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OTB #047: Stop Over Folding to Small C-Bets on Paired Boards

A couple of months ago I posted a hand on X (formerly Twitter) that ended up being pretty polarising.

You defend Kd 9d in the Big Blind off ~18bb against a Button open.

You check on the Jd 6h 6c board and the Button bets 1.3bb into 5.7bb.

Some were saying easy call.

Others were saying easy fold.

And then there were those who suggested a check raise would be good.

When there's such a split in opinion on these hand posts, I know it's an area where a lot of players need to improve.

So today I'm going to show you why you need to look wider when finding continues against small c-bets on paired boards.

Let's dive in...

Check raise aggressively

This is actually a spot where you play a raise or fold strategy with your whole range, i.e. there's no calling.

The J66r board is great for you because you have a higher proportion of 6x hands than the Button.

This means you get to check raise very aggressively, both for value with 6x and Jx and then some bluffs.

Given the Jack and 6 are a way apart and it's a rainbow there are no obvious draws to bluff with so you have to get creative and find some backdoor draws instead.

Hands with 3 to a straight and 3 to a flush are perfect candidates, which means hands wrapped around the Jack or the 6, e.g. 8h 5h or Qc 9c.

And also hands with only a high card and a backdoor flush draw like Qh 4h or Kc 3c.

Kd 9d is one of those hands and is a great hand to raise. You get immediate folds from some of the weak offsuit Ax hands and you have a hand that can bluff on a decent number of turn cards.

You can't just check/raise for value here or your opponent will overfold. You want to incentivise them to continue more frequently by having a good balance of value raises and bluffs.

But it's also important that facing such a small c-bet that you don't overfold.

You need to find the aggressive actions with the 3 to a straight, 3 to a flush type hands. And then also some hands that don't fit into that category like As2s or K9o.

When you check/raise so small (4bb over 1.3bb), your opponent will continue a lot of the time. So the EV of check/raising here comes a lot from following through on the turn.

Which turns do we barrel with Kd 9d?

When you start to develop a strong check/raising strategy on paired boards, you'll get to more turns with a wider range so it's important to think about which turn cards you want to barrel.

Stop for a moment and think about it... which turn cards would you like to barrel?

Here's what I'd do:

All diamonds, apart from a 6 and an Ace, would be good cards to barrel. You pick up additional equity and can get some better hands to fold. You also block some continues.

A Ten or a Queen would also be good to barrel because you pick up a straight draw and can get better hands to fold.

And you can value bet on a King.

Thinking ahead like this will keep you one step ahead going into the turn.


It's important to not overfold to small c-bets, especially on paired boards where the cards are so disconnected it's impossible to find a natural bluff.

Paired boards happen ~17% of the time, so it makes sense to study them more frequently than three broadway boards like KQJ or KJT (~1%) or monotone boards (~5%), for example.

That's it for this week.

See you next time.


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