Self Study: How to play a strong underpair on a damp board


In the self research study series Barry Carter reveals you how he attempted to fix a poker issue then speaks with a coach or solver to get feedback on his technique.

What I have actually attempted to do in the self research study series is choose typical areas instead of huge areas, due to the fact that you get more value by mastering the areas that turn up over and over once again.

With that in mind, here is a really typical area I discovered myself in. Single raised pot from the Cutoff, 42 huge blinds reliable, Big Blind calls, we have 99 versus 2 overs and some backdoor equity.

self study

What is your line here? I can’t in fact keep in mind how I played the hand, I either examined it down or wager little and won on the flop. The factor I screenshotted it for additional evaluation was that this is an extremely typical area and I felt it didn’t have a clear response. This is still a strong hand that beats all the misses out on and little sets, and has some backdoor equity (or blockers). It dislikes being called however likewise dislikes letting a random high card outdraw it on the turn or river.

If I had a hand like 33 on this flop I believe I would turn my hand into a bluff to reject equity and likewise due to the fact that it would have long shot to win by the river, even if it was ahead. 99 appeared right in the center in between wishing to bluff and utilizing as a bluffcatcher.

The matches play a huge part

Utilizing a GTO authorized preflop variety I searched for this hand in a solver and, when inspected to, this is how we ought to act:

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Dark brown = Big bet, Light Brown = Small bet, Yellow= Check back

This is a circumstances where we have variety benefit so as such we wagered little with most of our holdings. Our huge bets are worth hands like AA/KQ/KJ and the huge bet bluffs are huge draws like Q9 and J9 of diamonds. Among the couple of classes of hands that took a clear mix of actions were the middle sets 77-99, which are practically 50/50 in between a little bet and a check back. This signified to me I was on the best course of questions that our 99 was an outlier hand in the variety.

The 50/50 split is based upon the fits in play. If the 99 consisted of a Diamond, then it was nearly a pure 50/50 mix in between bet and check. This makes good sense, we mainly wish to take the pot down with our hand not get calls, so by obstructing a prospective flush draw we will get more folds. We likewise have a blocker that makes it less most likely our challenger will strike a flush, so we stress less about letting them outdraw us if we play it passive. It’s ideal in the middle of 2 contending alternatives.

When we do not have a Diamond in our hand, then the solver recommends we wager little 30% of the time and examine back 70% of the time. In this circumstances we ‘unclog’ our challengers calls. Our hand works much better as a check back to attempt and get to face-off inexpensively. As I thought the smaller sized sets 22-66 often wager here. They are less worried about blockers or unblockers, basically every card in the deck is possibly bad for them, so removing the pot there and after that is the very best outcome.

One last note which is that the other huge hand that plays a nearly 50/50 split of check or bet is QQ. It is basically in the very same dilemma, it is a strong hand that leads plenty however if it bets and gets called it needs to stress over a King, in addition to huge draws. Frequently getting to face-off inexpensively as a bluffcatcher is the finest course of action. The huge distinction, nevertheless, is the matches of the hand identify the opposite result as they provided for 99. If we have the Queen of Diamonds we are most likely to inspect, if we do not we are most likely to wager.

This is most likely since with the Queen of Diamonds we will obstruct the 2nd nuts if the flush arrives and we obstruct the larger flush draw hands that will call. We likewise obstruct hands like KQ. Our hand works well as a bluffcatcher in this area compared to 99.

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Barry Carter

Barry Carter Barry Carter is the editor of and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy &, PKO Poker Strategy & the brand-new book Endgame Poker Strategy