Playing Pocket Queens Versus a Limp-Reraise
DECISION POINT: In a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em cash game, four players limp into the pot, then you raise on the button to $35 with . The first two limpers fold, but the third limper reraises to $100.
PRO ANSWER: After four limpers, raising with pocket queens is crucial to maximizing your value on the hand. This hand performs poorly in multi-way pots, since so much of the time it does not improve on the flop and remains one pair. We are also well ahead of the wide and weak hand ranges of the middle position limpers.
After being reraised, we must reevaluate our assessment of our opponent's hand range to determine the best course of action.
One of the keys to understanding this hand is that our perceived hand range when raising limpers on the button can be quite wide. Many opponents would believe we might take this action with a variety of hands, most of which are significantly weaker than . This means that their reraising range does not necessarily correspond to only premium hands, since they may believe that their reraise can win the pot preflop much of the time.
The second major key to this hand is that our opponent limped in behind two limpers. This reduces the probability that they hold a premium hand, since most players would choose to raise with their good hands after two players have already limped.
The last key to this hand is the strength of pocket queens itself. This hand is a premium hand and has significant equity against most hands our opponents hold.
All these factors together making reraising the correct play. Since a standard reraise is well more than half our opponent's remaining stack, we should simply move all in.
Moving all in is the best play.
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