Flopped Bottom Set: Slow Play or Raise?
DECISION POINT: In a $5/$10 no-limit hold'em cash game, the UTG player raises. It folds to you on the button and you call with . Both blinds fold and the flop comes . The UTG player bets. Action is on you...
PRO ANSWER: You call preflop with a pocket pair and flop bottom set. Your opponent then bets into you on the flop. What do you do?
After calling a standard preflop raise from a player under the gun, we hit bottom set on a dry and scattered flop and face a continuation bet from our opponent.
When deciding how best to extract value with your big hands, there are several factors to consider, including the number of opponents, board texture, position, and stack depth. Slow playing tends to be more profitable against fewer opponents (ideally just one) on drier flops and when in position. All of those factors are present in this hand.
We also want to consider stack depth, as slow playing is more profitable when standard betting will result in an all-in by the river. When stacks are deeper, we often have to put in a raise at some point in order to stack our opponent.
Note that given the UTG player's stack size, our opponent will be all in by the river if standard-sized bets happen on the turn and river. We do not need to put in a raise here on the flop in order to get this opponent's stack in the middle.
Overall, this is a great opportunity for slow playing our bottom set. We should simply call this flop bet in position. Raising would show less profit in the long run.
Calling is the best play.
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