Ace-King Suited Versus a Raise and a Call

Ace-King Suited Versus a Raise and a Call

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, an early position player raises and it folds around to the small blind who calls. You are in the big blind with AK. Action is on you...

What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: Ace-king suited is well ahead of both players' ranges and we should reraise both for value and to deny our opponents their equity.

There has been a raise to 2.1x the big blind and a flat-call from the small blind, with both players only starting with about 23 BBs. There really isn't room for three-betting smaller to be more profitable than jamming. This is a great effective stack size to shove.

Another way to think about this is to have a shoving threshold as a percentage of the effective stack. If more than a certain amount goes in with a standard raise, that raise instead becomes an all-in. Many players use one-third of the effective stack as a rule of thumb.

A standard raise out of position from the blinds would be three times the total raise amount plus any callers. In this case (3 x 2.1) + 2.1 = 8.4 BBs or 8,400 chips. That represents about 37 percent of the effective stack.

Since this standard raise is more than about one-third of the effective stack, we can simply move all in instead.

Moving all in is the best play.

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