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Playing Pocket Aces Versus a Check-Raise on the Flop

Playing Pocket Aces Versus a Check-Raise on the Flop

DECISION POINT: In a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em cash game, a player sitting UTG+2 calls, and you raise from the hijack seat with {a-Spades}{a-Hearts}. It folds back around to the limper who calls your raise, then the flop comes {2-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{9-Spades}. Your opponent checks, you bet, then your opponent check-raises. The action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: After raising preflop and successfully isolating the limper, our continuation bet on the flop is check-raised by our lone opponent.

Flop check-raises generally represent stronger hand ranges and you should be prepared to fold many one-pair hands against them. However, when determining your hand's relative strength, you must take into account several other postflop factors.

In this hand, we are heads-up, in position, and on a dry flop with less than 100 big blinds in the stacks. All of these factors are favorable for the strength of one-pair hands. In addition, we have the strongest possible one-pair hand — pocket aces.

If the flop were multi-way, more coordinated, or the stacks were deeper, folding may be an option. In this hand we should continue with {a-Spades}{a-Hearts}. Since we will fold out many worse hands than ours if we reraise and there are no real turn scare cards that can come, calling the check-raise is superior to reraising.

We should call and continue to call down as necessary to get to showdown in this hand.

Calling is the best play.

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  • You have As-Ah & your continuation bet gets check-raised on a 2h-6d-9s flop. What now? Ask @LearnWPT

  • How do you play pocket aces vs. a check-raise after a nine-high flop? @LearnWPT evaluates the hand.

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