Flopping trips and folding

The deeper that you play the more comfortable that you have to be with folding big hands. If you find yourself getting i...

Posted Feb 09, 2013


Bart Hanson BW2

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

The deeper that you play the more comfortable that you have to be with folding big hands. If you find yourself getting in huge amounts of money with flopped trips and bad kickers, especially in limped pots, you are going to be going broke quickly. This type of bad play is rampant in deep $5-$5 games and below.

I saw the following hand go down at the Bicycle Casino last week where the cap is a $1000 buy-in. Six people limped in the pot and the blinds checked. The flop came out 8 8 2. A good player led out for $30 under the gun, an early position player called and the cutoff raised to $125. Everyone folded and the under the gun player then reraised to $325. The ep released and the cutoff called. Both players had another $1200 behind. The turn was the 4 and now the UTG bet $400. The cutoff thought for a while and called. The river brought the K and the UTG now shoved. The cutoff proclaimed, "I can't fold,” called and tabled 8 5. The small blind rolled over 22 and scooped a huge pot--over 300BBs. 

The fact that the cutoff player couldn't fold his trips was definitely not surprising to me. Even though he basically could not beat any possible 8 or a full house his poker thinking isn't much past the first level of "what do I have". Players like this haven't evolved to thinking about their hand versus their opponents range and thus cannot fold big hands. This is also why similar types will check strong hands on the river that they could bet-fold for value. They are not capable of laying down so they do not put themselves in a spot where they are put to a decision. 

You have to realize, especially when playing deep, trips with a bad kicker is unlikely to be good and is just a bluff catcher when facing certain action. In essence, the cutoff’s hand in the previous example is no different from having say 77. UTG either has him beat or he is bluffing trying to represent like he has an 8. The only difference is that combinatorically it is less likely that the UTG has an 8 when the cutoff has an 8 but with the given action it is almost impossible for the UTG to be bluffing. 

You also must realize that even in single raised pots, especially against another field caller (not the preflop raiser), that your trips may not be good. Now, it is extremely difficult to fold a hand like trips with an ace kicker but if you are finding yourself in a spot with A8 on an 88763 type of board facing a lot of heat certain situations dictate a release. You can learn more about these concepts through my live cash-training site Seatopenpoker.net.

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