Posts Tagged ‘flush draw’

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.

Set Mining Strategy

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

One of the most important concepts for trying to take an opponent’s stack in Texas Hold’em is set mining. Basically, all set mining involves is playing a dominated pair in hopes of turning it into a set. And most of the time, you will have the best hand after hitting a set, which gives you a great chance to extract extra more money from an opponent(s).

But the main problem with the whole concept of set mining is that you only have around 8:1 odds of flopping a set. This being the case, your pot odds of hitting a set are always going to be bad, so you need to rely on implied odds. In addition to this, you should be in a deep-stacked situation because there needs to be enough money involved to make playing for a set is profitable.

Going back to the implied odds, you really need to know the opponent who you’re set mining against. If the player is likely to fold, even with top pair, as soon as you make a pot-sized raise against them, there’s little point in set mining. However, if you are up against somebody who has shown a willingness to put their stack in with kings or aces, set mining becomes a lot more profitable.

To illustrate how set mining works, let’s say that you have pocket 8’s and the flop comes up 2s-5h-8d; also, your opponent has pocket kings. In this situation, some players will play their pocket kings to the fullest seeing as how A) they don’t want the opponent to hit a flush draw without paying, and B) they likely don’t expect you to call their preflop raise with a low pair. And if they believe you are the type of person who would play a flopped top pair in this instance, it further increase your chances of making money.

Bet Sizing Tips

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

One intermediate concept that you learn about later in poker is bet sizing. As the name implies, bet sizing simply refers to the size of bet that you make in a given situation. For example, if you have pocket aces preflop and you shove your whole stack in, the bet size was your whole stack in this instance. Okay, that was a horrible example, and it’s exactly what you want to avoid with the bet sizing concept.

Instead, your goal should be to make appropriate bet sizes based on a given situation. Taking the aforementioned pocket aces preflop example, most people suggest raising just enough so that you isolate one opponent, yet not so much that you make everybody fold. This helps maximize your advantage with pocket aces, while keeping drawing hands out of the equation.

Depending on the stakes and dynamics of the table you’re at, this amount will differ in every instance. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll say that you are in a $0.25/$0.50 game, and a 4 times the big blind raise should isolate one player without encouraging others to call.

For another example, let’s say that you’re holding As-Qh on a flop of Ad-7h-Jd against one opponent; in this instance, you have top pair and a good kicker, but you are vulnerable to a flush draw (assuming you don’t already think your opponent has a set or two pair). This being the case, you don’t want the opponent to see cards for cheap if they’re on a flush draw, so you should size your bet to offer bad calling odds.

To do this, consider that the opponent has around 4:1 odds of hitting their assumed flush draw, so you need to raise enough to make this a profitable play for you in the long run. If $20 is in the pot, you need to make at least a $6 raise to give them worse pot odds (3.3:1 pot odds).

As you can see, sizing bets properly goes a long way to helping you reach a desired result on the poker table.