World Series of Poker Europe

King-Queen With Top Pair on the Turn: What Do You Do?

King-Queen With Top Pair on the Turn: What Do You Do?
  • How would you play this turn heads-up with top pair & a half-pot sized bet remaining? Ask @LearnWPT.

  • You're on the turn heads-up w/top pair and a half-pot sized bet left. What now? @LearnWPT analyzes.

DECISION POINT: In a $2/$4 NL cash game, the cutoff opens with a raise. It folds to you in the big blind with {K-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}. You reraise, and the cutoff calls. The flop comes {9-Diamonds}{J-Spades}{Q-Clubs}. You bet half the pot and the cutoff calls, pushing the pot just over $160. The turn is the {4-Diamonds}. You have $140 behind and the action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: This hand illustrates how the value of one-pair hands on the flop can change based on stack depth and stack-to-pot ratio (SPR). If stacks were deeper, we would often bet this turn and check all rivers. We would generally fold to a turn raise.

However, in this hand we have less than a pot-sized bet left on the turn. Our standard turn bet of between half and two-thirds the pot represents the majority of our remaining stack; therefore, we choose to simply move all in.

Hands like top pair, good kicker often have less value on coordinated flops such as this one when stacks are deeper, as the more chips that go in postflop, the more likely one pair is beaten. We started this hand with a little more than 50 big blinds and since we three-bet preflop and continuation bet on the flop, we are now pot committed with our hand.

If we had started with more chips, situations may arise where we are forced to fold this hand. With this stack size, we must continue against a single opponent with top pair, good kicker.

Moving all in is the best play.

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