Immediate calls tell you a lot. In my experience, they polarize someone’s hand range to either super-strong or a vulnerable hand like a decent draw or top pair weak kicker. Most often, though, it will be a draw. In this $15-30 limit hand, the guy’s immediate call lets you narrow his hand range a lot.
and raise UTG. I get one fairly tight player calling me in the BB. He is pretty straight-forward, although a tad too loose pre-flop (likes to play stuff like QJ too much). He knows I’m decent and has respect for my game. He is capable of tricky, aggressive moves but not too often.
The flop is
[Js] [Jh] [Tc]
He checks and I decide to check behind. I usually bet in this spot, but I do mix it up. I also think that this flop is right in his range. If it’s not in his range, and he’s got a hand like 67 or 33, then I think he’s going to be real cautious and check the turn, because he knows my check-behind on the flop is super-unusual, so he won’t get too out of line. Also, if he does bet the turn, raising will make him dump most of his better hands.
The turn is a 5:
[Js] [Jh] [Tc] [5d]
He bets out, and I raise. I’m thinking that with this raise, he will be likely to fold any hand without a Jack or a good draw; he could easily fold a Ten or a lower pair, just because my check on flop and raise on turn looks so strong.
But he doesn’t fold; he calls my raise immediately. What does an immediate call tell us? What hand would he call immediately with and not even think about folding or raising with? If he had the third Jack, you’d expect him to consider a reraise for a couple seconds. If he had a Ten or a lower pair, you’d expect him to consider folding for a few seconds. Instead, he calls immediately.
Considering there is no flush draw out there, the only logical hand that would call immediately in such a spot is QK (with slim likelihood of a weirdly-played AA, KK, or QQ). He has to have a good draw to call immediately. It can’t be a gutshot draw with AQ, because he’d probably think for a few seconds about whether he could be drawing dead. And it’s probably not 89 for the lower open-ended draw, because I’m pretty sure he’d have to consider that draw for at least a couple seconds, too.
QK enters my head immediately, without me fully thinking through why it’s the most logical hand. The river comes a blank and he checks and I check behind. He shows KQ and I win the pot.
This hand isn’t that interesting because it didn’t change my strategy from what I was going to do anyway. But it does show the possibilities with this tell. This is one of those tells I will see from time to time and once I start thinking about looking for it, I’ll notice it a lot more. I’ve played in some no-limit hands where an immediate call on the flop or turn gives you so much info. In my experience, an immediate call lets you narrow down hand ranges to either a super-strong or super-weak hand (like a draw). It’s usually going to be a draw most of the time, though, and specifically a nut flush draw, because those are usually the hands where the player knows it’s a “no-brainer” to call, and they know they’re not going to raise.