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Trip Aces Versus a Straight Draw on the Turn

Trip Aces Versus a Straight Draw on the Turn

DECISION POINT: In a $1/$2 no-limit hold'em cash game, a player in middle position limps first-in and then three more players limp behind. You raise from the big blind with {a-Hearts}{a-Diamonds} and get three callers. The flop comes {k-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}. You bet and only the cutoff calls. The turn comes the {a-Spades} and action is on you.

PRO ANSWER: Our preflop raise size is far too small. An open raise size of $12 to $15 might be suitable as a first-in sizing, but with four limpers in a $1/$2 game we will need to make it at least $20 to thin the field appropriately.

As played, we should check the turn. If we are ahead, our opponent has essentially no outs and isn't likely to put in two streets' worth of bets. Broadway combos such as K-J, K-T, and J-T will all attempt to keep the pot small at this point and would likely fold to a river bet after calling a turn bet.

If we are behind, we are drawing against the Broadway straight (any Q-x hand) and would like to keep the pot small.

Both scenarios (either ahead or behind) prefer a check from us to maximize EV with our range.

If we were to bet, it should be a very small bet. But checking is the better overall line.

Checking is the best play.

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