Thursday, May 31, 2007

The dangers of flush draws

So many people justify terrible calls because they have two cards of the same suit - the old "But they were soooooted!"

Here's why two suited cards aren't really all that much better than two unsuited cards of the same rank. Let's take a look at a typical flush draw situation.

You're in a 9 handed SNG with everyone still in. You're the big blind with 83 of spades and there are 4 limpers. The flop comes Ks 9s jh.

You like that flop? Do you really? If you ignore the flush draw, you are playing two undercards. You can't even complete the sucker straight with a queen and a ten because of the king. Even if you river your flush, there are 3 flushes better. If someone got dealt Ax of spades ("sooooted!"), you'd be drawing to an 8 or a 3. And if it was AJs (maybe the under-the-gun limper was afraid of a re-raise), you'd need runner-runner six outs.

You'd check-fold it if it were 8h 3h, right?

If you get dealt suited cards, they play like their unranked counterparts unless they're suited connectors.

A flush is a very good hand. Only a boat, quads or a straight-flush beats it. But if you're "drawing" to a boat, you've got either two pair or a set. If you're "drawing" to quads, you've got a set. If you're drawing to a flush, you very probably have nothing. Oh yes, you can have a hand and flop that will give you a pair, and those hands do happen, but they're much more rare than the situation where you have a flush draw and high card only.

Big reward, big risk. Let the drawer beware.

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