How To Play Strong Hands On Monotonous Clasps (Check-Increase Vs. Slow Play)

How To Play Strong Hands

This written reading is the result of a summary of several videos from professional poker players. Imagine sitting on a poker table in your regular game. In your first hand, the player on the button goes up and you call from the big blind. Flop comes 6  4  3 , gives you a strong hand – say two partners or flush. You check your opponent who wears a small c-bet. Whether you check up in this situation will greatly affect the remaining hands and, in the end, the level of your victory. The best approach is surprisingly complicated, but this article will explain the pro for what is done in these spots.

This is part 2 of Alex “Kanu7” series of new millar strategies! Alex is one of the biggest winners of the money game in Poker. He joined the upswing team to create content that would help you improve your money game skills, including a down payment game course (coming on January 2020).

Click here to return to section 1. Part 3, 4 and 5 will be published on this blog (and YouTube) on Friday during the following month.

In part 1 of this series, we discuss the C-bets in monotonous clasps and conclude the following:

  • You should be less willing to put money into pots on monotone flops as c-bettor, compared to other pinns.
  • Not only do you have a little c-bet, the size of your average C-Tarsa must also be smaller.
  • Your default strategy in monotonous clasps must be to bet on half the time for the size of the pot of 25-33%.

But how do you have to play versus C-betting on monotonous clasps? Should you be relatively reluctant to put money into the pot? And what should you do when you fail a strong hand, like two partners or flush? Mari Selami to find answers to these questions.

How To Play Versus Changes In C-Bet In Monotonous Clasps

Just like the last time, Alex started the video by comparing the average frequency to play versus C-betting on all flip versus monoton flops (calculated using personal solver). This table summarizes the comparison:

As you can see, the frequency check-up is cut almost half on the monotonous board, and only the smaller increase in size is used. It’s all regardless of the fact that you will tend to face a relatively small bet size in monotonous clasps (which usually makes you more likely to raise, no less). So, the answer to one question asked in the intro is: Yes, you must be relatively reluctant to put money into the pan, specifically by raising, when facing C-monotonous bets. There are two elements to consider explaining why this happened:

  1. How the range matches each other. It is covered widely in part 1.
  2. Individual hand incentives. In other words, whether each hand prefers to bet / raise / call (improve in this case) based on the ranges they face.

The first element is still important when facing a C-bet, but because it has been discussed in part 1, today’s focus will be on the second element.

Individual Hand Incentives

When considering individual hand incentives versus your opponent’s reach, it is very helpful to separate your opponent’s hand into two groups:

  • Hands that will continue versus your bet or increase. The better your hand equity is contrary to a sustainable range, the more incentives you submit.
  • Hands that will fold versus your bet or increase. The better the equity of your hand against the folding range, the less incentives you have to lift.

Of course, hand equity given to these two groups tends to move together. If you have a hand that has a very strong equity versus the span of the fold (making it less tend to examine), hands may also have a strong equity versus a further range. The effect of the latter cancels the effect of the first, which makes your hands more likely to be checked. However, everything becomes more complicated in monotonous clasps. Let’s explain this further by discussing some examples. First, “normal” flop and then monotonous failure.

6 hand online cash games. 100 blind stacks.

Heroes are handled 6  4  in the big blind.
Button raises to 2.5BB. SB fold. Hero’s call.

Flop (5.5bb) 6  4  3 
Hero examination. 2.8BB button bet. Hero…?

To find out the hero incentives with two partners, you must first consider the type of hand with which the button can or will continue versus a salary increase:

  • High card hand. Example: Ak, QJ. These hands have a little equity, need runners.
  • Eak pair. Example: A6S, K4S. These hands have a little equity with between two and five out.
  • A strong partner. Example: KK, 77. This hand has a little more equity with at least five out.
  • Draw. Example: 87, A5. These hands have some decent equity with between four and eight out.
  • Very strong hands. Example: 33, 75s. Two pairs of heroes have bad equity versus these hands, but there are some combinations of them.

Versus this sustainable range, two pairs of heroes have excellent equity (around 77%), which encourages it to raise. The folding range of buttons will mostly consist of the weakest high card hand (like Q8) and the weakest lottery (like A2). To this range, two pairs of heroes have great equity. This ward off incentives to raise versus the range continues, to a certain extent, and that is why you do not want to check – increase two pairs 100% of the time on this failure. Now, let’s give the same two couples hero to the monotonous failure.

6 hand online cash games. 100 blind stacks.

Heroes are handled 6  4  in the big blind.
Button raises to 2.5BB. SB fold. Hero’s call.

Flop (5.5bb) 6  4  3 
Hero examination. 2.8BB button bet. Hero…?

Again, let’s consider the ongoing range of buttons if the hero must be examined here:

  • Couples are weak without shovels. Example: A6. This hand has a little equity versus two hero pairs.
  • Overpairs without shovel. Example: KK or 77. This hand has a little more equity with at least five out.
    (This is where the problem starts.)
  • Flush image. Example: A  K  or J  T . This hand has solid equity versus two hero pairs.
  • Make hands with a flush draw. Example k  k  or  6 . These hands have good equity (around 50%) versus two pairs of heroes.
  • Very strong hands. Example: J  T , 66, 75s. These hands have two crushed hero pairs.

Versus this sustainable range, two pairs of heroes have sufficient equity (around 53%) – not enough to guarantee a salary increase. For reference, the top pair on “normal” failure will usually have more than 53% equity versus a range called the increase. Now, let’s consider the hand button to fold if the hero must be checked here:

  • High card hand without shovel. Example: 9  8 . These hands have a little equity and make the most of the folding range of buttons.
  • Couples are weak without shovels. Example: 2  2  or  4 . These hands have a little more equity, but still not many.
  • Weak lottery. Example: J  9  or T  7 . These hands have solid equity with between four and eight out.

Two pairs of heroes have great equity to this range, just as done on the folding range on “normal” failure. So, the hero incentives to increase versus the folding range remain the same, but its incentives to increase versus a sustainable range falling drastically. This incentive does not move together as usual. It illustrates why it is generally not a good idea to check – raise hands like two couples or straight on the monotonous board. You might already know not to check – raising hands like these two couples on monotonous failure, but what about flushes?

Flushes Incentives At Monotonous Clasps

If you are someone who almost always checks with flushes on the monotonous board, this part for you. In theory, you have to check only take a small portion of your flushes on the monotonous board. There are several reasons for this:

1. The range of your opponent’s call will have significant equity versus your low and medium flush.
When you check – raise with flush on the monotonous board, your opponent’s continuation range will contain many card draw cards. Depending on your flush strength, most or all of these flush images will have 7 out (~ 29% equity) to upload you. (Again, the more equity the continuation range of your opponents is in your hands, the less tends to be checked.) This is the kicker: most of their reach will become a flush draw. For example, if you check up with J  8  at 6  4  3  flop, your opponent’s range will be roughly:

  • 17% Nut Flush drawing with a
  • 8.8% of the second bean flush drawing with K
  • 6.6% Third bean flush pulls with q

It adds up to 32.4%, and the number marks up to 36% if you enter a set and two pairs. Even though it has fourth beans, more than a third of your opponent’s range has significant equity to upload you. And it just gets worse for lower flushes – by hand like 9  8 , more than 40% of your opponent’s range has significant equity. But what about ACE, King, and Queen of High Flushes? These hands have better equity than the lower flush mentioned above, so should you examine it often with them?

Not so fast!

2. High flushes block the continuation range of your opponents. When you have a strong hand, you clearly want your opponent to continue. But when you have a high flush on monotonous failure, you block a lot of hands with him your opponent will continue! If you check out with  8  at 6  4  3  Flop, for example,  You yourself block 17% of your opponent’s call range. In addition, 8  your block is lower, making it a little smaller chances of you will take most of the chips of your opponents in the flush-over-flush situation. (8  Also block a handful of flush draws.) To be clear, you must be checked with several flushes. (According to Alex’s personal breaker, you must check 20% of your flushes at 6  4  3  flops.) But hopefully you are sure to lean on most of them.

3. Flushes have very high equity versus your opponent’s folding range.
Your opponent will rarely fold Draw Flush, two pairs, or set versus your check on monotonous flop. This means that your flush will have almost 100% equity versus your opponent’s folding range, which should make you less likely to check it out.

The last two parts include the correct theoretical approach to playing flush versus c-betting. However, there are exceptions. To quote Alex:

If your opponents are too often on monotonous boards, then you have to check more often [with flushes and cliffs]. But if your opponent plays well, it’s actually a place where you want to check-call [most of your flushes, even top-end].

So, which flushes should you check? This screenshot is useful from Alex’s personal breaker that displays flushes that you have to check on 6  4  3  Flop:

(Note: This screenshot has been edited to make details easier to view and understand. Some details are also removed to simplify the graph.)

How to break the hand Which will be maintained and mentioned makes a lot of sense when you consider what we have discussed today. K  2 , for example, is a hand that is always raised by breakers. This hand has a large equity versus your opponent’s range continues while not blocking the hand you want to have (like  x or 9  8). 2  Especially is a good card to have with your flush because your opponent will not play a 2x preflope. Look very close to the chart and try to conclude yourself why certain flushes lean towards the increase or call.

Note: See reviews about Alex’s new courses here!


Just like in part 1, Alex concluded the video by discussing the main takeaway:

  • At monotonous clasp, the default check-up size you have to half a pot.
  • Check-up more rare bets versus larger (starting from ~ 5% vs 1/3 C-bet pot to 0% vs 3/4 pot C-betting).
  • Move the fill charging size to 1/3 pot and frequency up to 10% vs. 1/4 pot C-betting.
  • You must rarely want to be checked with two couples or straight.
  • Check-up with several flushes, but check the calls most of them (around 20% increase vs. 80% calls).