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Call or Fold? Small Suited Connectors vs. a Raise and Call

Call or Fold? Small Suited Connectors vs. a Raise and Call
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  • Short stack UTG+1 raises, cutoff calls. You have 5s-6s on the button. What do you do? Ask @LearnWPT.

  • You have 5s-6s on the button vs. a short-stacked UTG+1 raise and a cutoff call. @LearnWPT analyzes.

DECISION POINT: In a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em cash game, the UTG+1 player with $100 behind raises to $20 and it folds around to the cutoff with $400 to start who calls. You have both players covered and the action is on you on the button with {5-Spades}{6-Spades}.

PRO ANSWER: Whenever you are considering calling with a speculative hand preflop, you should consider your implied odds. Generally, the more multi-way the hand, the deeper the effective stacks, and the stronger the opponent hand ranges, the better implied odds you have.

In this case, you have two opponents with the effective stack $400 (the cutoff's stack), which means the $20 call is 5 percent of the effective stack. With suited connectors, 5 percent would be the maximum you should be willing to put in passively preflop with the intention of continuing postflop with two pair or better or a draw of 8 outs or more.

However, in this hand you are much more likely to get action postflop from the initial raiser, who only has a $100 stack. The UTG+1 player who opened has by far the stronger hand range of your two opponents. Since the cutoff player only called preflop, that player's hand range is skewed towards weaker and more speculative hands.

Because of the likely hand ranges your opponents have and since this is a very borderline call based on the 5 percent rule, you should tip your decision to a fold in this hand. The initial raiser having only $100 significantly limits your implied odds with this hand.

Despite this being a close decision based on the 5 percent rule, you should fold when your opponent's hand ranges and specific stacks will limit your implied odds.

Folding is the best play.

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