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You Decide: Call or Raise With Big Draw vs. Three Opponents?

You Decide: Call or Raise with Big Draw vs. Three Opponents?

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, UTG+1 raises and a middle position player calls. The hijack folds and you call from the cutoff with {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}. The button and small blind fold and the big blind calls. The flop comes {3-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{q-Hearts}. The big blind bets and both UTG+1 and MP2 call. Action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: When holding a draw and facing a bet, the first step we should take is to calculate our pot odds. In this case, there is 3,650 already in the pot and it costs us 800 to call. If we choose to call, there will be 4,450 total in the pot going to the turn. Without taking into account any future betting, if we hit our draw 800 / 4450 or about 18 percent of the time, this call should show a profit.

We have a flush draw and gutshot straight draw, so we have 12 outs. Using the "Rule of Two," we have about a 24 percent chance of hitting on the turn (12 x 2 = 24). Even if we discount the {3-Hearts} as an out (since it pairs the board), we still have a 22 percent chance of hitting on the turn. Since our chance of hitting our draw is greater than our break-even equity needed given the pot odds, calling with our draw is profitable. This eliminates folding as an option.

But what about raising?

One of the primary benefits of raising would be to induce folds from our opponents. This is known as fold equity. Since this is a multi-way pot (four players on the flop), the chance of getting all of our opponents to fold is lower than if there were fewer opponents. Raising would often simply put more money into the pot when we are behind.

Since getting all of our opponents to fold to a raise is far less likely, we should take the profitable pot odds we are getting and call the flop bet with our draw.

Calling is the best play.

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  • How would you play 9h-8h on a 3c-Jh-Qh flop versus a bet and two calls? Call or raise? Ask @LearnWPT.

  • With 9h-8h on 3c-Jh-Qh flop vs. bet and two calls, how do you play your draw? @LearnWPT gives insight

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