What Would You Do? Flopping Top Pair vs. a Donk Bet
DECISION POINT: In a $1/$2 no-limit hold'em cash game, it folds to you in the hijack and you raise with . The big blind calls. The flop comes , and the big blind bets. Action is on you...
PRO ANSWER: In this hand we raised with from the hijack seat and were only called by the big blind. Our opponent then bets out into us (makes a "donk" bet) in a situation where we would have likely continuation bet had the player checked.
Many opponents will do this with marginal made hands and bluffs, having strong hands far less often. If we choose to raise, we will likely fold out many of the worse hands we could get more value from on future streets.
Raising will also fold out pure bluffs. In other words, raising does not maximize the value of our hand against our opponent's range.
Since we are in position against a single opponent on a fairly dry flop, we are in an ideal situation simply to call this bet. By calling, we keep the big blind's hand range wide and allow our opponent potentially to fire additional bullets with hands that we have beat.
Calling also has the advantage of exercising pot control those times the big blind beats us, such as when our opponent has flopped a set. Against our opponent's overall range, calling both extracts more value from worse hands and loses fewer chips against strong hands.
Calling with the intention of going to a controlled showdown will net the most chips in the long run.
Calling is the best play.
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