Maximizing with Turn Action

Strategy & Advice by allin67 Posted

Okay, my second installment of poker hands from recent $1/$2 games.

New table. Game is playing somewhat tight pre-flop. Raises to $7 or $8 are not uncommon and are getting unusual respect (often getting called, but only by a few people at most). Game is fairly loose afterwards. Most players are the table have trouble getting away from top pair. Open ended straights and four card flushes are being over-played. Table is fairly passive, although several players are more aggressive.

Villain #1 in the hand is to my immediate left. He has only been at the table for a half hour. He is a White thirty-something year old male, if you want to pick up clues via stereotypes. He has bought in for $100. While playing no hands of note, his stack has been ground down to $82. You somewhat suspect him of being neither loose nor tight, but leaning toward passive since you haven’t seen him raise or force the action in his short time at the table.

Villain #2 is a lady in her late sixties, if not older. He is also passive, not raising pre-flop in her hour or two at the table. She plays fit-or-fold on the flop. She has trouble folding top pair, even when its obviously in trouble. This problem has cost her the first $100 buy-in. She is now on her second $100 buy-in, which she has poorly played into a stack of $77 to start this hand.

On to the hand. I am in the big blind with 10-8 of Spades. After four limpers, including V#1 and V#2, I check my option in the Big Blind. Since the small blind has folded, I am first to act on all remaining streets.

The flop is quite good for me. The flop is 10 of Clubs, 7 of Spades, 6 of Spades. I have top pair, bad kicker. I have a flush draw. I have an inside straight draw. The nine of Spades will give me gin. I like the flop and want to start building a pot, yet I don’t want to scare anyone away either. I throw out a single red chip as a pot building sucker bet. Villain #1, to my immediate left, raises very quickly to $15. It folds to Villain #2, on the button. Villain #2 wastes little time in calling $15. I think there is merit in re-raising, but I am also quite happy to see a turn for only $10 and re-evaluate from there. I call $10 more. The pot, taking out rake, is now about $50.

The turn is a red nine. With a board of 10-9-7-6, two Spades, I now have the ten high straight. I am first to act. What is the best course of action for Hero here on the turn? If you opt for something other than moving all in, what is your plan for the rest of the hand (after your recommended action on the turn)?

Thanks for those who already have – or soon will – comment on my poker strategy posts!



  1. Sorry for the omission Rob. I have roughly $300, so I easily have both players covered.

  2. I would usually be a bit cautious in this spot. Four cards to the str8 on board will slow done a lot of hands. If you get called you will either be beat here or chopping most of the time. However, since you also have the flush draw and the stacks are short I think you can play this aggressively. Your opponents have about $50 & $75 respectively with $50 already in the pot. I would bet $50.

  3. I check, intending to raise all in on the bet I am expecting from V1. I can't see him checking behind so I feel pretty sure this is the best way to get it all in against at least one or maybe two players.

    Why doesn't he check behind? I think he puts you on 10 with a good kicker willing to invest a little in the pot on the flop (both the bet and the call of his raise) and reassess on the turn. If he has two pair or a set he wants to bet to extract more money from you. If he has something like Q-10 he should try to bet you off - having established strength/position with the raise.

    What is he worried about that would cause him to check (give up) - 89 or a set. No flush or open ended got there. Short stacked, I can't see much he can check with.

    Also lots more hands get there on the river so he can't give a fee card.

    If we assume he is looking for free card, he may reasonably suspect he won't get one since two checks to V2 looks pretty weak and she may just shove here.

    Last thought. If he's a bad player (like me) he is short stacked and thinks. "Oh well if some has an 8 I'm beat."

    If he's is a really good player (like the rest of you guys) the only hands he can put you on that leads that flop and have an 8 are 10-8 or 8-5.
    8-any paint - NO
    8-9 - NO
    8-7, 8-6, - NO
    8-4 or below - NO

    Have at it. I am definitely a think out loud poster and I am sure I am missing something here.

  4. Bet 30 - 35. Any over pair, flush draw, top pair, set or draw will get it in. Most likely one of them has a made hand and the other has a draw...make them pay something for their draw.

  5. With these stacks I think you should be willing to get the chips in on the flop. You have huge equity and should be fine getting someone to commit their stack with hands that you are either beating or are favorites against.

    As played you should bet the turn and not give it a have to check through. There is $50 or so in the pot and effective stacks are only $60 and $65 of your opponents. Betting $25-$30 is fine here or moving them in by betting $75 is also fine.

  6. Thanks for all the comments. I may have made a mistake (and probably more) in how I played this hand. First, I agree that that I should have gotten all in on the flop. The others did not have big enough stacks that, once raised to $15, I was already committed to seeing this hand to the end. So, being the aggressor here and possibly improving my odds of winning this hand (by getting another hand out) would have been worth the risk.

    As played, I opted for the check raise. I did specifically think through how a Spade draw, however unlikely, was really not a huge worry because I had two of its outs, even if was even drawing to a higher flush than I was drawing to. A big thought in my mind was wanting to make it easier for someone to call a river bet of something like $25 (on the turn, you have to be worried that $25 on the turn will turn in to the rest of your stack on the river).

    Not surprisingly, my plan did not work. I really needed another 8 out there for someone to bet, which wasn't overly likely. In fact, no one did bet the turn. The Queen of Spades came on the river and I had this sinking feeling in my stomach. Villain #2, in particular, has just been calling all along, not betting when checked to on the turn... all the behavior of a Flush draw. I probably should have put out a blocking bet here (intending to fold to a raise). But I checked. Villain #1 checked. Villain #2 bet $15 into a $50 pot. I was not confident in my hand, but I really never contemplated folding here and called without a lot of hesitation. Surprisingly, Villain #1 also called (I am guessing he had two pair or a set). Villain #2 showed K-3 of Spades for the winning flush. Villain #1 mucked so I don't know what he had. I don't like Villain #2's bet sizing at all (from her perspective; I'd have called more, so I appreciate the overly small bet). Interestingly, if I play this hand better, I lose more money. But I recognize that I played this hand poorly. As played on the flop, I like the idea of betting $30 or so on the turn. That makes river play super-easy. I just get it all in regardless of what the river is (including when, as happened, the third Spade arrives).