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Have you ever won a big bottom pot with a straight flush?
Or was it a straight hand that was brutally discarded before the flop…
In No Limit Hold’em, flush straights are a high fun and highly rewarding hand. You can usually win big pots by trapping aggressive players who can’t give up a good hand after the flop.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips – Pre-flop play
Since flush draws are highly speculative undercards, only play the hand if you expect a huge payoff when you complete a flush or straight. At the same time, you shouldn’t spend too many chips just to see the flop.
Front position or middle position
Limping in front position (flat calling into the pool) puts you in danger of being raised. No matter how playable your hand looks, you can’t afford to call too big a preflop raise with a flush . Doing so will cost you a lot of chips in the long run. Therefore, you should not usually play this kind of hand in front position or middle position.
Back position, with a raise in the pot and two callers in front of you
This is an ideal situation to play with a flush draw. You should call here and expect to get a good hand on the flop round. By playing to the flop with multiple opponents, you increase the chances of one opponent getting a little hand on the flop and betting, giving you the potential bottom pot odds needed to play the flush draw profitably.
Back position with no raise in the bottom pot and two limpers in front of you
Generally speaking, with a flush draw you can see the flop cheaply by calling. Occasionally, you can try to steal the bottom pot with the following play, especially if the table is tight.
Your opponents have already shown their weakness by limping in. They are likely to be playing very speculative hands. You should raise here to fake a big hand and also to take a favorable position after the flop. Your raise here should be 1BB for each limper in front of you on top of the 3BB (for example, to 5BB if you have two limpers in front of you), consistent with your raise with a big pocket pair. Your pre-flop raise should drive away one or two opponents.
If there is no sign of any opponents hitting that hand on the flop round, and they both check, a sustained bet is usually enough to take down the bottom pot, as the board should be down to one or two opponents at this point. But try not to play that way too often. It won’t take long for observant opponents to notice that you’re raising frequently from your vantage point, and soon your continuation bets will no longer be respected.
Flop Round Play
When playing flush straights, all hope to get a strong hand or a strong hearing hand on the flop round. While it’s wonderful to occasionally get a straight flopped straight, more often than not you should look to go with a good hearing hand against a deep-chip opponent.
The odds of a flush getting a two-ended straight flush hear or a double card straight hear on the flop round are 10.45% (8.6 to 1). The odds of a flush getting a flush draw on the flop round are 10.94% (10.94%). You also have a small chance (3.34% or 29 to 1) of getting a bright three of a kind or two pair on the flop.
Not getting any cards on the flop round
This is the most likely face of the flop and why you shouldn’t spend too many chips to see the flop, because you usually don’t get anything on the flop.
Usually you should just check or fold. However, if no one raises preflop, you should occasionally try to bet to steal the bottom. This is why you want to game flush straights in back position. By using your position advantage to steal the bottom from time to time, you should be able to compensate for some of the losses you incur with this speculative game. Of course, when you try to steal the bottom pot, make sure there are no calling station players in the hand.
Getting a good call on the flop round
A good call here is a straight or flush call with at least an 8-card suited. You can potentially complete a straight or flush on the turn or river to win a huge bottom pot. The probability of a two-ended straight draw completing on the turn or river round is 31.3%, while the probability of a flush draw completing on the turn or river round is 34.4%.
Again, playing in back position gives you a huge advantage. If everyone in front of you checks, you can make a semi-bluff bet about half the size of the bottom pot. If the pre-flop attacker bets and you are the last to act, you usually have excellent odds of calling to see the turn.
Play on the turn and river rounds
If you don’t get a straight or flush on the turn, the best option is to try to see a free river card. Many times the turn will deal a scare card and your opponent may pass. If your opponent bets heavily on the turn, be prepared to fold because you no longer have the right odds to game the hand.
If you do get a strong hand, it’s time to squeeze as many chips out of your opponent as possible. Don’t pass to give your opponent a free card. You should bet because there is always the possibility that your opponent will get a snap-shot listen or backdoor listen that can improve into a bigger straight or flush.