The Following Hand Has Three Different Endings

Here's a familiar situation, involving Jim (the jackal) and Jerry (unknown profile). You have J-J and you've made it three bets over the top of Jim's two bets (reraised) before the flop. Jerry calls you from the big blind, and the flop is --_V . Jerry bets out on the flop, Jim calls the bet, and you raise it, to find out what they really have. Both players call your raise, and then comes off on the turn and they both check to you. You bet out, thinking your J- is stiil the best hand, and they both call again.

The last card is ' , for a final board of - VV -"V "'. Jerry u bets out and Jim calls. The ' was probably the worst possible card for your hand, other than \, because now you can't beat a flush, a staight, or a pair of kings. Jerry probably has you beaten, but how about Jim? It looks to me as if Jim ha you beaten here as well.

Here, I'd put Jim on K-Q, which makes a pair of kings for him on the end. Think about it. If Jim has a flush, then he would have raised on the end. If Jim has kings and tens (another possibility, given the way the hand unfolded), then he would probably have raised on the fop himself, with his pair of t ens. Whatever the case may be, it l ooks as if J im has you beaten. It's true that there i s already $125 ($45 + $30 + $30 + $20) in the pot, so you need to be over 92 percent sure that you're beaten before you decide to fold. But given this situation, I would have to fold, because I 'd be convinced that both players have me beaten. Both players expect you to call o n the end, and the chances t hat both of t hem are trying to bluff you therefore seem very remote t o me.

Let's suppose now that the last card is __ , for and now Jerry bets out into you and Jim folds. This bet would seem very suspicious to me, and I would call it very quickly. would be thinking, "Why did Jerry decide to bet right here and now? I don't think that the six helped him, so he's either bluffing or holding an ace." If I'm facing an either-or situation and getting this kind of pot odds, I'm going to call without hesitation.

Let's suppose again that the last card is _, for and now both opponents check to you. Do you bet here or check? If you bet here, you have to be hoping that either Jerry or Jim wiil call you with a pair of tens or worse. I -wouldn't be worried about Jim in this case, but Jerry would concern me a little bit. (Could Jerry have an ace with no kicker, like A-2, A-3, or A-5, which would explain why he just called on the flop? Did he fear an ace with a kicker on the flop?) This "value bet" that you're considering making (a bet you make believing that it wiil earn slightly more than it wil lose, over the long run) is one that needs a little bit of reading ability as well (a little finesse). If you decide to bet, then that's fine; if you decide to check, that's fine too. I would bet it myself unless I felt strongly that Jerry had me beaten. We'll talk more about value betting n the intermediate and advanced sections.

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