Correct way to bet a drawing hand?

woody20

woody20

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Hi, Im very much a beginner at poker, but have now read some books and am starting to do ok in the local leagues. I am a bit confused about how to play a drawing hand if I am the first to bet against a single opponent.

For example lets say I ace x of hearts with two more hearts on the flop and Im sure the nut flush will win the hand. Am I better to:

1. check in the hope of seeing the next card for free
2. bet up to third of the pot, knowing that if my opponent calls, I have pot odds of 4:1 to make my hand on the next card. Of course if he folds all the better
3. bet more than a third of the pot in the hope of making him fold but having a reasonable chance of making a hand.
4. mix up the above strategies

For the sake of argument lets assume I know nothing about my opponent.

many thanks in advance
woody
 
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mbs777

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I would say 4. mix up the above strategies. The idea is to be unpredictable so that your opponents don't know if you're drawing or not.
 
tomix

tomix

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I'd say mix 2 and 3 strategies. Catching and ace would also give you great chances to win the hand and if your second card is an overcard too - the better. It also depends on stack sizes compared to blinds and/or pot. Let's say your stack is relatively small, you bet 2/3 of the pot and you become pot committed to call in case your opponent pushes. Given that maybe a push would be the best strategy. Eg. the flop is 2h 7h Jd and you're holding Ah Qh against opponents Js Ts - you're a 54/46 favorite to win this situation. And if your opponent doesn't have that jack there are all the chances for him to fold. And if you're against K-K or A-J on the same flop, you're only 46/54 underdog which gives you more than great odds to push (add the fold equity).

Checking would be ok (don't forget to mix it up with betting too) if you were in position and your opponent checked. Then a guaranteed free card might help to ease your decisions on the turn.
 
tomix

tomix

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All in all, a flush draw + overcards will be a coin flip against most hands that calls you (sometimes trips or A-A might beat you, but even then you more or less have the odds to make a pot sized bet) and the instant winner other times. If you can take a coin flip at the given moment - go for it. Otherwise check/fold (if you wanted to call, then raise instead, unless you have a really really deep stacks, then check/call might be used for the sake of variating your game).
 
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jonfelkin

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I like option 2 the best i would normally do this if i have hit top pair or better or on a good drawing hand, but its always worth mixing it up a bit just to keep your opponent's guessing. If your at a SnG where the opponents are changing a lot i prefer to keep things simple and just play the same way they wont be against you long enought to work out your betting pattern's
 
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ellisman7

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i would say 4, just to keep from becoming predictable. No one wants to be predictable. It will come to haunt you, trust me. Just mix it up and you'll be fine.
 
dj11

dj11

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I would favor 3 first. Once you get shown down on a hand, then move to 4. That might take 5 hands in one hour for anyone to recognize.

The advantages is that you take down the hand right then. This improves the overall percentage of times a 4 flush on the flop will hit. Normally you'll hit your flush about 25% of the time, and when you can increase your win rate with a 4flush on the flop to over 30%, seems that would be +ev.

If you are a table of calling stations, you will need to proceed more cautiously, but after the first few hands of any contest, things will settle into a rhythm , and you will have some info about the pace/tone of the game, if not on any particular villain.

Draws usually require that you not let anyone see a cheap card.
 
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Mike G

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For example lets say I ace x of hearts with two more hearts on the flop and Im sure the nut flush will win the hand. Am I better to:

1. check in the hope of seeing the next card for free
2. bet up to third of the pot, knowing that if my opponent calls, I have pot odds of 4:1 to make my hand on the next card. Of course if he folds all the better
3. bet more than a third of the pot in the hope of making him fold but having a reasonable chance of making a hand.
4. mix up the above strategies

For the sake of argument lets assume I know nothing about my opponent.

many thanks in advance
woody

What happened pre-flop? Are you the first one to act? You need to give out more information, otherwise nobody can figure out a sensible answer to this question.
 
OzExorcist

OzExorcist

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It depends on the circumstances.

If you've got a hand that you think will win as long as your opponent doesn't hit their flush, then Option 3 is a good one. Make them pay more for their flush draw than it's worth.

If they've got four to a flush on the flop, they're about 35% to make their hand. 35% of the time they'll make their flush, and the other 65% of the time you'll win.

So if you're charging them more than it's worth to draw at their hand, in the long run you'll be ahead. There might be some other considerations (mixing up your strategy, survival in a tournament, etc.), but that's the basic theory.
 
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