Differentiation Practise: Flush draw on the turn

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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This is limit hold 'em. The concept is still valid for no-limit, but sweet jesus, don't tell me to raise more, because I can't.

Hand #1:
You open in middle position with ace/nine of spades. Both of the aggressive blinds call and you take a flop three handed.

Flop comes 10-K-3, one spade. Both players check, you bet, both call.

Turn is the 5 of spades. You have the nut flush draw. They both check, and it's your turn.

#Hand #2: You open in middle position with ace/nine offsuit, ace of spades. Both of the aggressive blinds call and you take a flop three handed.

Flop comes 10-K-3, two spades. Both players check, you bet, both call.

Turn is the 5 of spades. You have the nut flush draw. They both check, and it's your turn.


Question: Do you play one hand differently from the other? If you bet in one hand and check another, why?
 
tosborn

tosborn

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Since it is only a ~2% difference for one out on the river it would be sensible to play both hands the same way. However, a two-flush board and a three-flush board are very different. IMO, being last to act they should be played differently as well.

Hand #1-
I like the bet here for a couple of reasons. First, you will be showing strength and have the possibility of winning the hand right now. And secondly, you will have disguised your flush should it hit.

Hand #2-
I like the check here for completely different reasons. By checking you will be showing weakness and if the flush card hits you might possibly get an extra bet out of one of the villains who is holding a lower flush.
 
J

jeffred1111

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Hand #1
Since in this hand the second spade hits on the turn, the chances that one our opponent is chasing the flush is lower. With this in mind, we are pretty much against made hands, but pretty weak made hands since they have checked on the flop and called and are now checking the turn. I might take the free card here, since betting doesn't disguise our hand more: our opponents won't suspect we are on a flush draw with no pair at this point. The best card that could come out is a spade card that pairs the board since our opponent will catch up and the probability of them having two pair right now is slim given their actions.

Betting would be good if the two callers called and we don't face a reraise, but this would be the perfect scenario. If one of them raises and the other one folds, we face a difficult situation, since pretty much only our A and the spade draw are our outs, wich figures out at:
4 + 9 = 13, but we cannot be sure that our A is an out since A-10 could checkraise, heck, even AK or A3 could raise in that spot if we follow our read (agressive players). With 3 1/2 + 1 1/2 SB = 2.5BB in the pot, this is pretty dry since if we get raised by the SB and BB folds, we'll invest 2BB in a 6.5BB pot, not quite getting the ratio we need to call the raise.

But if we are pretty sure we'll only get called, or that a the raise will get a caller (you and another guy) betting is a better option than checking since we'll build the pot and still get good odds to play our flush (and probably get payed nicely if we hit). I probably bet here, since I also have the possibility of taking the hand right here.

Hand #2
The chances that someone right now has a flush are high given the check call on the flop and now the check. In this spot, we are a lot more likely to get checkraised and if we do, we are much more likely to go heads-up, giving us worse or even incorrect odds like we saw in scenario one (we bet, get CR, BB folds).

I take a free one everytime here:
a) We haven't invested much in the pot and it is small (we are 3 to 1 on our money)
b) We are likely to get C/R
c) We get to keep our BB and fold if we don't hit anything (and I'll probably check if an Ace hits and it is checked to me).
d) We will get at least 1BB if we hit and two if someone doesn't believe us. I've even seen people cap with a low flush a 4 suited board before....
e) We are pretty unlikely to get somone to fold, especially if they're in the same boat as us.
 
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F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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First: It's better to take a free card in position when you have outs than when you don't. I.e., it would be better to bet with 2-2 on these boards than with a flush draw, since we shouldn't have a problem folding if we get raised.

Secondly: In either of these hands, getting raised is not fun. It is, I would argue, even slightly less fun in hand #2, since a raise could mean a made flush which cuts into our number of outs. But generally speaking, getting raised is roughly as bad in both cases.

But, and this is the key difference I wanted to get at: In the first case, we're likely the only ones drawing to the flush. If we bet and get called, anyone calling is unlikely to have specifically the flush draw, but is more likely to have another draw (not that many out there, barring QJ and some broadway gutshots) or a made hand. Essentially, any hand that calls us in #1 is much more likely to have us beat than in #2. We'll be able to fold a few more hands with a bet in hand #1 as well, as Qh9x/Jh9x probably won't take another card off, and possibly some other peeling hands that contain one heart, so there's that, but!

If we bet in hand #2, we're likely to get called by lots of hands that contain hearts (that figure that we may not have any). These hands are drawing to much fewer outs than they think they are - this is the mistake we want to punish. In the first hand, anyone drawing is probably making a correct estimation of how many outs he has. In the second hand, they're liable to overcount their outs with as much as 9 outs.

This is the key difference, in my opinion, between these two hands. In both cases, we'll get called by the same made hands, but in one case, we'll also get called by hands that are fairly far behind.

Furthermore:

If we check both hands, what happens when we hit our flush? In hand #1, our flush is disguised. Either of the two blinds are likely to (correctly) consider our check on the turn as weak and bet a made hand, like a ten or a king, at which point we can raise. If we're lucky, we may even trap one of them for an extra bet. But if the board is four-flushed on the river in the second hand, the blinds do not figure to bet any made hand that isn't a flush. Our implied odds in hand #1 are far better when checking than in hand #2. This also speaks in favor of checking hand #1 and betting hand #2.

If these hands were heads-up, I'd bet the turn every time, no doubt. But three-way, I believe that hand #1 should be checked, and hand #2 should be bet.
 
A

ayasak

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If we bet in hand #2, we're likely to get called by lots of hands that contain hearts (that figure that we may not have any). These hands are drawing to much fewer outs than they think they are - this is the mistake we want to punish. In the first hand, anyone drawing is probably making a correct estimation of how many outs he has. In the second hand, they're liable to overcount their outs with as much as 9 outs.

hi,

u mentioned about overcount of their outs in the hand, maybe u could elaborate on this? perhaps with another scenario where people might overcount their outs. Thanks you!
 
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jeffred1111

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If we check both hands, what happens when we hit our flush? In hand #1, our flush is disguised. Either of the two blinds are likely to (correctly) consider our check on the turn as weak and bet a made hand, like a ten or a king, at which point we can raise. If we're lucky, we may even trap one of them for an extra bet. But if the board is four-flushed on the river in the second hand, the blinds do not figure to bet any made hand that isn't a flush. Our implied odds in hand #1 are far better when checking than in hand #2. This also speaks in favor of checking hand #1 and betting hand #2.

If these hands were heads-up, I'd bet the turn every time, no doubt. But three-way, I believe that hand #1 should be checked, and hand #2 should be bet.

And this is why I suck big dongs at limit. I got exactly two WRONG answers.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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hi,

u mentioned about overcount of their outs in the hand, maybe u could elaborate on this? perhaps with another scenario where people might overcount their outs. Thanks you!
Good idea - I'll get to work on that soon.

Since it's a fairly general piece of advice, I think I'll post it on the blog, so keep an eye on www.cardschat.com/blog for the update.

Cheers,
FP
 
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