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 . It folds back around to the limper who calls your raise, then the flop comes . 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 . 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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