Ace-Queen Suited in the Small Blind Facing a Three-Bet

Ace-Queen Suited in the Small Blind Facing a Three-Bet

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, the blinds are 800/1,600 when a middle position player (MP1) raises to 4,800, then the next player to act (MP2) three-bets to 11,200. It folds around to you in the small blind where you've been dealt {a-Spades}{q-Spades}. The action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: This is a fairly tough spot preflop. Calling is not a very attractive option since we will be OOP (out of position) against both players.

In addition, the three-bet is small enough that the initial raiser will almost always at least call if we flat-call from the small blind, and seeing the flop three ways OOP will make it much harder to realize our hand's equity.

In general, cold-calling 5+BB raises or reraises when out of position is going to be a losing play in no-limit hold'em. We should typically reraise or fold in spots like this one.

Reraising preflop will be the best play if the MP2 player is three-betting a decent frequency. If our opponent is not and we believe the player's range is narrow, then we should simply fold.

However, against an opponent with a reasonably wide three-betting frequency, four-betting will the most profitable line.

Reraising is the best play.

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