To Call or Not to Call, That is the Question

Yeah, I didn’t catch that you had the Kc, my bad. That does eliminate a lot of his missed draws. Makes it a much trickier spot.

There’s not a lot of time to think it through in the moment, especially with the site acting like it’s been acting. Calling and being wrong would hurt, but not put you out, i would have to call. Maybe that’s whyIi don’t win more tournies than I do.

I agree it is a pretty tough spot. Nice call.

Should you call? Obviously it depends a lot on the opponent. I think a lot of opponents here are going to turn over AJ or 66. There are not that many combinations of either hand though (4 and 3), and even with your K club blocker, there are still enough busted flush draws or random hands that want to make use of a scare card to call an opponent like this that is capable of making bluffs.

I’m still not sure if he just felt pot committed and decided to throw the rest of his chips in the middle with the thought that against you it might be thin value, or if he felt confident his kicker was no good and decided the jack on the river was a good scare card to just turn his hand into a bluff.


If V was to check or make a small bet on the river, what would he do if you jam? Would he be pot commuted enough to have to call with what is essentially a bluff catcher? And you might take the line you took with a good flush draw.

If he would think he has to call, he might as well jam and put you in a tough spot rather than risk putting himself in one.

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I often play the role a LAG so he could reasonably believe I was crazy enough to be raising with Kxc. Though if he suspected a bluff it would be better for him to check/call rather than lead. Facing a jam with king high I have to fold. He should be giving me an opportunity to continue bluffing.

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We can agree to disagree there, even though what you say makes sense and is pretty much conventional wisdom.

If he checks and you jam, a call is not automatic, IMHO. It would force him to make a hard decision for his tournament life. Him jamming puts you in a tough spot. As they say, better you than me.

Hard decisions are where mistakes are made, so I avoid them when possible.

We can agree to disagree there

Our conversations seem to always end this way :smiley:


Haha, that they do. It’s almost as if we are different people. :slight_smile:

In case you haven’t noticed, I like to say how I would approach a situation, then let better players tell me why I’m an idiot. I have learned a lot this way.


Here’s another I thought was a little interesting.

I’m the villain in this hand. It is somewhat late in a tournament, with a little over half of the players eliminated. I think I’m in 3rd place in the tournament with $23,179 before the ante, there are 5 players at the table, blinds are $400/$800 with antes also, and I make a smallish raise from the cutoff to $1,800. The button, with $14,690 left, calls, and hero, the current leader in the tournament with $38,431 before ante and the small blind, closes the action with a call, holding Ac4c.

The flop comes 6cAd3c, giving hero top pair with a weak kicker, along with the nut flush draw. Hero checks, and villain bets $3,300, exactly half pot. The button folds and hero calls, and the pot is now $13,200.

The turn comes 6d, and villain over bets the pot, jamming all in. You have top pair, no kicker, and the “nut” flush draw (full houses are now possible), and will have a fairly healthy balance of roughly $15,000 chips even if you lose.

Do you call or do you fold?

Edit: adding a bit of context here, in these tournaments there are a lot of players that will get very aggressive with very marginal hands in spots like these. Hero is probably used to seeing players betting like this with 77+, and he blocks AA. How many bluffs or losing marginal holdings like this need to be in range before the call is profitable?

I’ve been in a similar spot in the donk league games. I’ve had players shove 66 into me as a bluff in almost this exact configuration (without 66 on the board, obviously). Especially late in the tourney these games are very aggro.

It becomes a player dependent move. Against you specifically I have limited experience in tounies with, so I don’t know to weigh the chances you’re capable of bluff shoving 77-KK here. Against an unknown I probably fold. I dismiss the possibility of you shoving a non-nut flush draw or overbet shoving for value with AA, 66, 33 or A6 on the turn. I would give you Ax with a better kicker without a background on your exact style.

He needs to win ~35% of the time calling 17k to win a combined pot of 50k. For simplicity let’s say his only hope is hitting a flush at 18%. Again for simplicity let’s say your bluff hands are drawing near dead at 0%. So I would need to feel there’s a 50% chance that you’re capable of bluff shoving with a worse hand. With his ace removal, if you always shove AT+ for value/protection, there are 32 combos of value he needs to worry about. So he needs to find 32 combos of bluff to justify a call. Each underpair bluff you would have represents 6 combos. So if you always jam 77-KK in this spot, 6 combos of each in this spot for 42 total making a call justifiable.


In my case, I’m probably bluff shoving with hands like 77-KK only a very small fraction of the time, but will have other bluffs that might generate a fair number of combinations also. He blocks my flush draws, but I still have plenty of combinations there, with a decent fraction of Kc5c+, Qc8c+, J8c+, T7c+, 97s+, 87s and 53s taking this line. With these hands, I won’t make this over bet all of the time, but will some fraction of the time with all of them. At 100%, that would be 23 combinations, though again these same cards will take other lines also some of the time.

So even though it is probably a mistake to assume 77+ is in my range very often, many of my actual bluffs have even less equity here than these.

On the opposite end, I think you might be missing a few bets on the value side. I have probably got full remaining combinations of 65s and 76s, for example, and I also think I do shove 33 here, though I agree that I’m somewhat less likely to take this line with 66 or AA (and there are so few combos of these anyway). Reversing course again, I think AT is also a little marginal, and while I might make the shove some of the time, combos will be reduced relative to the bigger aces. I agree A9 and below aren’t good candidates.

I think it is actually a surprisingly close call, even with the 6 on the turn counterfeiting all of the partial outs from hitting a 4.

Here’s equity for Ac4c on 6cAd3c6d board versus a few types of ranges:

  • Almost pure value (33, 66, AK): 17.8%
  • Polarized with high bluff density (AA, 66, 33, A6s, AJ+, 6c5c, 7c6c; Kc5c+, Qc8c+, Jc8c+, Tc7c+, 9c7c+, 8c7c, 5c3c, 54s): 53.09%
  • Polarized with moderate bluff density (AA,66,33,AJ+,ATs,A6s,54s,Jc9c,Tc9c,Kc8c,Qc8c,Jc8c,Tc8c,Kc7c,Tc7c,9c7c,8c7c,7c6c,Kc5c,6c5c,AJo+): 44.29%
  • Value and marginal only (66+,33,AJs+,A6s,76s,65s,AJo+) : 61.95%

So I think somewhat surprisingly, it doesn’t take that many bluffs or marginal holdings to turn this into a call, though against anyone that is heavily tilted toward value, you won’t have anything close to the equity needed.

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