Following up on my last column, here are some more no-limit hold’em tournament scenarios that pose the question, “What’s your best play?” You’ve probably been dealt hands like these in tournaments you’ve played in casinos or on the Internet. Take this short quiz and see how my answers compare with the way you would play the hands in the heat of battle.
- You are in the cutoff seat with the 10clubs 9clubs. Everybody has passed to you. The player on the button is fairly conservative, as are both players in the blinds. What is your best play? (A) Fold; (B) Call; (C) Raise
This is a good opportunity to try to steal the blinds. If someone reraises you, you know they probably have a strong hand and you can fold. If an opponent calls, you may out-flop him or possibly bluff him out of the pot on the flop, since you have superior position. The answer is (C).
- You have Bola88 pocket deuces on the button with two limpers already in the pot. You also limp (call the size of the big blind). The small blind calls and the big blind checks, so you’re able to see the flop cheaply. The flop comes down with the Khearts 7clubs 2diamonds. You have flopped bottom set. Both blinds check, and the first limper also checks. The second limper bets about half the size of the pot. Now, the action is up to you. What is your best play? (A) Call; (B) Raise; (C) Fold
The pot is still fairly small, and you should be in great shape with this type of flop. The only hands that can beat you are pocket kings and pocket sevens. You want to entice one or more of the other players into the pot, and you don’t want to scare off the bettor. Wait to bet or raise on a later street — as you want to try to win a much bigger pot. The answer is (A).
- You are in early position and raise with pocket aces. Much to your surprise, you get three callers. The flop comes Kdiamonds Qdiamonds 6diamonds. You have the Adiamonds Aspades in your hand. You decide to bet about the size of the pot. Your first opponent calls, the second one folds, and the third raises twice the size of your bet. Both of your remaining opponents are known for their loose play. What is your best play? (A) Fold; (B) Call; (C) Raise
There is the possibility that you are beat at the moment, or up against a drawing hand. Since your opponents are known for their loose play, you must protect your hand. Put in a substantial reraise, and possibly even move all in. Even if you are beat, you still have the nut-flush draw. And if you aren’t beat, you want to make it mighty expensive for them to draw against you. The answer is (C).
- You have pocket sevens on the button. A player in early position opens the pot for three times the size of the big blind. Much to your surprise, four other players call the raise before it gets to you. What’s your best play? (A) Fold; (B) Call; (C) Reraise
You have last action, and unless one of the blinds reraises, you’re getting a good price to try to hit a set. The answer is (B).
- You are in middle position with pocket kings and bring it in for a standard raise of about three to four times the size of the big blind. Your only caller is the big blind. The flop comes Aclubs 10diamonds 8hearts. The dreaded ace has hit on the flop! Your opponent checks and it’s up to you. What’s your best play? (A) Bet about half the size of the pot; (B) Bet more than the size of the pot; (C) Check
This is a tricky situation. Against just one opponent who has checked to you, a bet of about half the size of the pot should be big enough to find out if you have the best hand. If you get raised, you should probably fold. A much bigger bet will cost you a lot more if you are beat, and you can find out the same information at a cheaper price. The answer is (A).