Posts Tagged ‘nut flush’

Shoving with a Flush Draw

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

One very risky cash game move that you’ll see experienced poker players make involves shoving on the flop with a flush draw. The obvious goal here is to force a fold because your flush is only going to connect 35% of the time (from the flop). This being said, it’s definitely worth further examining why somebody would shove in these situations.

Fold Equity

The main reason for shoving with a flush draw is that you’re looking for fold equity – a.k.a. what percentage of the time you think an opponent will fold. For example, if you go all-in with Ks-Qs on a flop of Jh-8s-4s and think your opponent will fold 75% of the time, this is probably a +EV move (based on pot sizes). So the tighter your opponent is, the more likely you are to gain fold equity from shoving with flush draws.

Other Outs

Many people fail to account for all of their outs when deciding whether or not to shove. For example, let’s say that you hold Ad-Kd on a flop of Td-6d-2h; assuming your opponent calls and shows Q-Q, you actually have a 54.44% chance to win the hand. You’ve got 9 outs with the flush and another eight outs with your two overcards. Combine this with good fold equity and shoving on the flop is definitely a +EV move.

Multiple Players

So far we’ve discussed how shoving with a flush draw on the flop can be a very good move in certain situations – against one player that is. However, if you have a feeling that two or more players could call you, it’s rarely ever a good decision to shove with flush draws. In most cases, you won’t run into this problem. However, if you’re on a table full of calling stations, you could very well be looking at a -EV situation.

One more point worth making in all of this is that you should usually be chasing a nut flush (or at least king-high) when shoving. After all, you’d hate to push your chips in with Qd-Jd, only to be called with Ad-Kd.

Getting the Most Value out of Good Poker Hands

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

It’s always nice to win a poker hand no matter the stakes or opponents. But a lot of poker success is dictated by how much value you can get out of your great hands. For example, flopping a nut flush and immediately going all-in is likely to cause everybody to fold and rob you of maximum value. This being said, it’s important that you be aware of some different factors when trying to get the most out of your good poker hands.

Be aware of your Table Image

The first factor you need to consider when trying to get value out of good hands is how the table views you. For example, if have you been extremely loose-aggressive, then suddenly slow-play your As-Ts combo on a board of Ks-Js-3d-8s, there’s a good chance that players are going to know something’s up.

The same thing can happen if you’re tight-passive and begin raising like mad when you’re holding the nuts. So whatever your table image is, you need to understand how opponents see you and bet accordingly to keep up that image without tipping off your excellent hand.

Consider Uniform Preflop Raise Sizes

Based on what we just discussed, it’s important to throw opponents off and avoid being predictable when trying to get max value out of strong hands. And a good way to accomplish this goal is by keeping uniform preflop raise sizes. For example, any time you decide to play a hand, you could always open with a 3xbb raise. This way nobody can get a read on your hand based on specific raise sizes.

Ask yourself if you really have Best Hand

Sometimes you’ll think that you are extracting value from a superior hand, but it turns out you don’t really have the top hand. This is common with two pairs (opponent has set), sets (opponent has better set) and a nut flush (opponent has quads or better). In these situations, it’s always nice to have studied other players so you can make a smart laydown. After all, knowing when to fold is just as important as getting value out of great hands.