For some reason, people like to call preflop raises with QQ. To be honest, in the past I used to do this a lot as well. But if you flat QQ more than you 3bet it…keep reading…
Why is QQ so great?
Queens are the 3rd most powerful hand we can be dealt in NL. That ALONE should explain why this hand is so great. Sure it’s behind AA and KK, and sure it’s only a slight equity favorite over AK…but against every other hand it has a sizable equity edge. And being that poker is a game of edges…it would be a shame to play a hand with a large edge so passively.
Why flatting QQ sucks
What happens when you flat QQ? So many things that are disadvantageous. Here are just a few:
- We let weaker hands improve cheaply
- We don’t gain initiative
- Unless we are closing action, we invite others to come along cheaply as well
- If we don’t 3bet QQ, what does our 3bet range look like?
There are other reasons why flatting sucks, but this highlights many of the vital ones. First, why let a weak hand improve for a price that they determined? I don’t want to call a raise with QQ and let AT outflop me when villain only invested a few big blinds. I’d rather 3bet preflop and really charge those dominated hands to contend with me.
Point 3 relates heavily to live poker (or any full ring poker game really). Say EP opens and you call with QQ in MP. That means there are lots of players behind you that are getting a better price to get involved preflop with a variety of hands. It’s easy to call here and get a handful of callers…and now you are in hell trying to figure out how to navigate postflop.
And point 4 is my personal favorite because it goes overlooked so often. If you aren’t 3betting QQ as a default, what does your 3bet range look like? Chances are if you are flatting QQ then you are flatting JJ and TT and AQ, which means you are either 3betting a super nitty range…or you are 3betting a range that has a large density of junk. Sure it strengthens your flatting range…but at what cost?
What if they will fold a ton?
If flatting sucks, and folding is out of the question…our best option left is to 3bet. But some players will ask the question:
“What if I 3bet and they fold everything but KK+?”
Yes, there are super-nits out there that simply won’t give your 3bet action without KK+. And yes, those players will fold to your 3bet quite often. But shy of that rare breed of super-nit…players would LOVE to give your Queens action with hands like JJ, TT, AK, AQs, and often times many other hands as well.
3betting pocket Queens gets you more value from second-best hands, applies more pressure to your opponents, and makes you a bigger pain in the ass. Yes, sometimes you will 3bet QQ and he’ll fold hands that would have given you some money postflop…but if you are 3betting often and well…he’ll start giving your 3bets action wider and then QQ performs super profitably.
Are there any exceptions?
As with any poker rule, there are exceptions, yes. The major exception where I’d consider flatting QQ is when there is a very aggressive player (or multiple of them) behind me. So by flatting QQ I could look weak, induce a squeeze, and make more money that way. But honestly, in most $1/$2 and $2/$5 games that just isn’t the case. You’re better off just 3betting yourself rather than hoping someone behind you randomly decides to attempt the first bluff squeeze of their life…
To wrap up, flatting QQ is killing you. You are letting bad things happen at the cheapest cost to your opponents, and you are sooooo much better off just 3betting yourself. This isn’t to say that postflop is always going to be a breeze, nor that you have to stack off preflop if someone 4bets you…but flatting a preflop raise JUST to avoid getting 4bet doesn’t make much sense. If you need work on your postflop strategy in 3bet pots, become a PRO Member and then watch my Simplifying 3Bet Pots video ASAP!