River spot in 3! pot

102 bb’s effective
Hero is BTN with 7s6s

UTG missed his blinds and has posted 1 bb and x’s option, Villain in the HJ opens to 4 bb’s, CO folds, Hero 3! BTN with 7s6s to 10.5 bb’s, SB BB and UTG fold, HJ calls and we’re HU.

Flop (23.5 bb’s) 9c7d5s… V x, H 15 bb’s, V calls

Turn (53.5 bb’s) 2d… Vx, H x back

River (53.5 bb’s) As… Vx, H?

Great, another chance to show how little I know about pokering!

I check back because I will only get called by hands that beat me, and I don’t want to get x/raised off the hand.

I’m 100% confident everyone will tell me exactly why this the exact opposite of what i should do, possibly with charts and graphs and sophisticated mathematical proofs and cutting-edge theoretical considerations… I can hardly wait!

PS: please include pie charts, I love pie charts!


If I have this right, you’re 3-betting suited rag connectors just because you’re on the button? You hit middle pair on the flop, but there’s an ace on the river. And you’ve got a quarter of your stack involved.

I’m not sure I’m advanced enough to play this good. Usually when I play a hand like this, it’s because my last 40 hands were some combination of 42o, and by now 76s looks like a great hand with all sorts of potential, and I’m fancy enough to outplay anyone with middle pair on a low flop, but I get called there by A2 a lot, and on this board they just made two pair.

I immediately fold the river to no pressure, so I don’t have to show my cards.


Our BTN 3! ranges are different at these depths. I’m polarizing with a different part of my range in a zero rake environment. Anyway, on the line you took, I think this is a x-back unless you think you can get called by K-high or fold out 9/8s or TT-JJ (which he shouldn’t have). You are blocking the only hand you can realistically get value from (66) and most of V’s range should be suited Broadways that aren’t calling anything. If V is creative enough to turn JT into a bluff here, you’d be opening yourself up to being x/r off your hand. Then again, JTs with a backdoor should be raised by V on the flop.


I try very hard not to play based on history(unless it’s opponents actions in the past that I’m acting on.) I play ranges, pre flop is pretty close to solved. I mean yeah there’s infinite sizings but for the most part standard pre flop play is solved.

We beat 44? Folding the river is atrocious… for one we show least when we x so if we’re beat we muck.

We can bet/fold? Who’s range is the A better for? I think getting called for .66p on the flop we’re almost never good here and the times we are he insta folds and we don’t showdown. I feel like repping the A is mandatory here as he shouldn’t be floating oop with that many A’s and a lot of his A’s are going to fold pre or 4!.

Do you mean you favor card removal with broadway’s and A highs? I’m mixing here with 54s-87s 25% 3! and calling 25% (with bad players/non aggressive 3!er’s in the blinds) and folding 50%. With aggressive players in the blinds that 3! a ton I’m just 25/75 r/f.

This hand is player dependent so maybe not the best to share here, V in this case is a fairly aggressive “bully” but backs off when facing resistance if you will. I don’t think he’s floating a ton with A high and or overs facing .66 oop.

In future post I’ll try and give a profile vs known players.

1 Like

Theoretically optimal play calls for polarizing your raising range when you have the option of calling. Because you will defend your button by calling with a certain range, you also need to construct a raising range that is not purely linear (vs good opponents). I have no idea whether the people @dayman is playing here are good enough to notice but since he’s playing online cash, it can’t hurt to practice.

As you said, a lot has to do with who is left to act. On a smaller open, I’d 3! more to avoid the multiway thing. On a 4bb open, I’m less worried about the blinds coming along for the ride. I’m defending mostly medium pairs, some suited Ax and connectors. I’m 3! top of range along with hands slightly too weak to call (Q9s, J9s, KTs …, A5s …). I’m really happy to see flops 2 or 3 way with the mid suited connectors. I need the SPR to remain high with them and it pains me to get 4! off them preflop. This is for timed rake games live and low rake games here. I’m less inclined to flat anything preflop in the high rake online games.

ADDED: if I think V is iso-raising very light, I’ll 3-bet the crap out of him. How widely depends on how often he’s folding to the 3!. With a high enough 3! fold %, any 2 cards will do until he plays back at me.


You bet the flop, then checked the turn. What, exactly, would you be repping? A7o? A5o? Yeah, you have more aces than he does, but none of them really make sense with that line.

I would bet ton of suited A’s with back door flush draws and give up with the non diamonds on the turn after getting called on the flop. Plus I would easily x/b A5s on the turn though I would usually x A5 on the flop so I wouldn’t have many of those.

A7o and A5o are folds pre.

100%… on Ignition (just past 6K hands at $25nl) and on Nitrogen (playing mostly equivalent to $100nl) I have a BTN flat of weak suited A’s and med pp’s. The rest of my range is 3!/f.

yeah he’s isolating pretty wide vs these blinds (they were super weak/passive) and thus can’t really defend properly. Add to that he’s not 4! a ton to my 3!, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s flatting as high as TT-QQ even. He’s folding a ton of garbage though. Thanks for your insights as usual.

Do you think Replay mods would start gigging me if I was posting hands from the other sites or graphs and stats from PT4? I suppose as far HH goes I can just type them in manually in BB’s as I’ve been doing here.

1 Like

Yeah, I would think. My point was that you would be telling a story that doesn’t make all that much sense (to me). If it didn’t make sense to him, I wouldn’t expect him to fold as often as you would like.

You have said that you like to downbet on the flop. You didn’t do that here. I would read that, combined with your turn check, as weakness and be more likely to x/! you on the river.

Anyway, I’m checking back and moving on to the next hand.


I do down bet flops quite a bit but range interaction with the board texture matters. On dry boards where I have a range advantage I will down bet. This board is rather draw heavy though and I want to charge pair plus draws and pure draws to continue. This isn’t a great flop for me and I would and I think should x/b this flop mostly. In this case though I’m not x/b almost ever to this player as an exploit because I have a pair and a gut shot with tons of equity that I’d like realize and if I check flop on this texture I believe V is going to blow me off my equity quite often with bets on turn and river. By betting I can build a pot for when I get there and have the option to x/b turns to see free rivers. I 100% x flop if I was oop to x/c and play turns or x/r.

1 Like

I have mentioned that exact line before, which I call the “crazy chicken.” Open or 3! pre, good size bet on the flop, check the turn (the chicken part), big-ish bet on the river (the crazy part). I use it when I have a strong hand and want to get called on the river. It looks weak, and the bet on the end looks like a desperation move. The fact that the river was an ace does change things a bit though.

All I can say is that I get called a lot on the river, which is what I want. Not sure it’s what you want there though.

I would not be surprised for him to call you with some midling pair. I can hardly wait to see the hand!


This is the secret sauce of playing your range and not your specific hand.
Range advantage but not nut advantage = small frequent bets with range
Range and nut advantage = large frequent bets with range
Range neutral but nut advantage = large infrequent bets with a split range
Way ahead or way behind = checking with range

Using this concept, you will bet the small pairs you opened (22-77) large on AK9 flop vs BB defend and why you cant go nuts with AA on 4/5/6 even as the IR vs a BB defend. Range interaction, position and range/nut advantages dictate play on the technical level. Deviating off of these concepts is where the exploitation happens.

I have no idea


Like I said, I’m not that good to be able to play 76s here. That doesn’t mean no one is.

Most of the time, I’m folding 76s preflop.

I might not always fold it, though, so let’s say in this situation I didn’t. But most of the time that I don’t fold it, it’s because I’ve been allowed to limp from the BB position. Or, if no one opens before me and I’m on the button, I might raise it and try to steal blinds. If I get called, I’m usually losing the hand, unless I happen to flop trips or two pair or a straight.

I’m not very big on the suitedness of low connected hole cards like 76s… I flop a flush, or a flush draw that fills on the Turn, I’m wary enough of a bigger flush getting there and beating me, or the board pairing and making someone a full house, that I’ll want to keep the pot small… unless I know the player I’m up against is hyper-aggressive and loves to bet huge on any hand they’re in, trying to get the other player to fold, and then I’ll just let them beat themselves.

With a hand like 76, my favorite flops would be something like 77X, especially if it’s 77A or 77K, since a lot of the times I can get someone who hit top pair to call for a big loss. A flop like 458r or 589r gives me a nut hand, but probably only low pocket pairs that made trips are calling here, and they’ll occasionally make a full house and beat me when they call.

If I hit top pair, I’m more worried about getting beaten on a later street, or by higher pocket pairs already being ahead of me.

Middle pair on a dry board might be the best hand at the moment, but if you bet it on the flop and turn and get called both times, that’s looking doubtful.

I’m not sure I have the best understanding of how and why to play a balanced range so maybe you or 1Warlock can help me here.

On “why” play a balanced range: I get that if you play a top-heavy range only, opponents who pay attention will eventually learn to avoid calling when you bet, and starve you on your strong hands. Or, they’ll call with their strong hands, and if the flop comes in low and you try to c-bet, they’ll know you didn’t hit anything and they can get you to fold by x/r-ing you. So playing a balanced range means your opponents won’t be able to assume you have nothing on low boards, and they’ll also feel comfortable playing more hands with you, knowing that they can sometimes have the better hand.

On “how” to play the low part of the balanced range:

  1. You should play the same as the top end of your range, otherwise you’re giving away information that your opponents will use to exploit you.
  2. If you think the above means that you need to rep 76s like it’s AA, that’s probably going to lose you more chips than it wins you. It more means something like you need to rep your whole range the same. You don’t play in a way that reps a particular hand, you rep a range, and this keeps your opponents guessing.
  3. You can play the small end of your range as a loss-leader, sacrificing small pots to suck players in so you can win the bigger pots.
  4. You can play the small end of your range to win occasional pots where the board texture favors those hands over bigger hands. If everyone calls you with unpaired broadway cards and the flop is 8-high, you’re in fine shape with 75, so long as you make at least a pair.
  5. You can play the small end of your range as a bluff, using position, bet-sizing, and stack strength to bully. But this requires that those other factors be in place for you at the time, so it’s situational. (What in poker isn’t situational, though?)
  6. You can occasionally hit a monster flop with the bottom end of your range, and the pots you win there will make up for the hands you wisely fold because the bottom end of your range didn’t make a very good hand in so many of the pots you played them for.

I don’t think that playing a balanced range means always playing it for a bluff, or always trying to win every hand by whatever means will work, whether that’s through showdown strength or getting the table to fold.

Great players can make huge folds with the second nuts. So too they can also make hero calls with marginal hands like a low middle pair, and they can also make sick bluffs. There’s a time and place for all of those plays, but to make them consistently profitable requires some serious skill.

In this hand, you catch middle pair, backdoor straight draw. It’s not the worst in the world, but it’s far from the best. And you don’t improve to the river.

You’ve gotten called, and it’s very probable that you’re beaten at showdown. For a lot or a little, that’s your call to make. Most calls here are going to beat you, and if that’s true, checking is going to lose you less. Sure, you can fold if they raise, but that means now you’re also opening yourself to being beaten by a bluff. “It’s better to win a small pot than to lose a big one” seems like apt advice then.

If you have a good read on your opponent, and you think they have a weak enough hand that they’ll fold it if you try to rep the Ace, then you could bet the river.

Just checking back the river to minimize your loss, but also maybe win, is also very reasonable.

I think if you bet the river, you don’t bet it for value, but for bluffing down under-confident hands that beat you but aren’t objectively that strong, like T9, fearing A9s.

Of course you don’t fold the river to no pressure, that was a joke. But I’d usually fold this hand preflop and not have to be in this position wondering what to do.

1 Like

I would think postinng hands from other sites on this site’s forum would be considered bad form. It’s sort of advertising the competition, but I don’t know if they would do anything or not. I’m guessing PT4 stuff would be ok. They aren’t competing with Replay, and any copyrighted elements should be covered by a fair use exception, (non-commercial educational use) I’m not a lawyer though, so I dunno.

NOTE:The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. Information in this post may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Readers of this post should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader, user, or browser of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this post without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

1 Like


He says he folded QQ


We will never know for sure. He seemed rather passive for QQ, but maybe he was gonna check raise the turn, then gave up when the river showed an ace.

Well done though.


I will say that I don’t think calling there is an option. Raise or fold. I guess I would tend towards fold, because you do have more aces in yer 3! range. Against you specifically, I might literally flip a coin., because you tend to overbet the nuts or near nuts and might lay down anything marginal.

OMG - I got nothing here. Interesting way to play QQ if that’s what he had.

Yip, I still got nothing :slight_smile:

We’ll agree to disagree here. Zero point in raising against a polarized range. On any earlier street I am 100% for raising but not on river with this specific holding.