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Defending Your Big Blind Answers & Explanations

Here are the questions, answers and explanations from our 'How Much Do You Really Know About Defending Your Big Blind?' quiz.

1. Effective stacks are 20bb in a tournament with antes, 9-handed. The Button opens to 2bb, the SB folds and you have KQs in the BB. What should you do?


Call

Fold

3-bet to 6bb

Jam


At 20bb your best 3-bet size is a jam, but in this example, KQs is a great hand to just call. It’s certainly making money as a jam and programs like ICMIZER and Holdem Resources Calculator will often recommend jamming in this situation, but that’s because they don’t understand how good this hand is at realising its equity postflop, even from out of position. Preflop solutions made with MonkerSolver recommend KQs as a call.

2. Effective stacks are 40bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. The CO raises to 2.3bb, the BTN calls and the SB folds. Which of these hands would you jam from the BB?


99

AKs

ATo

None of the above, 40bb is way too much to jam here


This is a great spot for a squeeze as both the CO and BTN will have wide ranges. 40bb might seem like too many chips to shove here, but a hand like 99 benefits from going all-in to generate extra fold equity. AKs works better as a 3-bet to induce and ATo is just a call.

3. Effective stacks are 100bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. EP raises to 2.5bb and it folds to you in the BB with A7o. What should you do?


Call

Fold

3-bet to 11.5bb

Jam


At 100bb effective, EP will be raising a pretty tight range and A7o just doesn’t play well enough against that range to want to call. The highest EV line is to fold and 3-betting and jamming are definitely losing money.

4. Effective stacks are 60bb in a tournament with antes, 9-handed. The aggressive BTN raises to 2.3bb and the SB folds. Roughly, what percentage of hands should you 3-bet here?


6%

8%

11%

16%


The BTN has a wide opening range, probably 54%+, and at 60bb we get to 3-bet very aggressively from the BB. This means we should 3-bet the obvious hands like AJ+ and 88+ together with some weaker, but still playable hands like 96s, T6s and 97s.

5. Effective stacks are 10bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. It folds to the SB who you know will limp and jam a very balanced, GTO range and not just shove a Nash shoving range. This time he jams. What is the worst hand you should call?


98s

Q3s

J7o

J6s


If we think that the SB is just jamming a Nash range here of roughly 72% then we can call with all the hands above. However, as we know that he might limp some hands here and shove others, we can only call with 98s. All the other hands make money versus the wider shoving range, but when the SB is limping hands like T3s, Q2o and T7o and not jamming them, 98s is the only hand that is a profitable call.

6. Effective stacks are 30bb in a tournament with antes, 9-handed. The HJ raises to 2.1bb and it folds to you in the BB with AQo. What is the highest EV line?


Call

3-bet to 7.4bb

Jam

Fold


Whilst calling and 3-betting are making money, jamming is the highest EV line in this situation as it benefits from fold equity and negating its positional disadvantage. You’ll want to jam hands like medium pairs and JTs here, so it makes sense to have some big Aces in that range as well. AKo is also a great shove in this spot.

7. Effective stacks are 20bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. The BTN, who you know will mix things up at this stack size and do some limping, some raising and some jamming, chooses this time to raise to 2bb and it folds to you in the BB. Roughly, what percentage of hands should you fold?


8%

13%

20%

25%


Versus a minraise at shallow stack depths, you really shouldn’t be folding much at all. That means hands like 94o, 72o and 32o go into the muck, but T2o, 63o and 52o become calls.

8. True or false – when you have 30bb in a tournament with antes, sitting in the BB, you can jam vs a BTN open with some hands.


True

False


There are lots of hands that you want to jam in this situation, like TT-22, ATo+ and KQo. The BTN is opening a wide range and these hands benefit from fold equity and negating their positional disadvantage, while at the same time have enough strength and value when called.

9. Effective stacks are 20bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. The same BTN who you know mixes things up at this stack depth, opens to 2bb and the SB folds. What’s the best pair you jam?


JJ

QQ

KK

AA


AA works out very well as a call in this spot, so KK becomes the best pair that you should jam. The BTN is likely to fold a lot when you jam so it makes sense to slow play your best hand. AA will also over-realise its equity postflop.

10. Effective stacks are 15bb in a tournament with antes, 8-handed. The LJ jams and it folds to you in the BB with ATo. What should you do?


Call

Fold


ATo is a very profitable call here, but A9o is a fold. Depending on his strategy, the LJ will often shove hands that you dominate like KTs, QTs and JTs and you’re flipping against small pairs. He can also jam weaker Ax hands that you’re doing very well against.

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