Quiz: How’s Your Play on the Flop? (Part 2)
Welcome to the second flop quiz! As with all the quizzes here, you’ll get the most out of this quiz if you think through why you are answering each question the way you are. If you haven’t taken the first flop quiz yet, take that one first.
1. You have Qs Js in middle position. Two players call, you call, and the button and both blinds call. The flop comes: Qd Jh 6h. The first player bets, and the second player raises. You should:
a. call with the intention of raising the turn
2. You have Kd 7d on the button. Four players call to you, you call and one blind calls. The flop comes Td 6d 5s. The big blind bets and two players call. You should:
3. You have As Qd in middle-to-late position. Two callers to you and you raise. Both blinds call. The flop comes Ts 9h 6h. The small blind bets, the big blind folds, and the next player raises. All fold to you. You should:
4. You have Ts Tc in middle position. Two callers to you, you call, and the button and both blinds call. The flop comes Th Td 8h. All check to you. You should:
a. check, with the intention of check raising if someone behind you bets.
b. check, with the intention of dumping as much money as possible in the pot on the turn
1. Answer: B.There are a lot possible hands out there that could be drawing to an inside straight, and you’d like to get these hands to fold; if being forced to call three bets cold on the flop won’t persuade them to muck, then nothing will. Further, while you probably won’t get a flush draw to fold you’d like to charge him as much as possible to continue with the hand while he’s still an underdog. Notice that the pot only has nine small bets in it when the action gets to you, and that by raising you’ll put an additional three bets in, thereby giving someone who wants to draw only 4:1 on their money (the twelve small bets that are in the pot after you’ve raised verses the three small bets they have to put in to continue with the hand). By giving your opponents these kinds of horrible odds, you’ll have a chance of getting hands like Ac 6c, or Ad Td, to fold. Since these are hands that you’d like to see fold, as they’re draws are ‘live’ against your hand, it behooves you to charge them as much as possible.
Remember: anytime you three-bet a flop with a big hand you’re probably making the right move. Raise this puppy to the hilt.
2. Answer: C You’ve got nine outs to the flush, and a probable three more outs to the king. With what appears to be a twelve-out hand, you’re going to improve your hand by the river around 40% of the time. When your odds of improving are this good you can comfortably raise for value.
In the first flop quiz we discussed raising with hands where you wanted people to fold. With a hand like this, however, you want people to call. If you hit a diamond you have a big hand, and if you don’t hit one you have nothing. Thus, you’d like to have other players along for the ride, since that increases your chances of having someone around to pay you off if you do hit. Note that there are no players left to act between you and the player in the blind who lead bet the flop, so a raise here won’t knock anyone out (players who have already called one bet will almost always call a second bet here). Also, if the turn is a brick everyone might check to you, thereby affording you the luxury of checking along with them and looking at the river card ‘for free’. If, however, you do hit on the turn, you’ll be betting a big hand into a pot that’s three bets bigger (assuming the blind and the two other players call your raise) then it would have been if you just called the flop.
3. Answer: B. You have about a 10% chance of spiking an ace or a queen on the turn, but you’re only getting pot odds of 6.5:1. Even with your implied odds you’re not getting enough of an overlay to call. Also, the ace or queen of hearts could be bad cards for you. In sum, you’ve missed the flop and your opponents haven’t. Fold here and look for a better spot for your money.
4. Answer: C. Bet now. The flop is coordinated, which means there are probably at least a few players who have at least a piece of this flop. Since almost everyone is drawing dead to your hand, you’d like to collect as many bets as possible from your opponents. Also, note that nobody is going to dream you’ve got quads, since 99% of all Hold ’em players would check here, worried that a bet might ‘scare off’ customers. But notice that anybody who could make a quality second best hand on the turn will happily call a bet here. Nobody’s folding a hand like Jd 9d, or Ah 3h, or even something like Qs Js. Since your chances for really collecting big money on this hand lay with the possibility that someone could make a big second-best hand you might as well bet, since you’re not going to scare these people off. In other words, anyone who has a hand that you’d like to see continue on is going to continue on, whether you bet or not. Thus, you might as well bet.
Further, as we mentioned in the first flop quiz, there isn’t a player on the planet who is going to think your bet represents quad tens. In fact, by betting here they’ll think you don’t have a hand that big. If someone hits a straight or a flush on the turn they might give you a ton of action, as they may assume you’re just overplaying trip tens. Mediocre players often slowplay the nuts on the flop, even if the situation doesn’t warrant it. By playing your hand ‘fast’ here your hand will gain some ‘deception’ value, which could parlay into big profits on the turn and/or river.
HOW DID YOU DO?
If you answered 3 or 4 of these questions correctly, and you’ve already scored well on the first flop quiz, you should feel good about the fact that you are already a better poker player than a good majority of those you will find in online poker rooms. As always, make sure you really understand the analysis and then move on to the next lesson. Don’t forget the recommended reading,
If you answered one or two questions correctly, and you did well on the first flop quiz, you should still move on to the next lesson. Some of these concepts might become clearer to you if you see how they apply throughout the turn and the river.
What happened? If you scored well on the first flop quiz, and got 0 correct here, you probably got lucky on the first quiz and don’t really understand the thinking behind the answers. Winning players do their homework. Invest a little time – your wallet will thank you later.