How to Play Texas Hold’em Backdoor Draw?

Texas Holdem Poker Tips

Backdoor draw plays a very important role in the range building process. If you don’t often consider backdoor draw when making tips and decisions at the poker table, this article is for you.

Backdoor hears are not only important because of their extra win rate of hitting a strong hand. They are also valuable because on average you hit the river more often, giving you more playability and allowing you to realize more equity in the pot.

You should be more inclined to bet

If you have a non-pair bottom hand with a backdoor flush draw, you should actively consider betting for the rules of the game (if you have the betting initiative). This is especially true if you have a position advantage.

Betting with these backdoor flush hear cards is profitable because you can bluff with them on the turn in two situations:

  • When the turn gives you a flush draw hand. You have gained a lot of wins, so you should usually continue your aggression with a double barrel. Also, you may be able to improve to a flush on the river and win a sizable bottom pot.
  • When a lot of draw is done. Betting on super scary hands that complete with a direct draw may cause your opponents to over-fold. These opponents tend to think that “all the semi-bluffs have been completed, so he is less likely to be bluffing.”

Cards that are worth calling

Suppose you lead a raise with 86 in button position, then bet on the T♠ 7♠ 3♦ flop and go one-up with the big blind player. Now suppose the big blind player makes a big check-raise.

The best play in this situation with a purely card-sharp draw hand (say 8♥ 6♥) is probably to fold. However, if your straight draw is accompanied by a backdoor flush draw (e.g. 8♦ 6♦), you should probably call. This type of backdoor flush hearing is valuable for two reasons.

This type of backdoor flush is valuable for two reasons:

  • The backdoor flush draw has a little extra win rate (about 4%) compared to its non-backdoor flush draw copy.
  • Your hand playability is improved and you are able to get a flush draw deck on the turn, which allows you to achieve more wins and get more good bluffs.

These reasons won’t always be enough to change the right decision, but they can influence your decision in situations where the decisions are close, and in poker the various decisions tend to be relatively close.

The flush ace high bottom card often changes from a fold to a call or raise when having a backdoor flush draw.

Double backdoor hearing cards (both straight and flush abilities)

When you are looking for a check-raise bluff, you should usually use a stronger hearing hand, such as a two-sided straight hearing hand and a flush hearing hand. This is because these cards are suitable for games with big bottom pots. However, some public decks do not have enough of these strong draw hands to build a qualifying bluff range.

This is where the double backdoor draw can come into play.

The double backdoor draw has excellent playability on the turn and may improve into a very hidden strong hand on the river, allowing you to win a sizable bottom pool. Also, if you check-raise and are forced to fold against a 3bet, you won’t be giving up too much equity in the pot. Here are some examples of suitable check-raises:

  • K♣ 6♠ 4♥ flopped face up T♣ 8♣
  • J♦ 8♣ 3♥ flop of 6♥ 4♥
  • 9♠ 4♦ 2♣ flopped face up K♠ 5♠

These cards are excellent check-raise bluffs in certain situations. Note: Avoid such check-raises on a deep public board that is not favorable to your range, such as an A-K-Q flop.

High card in the big blind

When you’re in the big blind against a small blind player in a single-raised bottom pot, you need to defend against consistent bets with most of the cards in your range.

Unless you start to call with these non-successful hands and backdoor hearing cards with high cards, you won’t reach the desired defensive frequency and your opponent’s bluffing hand will make a lot of money. For example, T♣ 9♥ 2♠ Q♥ 4♥ on the flop.

You don’t need to hit your high card or backdoor draw in order to win. You will see yourself able to steal the bottom pot frequently on the turn or river, or showdown to win when both players check.

Don’t abuse backdoor calls

Backdoor hears are valuable, but make sure you don’t overplay with them. Just because there are some good qualities of a backdoor draw doesn’t mean you should start blindly calling and raising with it when you get a backdoor draw.

For example, let’s say you are in the big blind with 9♣ 5♣ defending against a lead raise from the player in the small blind. The flop is K♦ T♣ 6♦ against a queen bet of 2/3 bottom pot size. This is not a calling hand, despite the fact that you have multiple backdoor hears.

These reasons may become your intuition, but it is useful to review this list of reasons:

  • Your pair is particularly weak. Getting a pair on the turn does not allow you to call another bet, or value bet yourself.
  • A 9-high with no direct draw is at the bottom end of your range. You have many better hands that could call (direct hear, pair, stronger backdoor hear) and you can still defend with enough cards in your range.
  • Your bottom pool odds are not very good. Maybe you are able to call a minimum bet, but calling any larger number of bets is not appropriate.

On the other hand, a stronger double backdoor draw with an overcard (e.g. Q♣ 8♣) is a reasonable hand to call on the K♦ T♣ 6♦ flop above.

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