Playing for a Flush

Whilst one pair and 2 pair hands make up the vast majority of winning hands in Texas Hold’Em the flushes and the straights make by far the bigger pots. The reason for this is that players are far more likely to continue playing for longer in a hand if they can see that there are cards, still in the deck, that can help them win the hand.

Suited Aces should be played whenever possible as the right kind of flop can bring tremendous riches for players prepared to live and die by the flush draw. In fact your overall profit for playing a suited Ace can be very much higher than AA because you will generally be playing the hand from beginning to end (all 5 community cards), on a favourable flop, whereas you might only get to see a flop (first 3 community cards) with AA as people around you quit after your undoubted big bet which follows it.

Let’s say you hold

And the flop is

If there is a great deal of action after the flop you can drop the hand fairly easily. After all even though you hold a pair of Aces it’s highly unlikely that your 4 kicker will be winning. There are many poor players that see the ace and call down any bet that is thrown at the pot. It’s recognising when you’re beat that gives you a great advantage in these situations.

Sometimes you’ll find out when all is said and done that you had the best hand but most of the time you’ll be able to chuckle to yourself about your good and early lay down. It is SO important to be able to lay down a hand like this early in a multi-way pot. Once you’ve paid to see the river and realize your hand is no good it is too late…

Let’s bring back our friend….

This time the flop is…

This time it is reasonable to pay to see the turn. Note that you have a backdoor flush draw and a pair with an over card to the flop. Also note that there is no "good" straight draw on the board (the best draw would be something like 5h 6h). On the turn you should dump your hand if you don’t get a club a four or an ace.

Finally, one more time for our pal.

This time the flop is…

Even without the ace of spades which gives you top pair in addition to the nut flush draw you should be thinking about how to get money into the pot. Depending on your opponents this might involve you letting them raise you or you raising yourself. Always let them do the raising if they are willing.

Because pot odds are better for you if there are two or more people still in the pot then it’s not worth trying to raise anyone out of the game at this point. You may well have top pair but you’ve still got a problem with your 4 and if another diamond doesn’t come your way then you may find yourself on the sticky end of a sticky wicket.


Suited Aces – Pocket card holdings where the cards are of both the same suit and contains an Ace. E.g Ac 5c, Ad Td, Ah 6h etc

Kicker – The lower of the two pocket cards. E.g holding Ad 8s your ‘kicker’ is the 8s

Backdoor Flush Draw – So called when the TURN and the RIVER card make your flush. E.g Holding Qs Js the flop is 2s 6c 7h. The TURN card is the Ts. The RIVER card is the As thereby making your flush.

Over Card – A card, in your pocket cards, that has a value HIGHER than anything on the board. E.g you hold AT and the flop is A47. Your over card is the Ten.

Need To Know Block:

  1. The chances of completing a flush draw when 2 cards of the same suit (on the flop) match the 2 suited cards in your hand is 35%

Next week’s article is called "Playing for a straight"