so they chop. I’ve had that happen a lot lately, such as a hand where I’ll play AT in late position to a raise, and get jammed by the short stack who calls from early position. I’ll call, they’ll have like A4, and we’ll pair the Aces on the flop, and I’ll think that it’s in the bag, but then the board pairs and a Q comes down and gives us both AAXXQ.


Yes, those situations where both players have the same pair and the top kicker is on the board are often a good place for a bluff and sometimes you can get a player to fold who would have chopped the pot.

Is there a question here?

More just an observation.

I don’t know that a lot of people think of the less-thought-of examples that I mentioned above. Paired boards have a way of surprising people and the big hands they can enable are always on the forefront of player’s minds when they’re playing.

I’ve stayed in with top pair, weak kicker, paired board, plus a higher board kicker, because I was able to recognize that in the situation, my weak kicker wasn’t relevant, and earned a chop rather than give up my equity.

I’ve also thought my under-two pair hands were good against top pair, only to have the board pair late in the hand, and make my two pair a loser. Two Pair can be a tricky hand to play well, and gets a lot of less experienced players in trouble, especially with a paired board.

Much like a suited flop, everyone’s thinking someone has a flush, but sometimes I see players putting in and calling good bets without any part of the flush, because they have a set or two pair, or even just a pair sometimes. I wouldn’t think it’s a great strategy to play boards that are so one-suited that a flush seems very likely the best hand, yet I’ve seen enough hands go down between players who I think of as good that it seems like understanding these marginal situations better would potentially help a player’s game improve.

You’re rarely getting a good enough price to call for a chop. I see it on Replay and live low stakes all too often, players calling to chop and losing massive amounts of chips/money when they find out that V isn’t chopping and actually has a better value hand. It there’s a good chance you’re chopping then break down the ranges to determine who really has the nut advantage and either fold if it’s V or raise if it’s you… you’ll be much more profitable by folding in these spots or pushing V’s off of chops and winning the whole pot.

I mean, sure, if you can get someone to fold when they would have chopped, that’s good.

If you shove and they call and it’s just a chop, it’s the same as if you called and chopped, except that you’ve risked more.

If you shove and they call and have the better hand, then you just lost a big hand.

I’m not suggesting that we should be playing hands with a goal of chopping them. But if you’re a short stack and you have top pair, weak hole kicker, + board pair, plus an overcard, if you’re facing a decision to call or fold, and folding would leave you pretty well crippled, and getting beat would bust you, then calling is fine more often than you might realize if you don’t see the board properly and think that you’re beat by a better top pair.

this is a very specific situation… I didn’t comment on this at all.

No, it’s not the same… in the second scenario you’ve added fold equity to the pot equity you already have.

Yeah, sometimes you just lose pots… you can’t win them all @puggywug. This is sooooo results oriented, whether you win or lose the pot does not matter at all, EVER. It’s about making good decisions, the highest EV decisions… nothing else matters.

It’s like bluff catching and being right but V having a bluff that beats our bluff catcher. If you think is bluffing on 457JQ and you have A high raising is better than calling and losing to 64s.

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In the situation where you shove to push someone off a chop with a possible a formerly-better hand that you’ve caught up to, you’re mostly getting called by the hand that beats you, though, aren’t you? Don’t you want to keep pots small when you have a decent, but marginal hand?

Bluff shoves work until they don’t, and then you’re out of the tournament. You have to be right every time, they only need to be right once. If you’re right every time, you have so much luck that you don’t need strategy.

Maybe it’s different in ring play?

only if ICM is a consideration.

not necessarily, depends on what will garner the highest EV.

my answer to this is… what I already stated in a previous comment to you…

Nope, this doesn’t make any sense at all. How do they only have to be right once? Who says if you get caught bluffing once you’re out of the tournament?