PP Quiz: Short-handed cash games
To be a good cash-game player you have to be comfortable in all situations. How does your knowledge of three, four and five-handed games stack up? Find out in Ross Jarvis’s quiz...
Q1. Simple logistics
Players 3 Blinds $0.50/$1 Your stack $100 Your hand 8c-9c
You’re on the button in a three-handed cash game. Both opponents have leaks but are very aggressive with their three-betting and squeezing preflop. What should you do?
a) Limp in
b) Mini-raise to $2
c) Raise to $3
d) Raise to $5
Q2. Great ten-tations
Players 4 Blinds $1/$2 Your stack $221 Your hand 10s-10d
In this four-handed game a loose fish raises to $6 and is three-bet on the button by an aggressive regular to $20. The small blind folds and you find pocket Tens in the big blind. The other players both cover you. What should you do?
b) Call the $18
c) Cold four-bet to $48 and
fold to a shove from either player
d) Cold four-bet to $48 and call a shove from either player
Q3. King's court
Players 5 Blinds $1/$2 Your stack $200 Your hand Ks-Qs
You call a $6 raise on the button preflop and the big blind also calls. Both players are competent. The initial raiser bets $12 on the Kc-3s-6d flop and you call. The big blind now check-raises you both to $42. The other player calls. What should you do?
b) Call and see a turn
c) Raise to $94
d) Go all-in
Q4. Slow it down
Players 4 Blinds $0.50/$1 Your stack $100 Your hand Ac-Ad
The cut-off raises to $3 and you decide to slow-play your Aces by just calling on the button. You know that the big blind is very squeeze-heavy and this also influences your decision. The small blind calls, and the big blind squeezes to $15. The initial raiser folds and it is on you. What should you do?
a) Just call
b) Reraise to $30
c) Reraise to $50
d) Move all-in
Q5. Fishy frowns
Players 3 Blinds $0.25/$0.50 Your stack $77 Your hand As-Qh
A calling station fish raises to $2 on the button and you three-bet to $7 with As-Qh from the small blind. The fish calls. The fl op is 7h-Js-9h. What should you do?
a) Check, and fold to a bet
b) Check, and call a bet
c) Check, and check-raise a bet
d) Continuation bet half pot
1 b) Min-raise to $2. When playing against very aggressive players a good tactic is to try and reduce the stack-to-pot ratio. You can then call their three-bets in position much more frequently and still have plenty of playability postflop instead of being reduced to playing for stacks all the time.
2 d) Cold four-bet to $48 and call a shove from either player. Quite rightly, the aggro reg at the table will be three-betting the fish a lot to isolate him and play big pots in position. You can’t let him get away with this.
3 a) Fold. On such a dry fl op the big blind is representing a monster hand when he check-raises multiple players. Even if the initial raiser had folded our hand would be behind his value range. However, because the other player calls it is very likely our hand is third-best – and possibly drawing dead – making this an easy fold.
4 a) Just call. When you suspect that an aggressive opponent is full of it you must always let him retain the betting lead in the hand for maximum value. If you’re lucky enough to have coolered him and he has K-K or Q-Q all the money is still likely to go in postflop anyway. The only time you lose a ton of value by slowplaying your Aces is if he happens to have A-K and misses the flop.
5 a) Check, and fold to a bet. The best way to play a calling station is to value bet thinly and often while rarely attempting to bluff. A 7-J-9 flop is going to smash their three-bet calling range and they are never going to fold a hand like 6-7 to one bet. Check-fold and exploit them later when you have a hand.
0-2 Going short
Oh dear. The less opponents the worse you do.
3 Short shrift
You’re making good progress but your short-handed game still needs work.
4-5 Short work
Hooray! You’re a master in all game situations. Have a banana!
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