Everyone loves playing suited cards. For the most part, we play a hand like 97s with the hopes of flopping a big draw or picking up a backdoor on the turn. Every now and then, fortune chooses us, and we actually hit a flush on the flop!
Odds of Flopping a Flush
While flopping a flush is great, it doesn’t happen very often. First, it can only happen when you have a suited hand. That means that a pocket pair or big, off-suit ace like AKo simply can’t flop a flush. Even if you start with two suited cards, there are a total of 19,600 possible flops and only 165 will have three cards of your suit. Thus, the probability of flopping a flush is only 0.84%; you should expect to do it roughly once every 120 suited hands you play.
Flopping a Flush With Low Cards – How to Play It
If you’re lucky enough to flop a flush, you still need to figure out the best way to play it. It might be tempting to slow-play your hand since it is so powerful. Resist that urge, especially when you have a small flush. Take a moment and think about how many “bad” turn cards there are: 8 more flush cards will put a four-flush on board, and 9 cards will pair the board. That’s 17 cards out of 47, meaning one of these bad cards will show up more than 1/3 of the time!
On any of those cards, you won’t want to put in serious money. Your plan of slow playing to spring a trap later in the hand seems awfully dangerous.
Avoiding bad turn cards is only part of the story. Playing a hand aggressively on the flop often looks weak in and of itself. Lots of players will take a hand like AhKs and raise on a flop of Kh7h5h. If you play your Th9h the same way, you will be much more balanced and difficult to play against.
Flopping a Flush – With Ace High flush – How To Play It
Flopping the nut flush is different situation. You are much less worried about losing the hand, since a fourth (or even fifth!) flush card will generally still leave you with the nuts. The board can still pair, but roughly half the danger has been eliminated. This makes a lot safer to take passive lines with your hand, and you should definitely mix those into your game.
That said, you don’t want to overdo it. Strong hands like the nut flush are a prime opportunity to win a bunch of money! While you can bet as much as you want later in the hand (it is no limit hold’em, after all), it is a lot easier to get paid if the pot has already been inflated by aggression on earlier streets. Especially in a multiway hand, you should look to start building the pot sooner rather than later.
The bottom line: you have a lot of flexibility with a flop this strong. Lean towards aggression as the number of players in the hand goes up and as stacks get deeper and lean towards more passive lines in heads up and shallower pots.
Should You Slow Play?
The answer, as with everything in poker, is that it depends. We’ve already talked about some of the factors to consider when deciding whether to slow play; let’s talk about some of the reasons why we might want to do so.
The most important reason is balance. Suppose you defended a bad suited had like K3s out of the big blind and flop a flush. If you always check-raise the flop when your opponent bets, what does that do to your check-calling range on the turn?
It makes it incredibly weak. On brick turns, you’re going to have very few hands that can withstand serious pressure from your opponent. They will be able to fire big with all their bluffs and there will be very little that you can do about it. While you are always somewhat handcuffed playing out of position against an aggressive opponent, you need to mix up your lines to protect yourself.
Notice what this reasoning tells us: in situations where balance is less important, like multiway pots, you have less incentive to play passively and should be playing aggressively more often.
Should You Shove All In?
Probably not. In most situations, going all in on the flop will get folds from the hands that you have beat and calls from the bigger flushes. You might get a reluctant call from a set or a pair with the nut flush draw, but that isn’t a ton of hands. While it can be tempting to shove to minimize the risk of getting drawn out on, it is more important to try to maximize the value we get for our hand.
That said, there are a few situations where it might be a good move. If you are up against a very suspicious opponent or if you have an especially wild reputation, going all in with a flush can be a good play. This is especially true in situations where you can credibly be shoving with the naked nut flush draw. If there is already a bet and a call or two ahead of you, a big overbet shove can look very much like a desperate flush draw trying to get a fold. I wouldn’t recommend doing it all the time (and definitely not with small flushes), but there are definitely worse lines that you can take.
Where To Play Online Poker? – Ignition Poker
If you play on Ignition, you will flop flushes 75% more often. Okay, that isn’t true. Sounds nice though, doesn’t it? There are a lot of actual benefits to playing on Ignition. The biggest two: soft competition and the anonymous tables. The players on Ignition are very weak compared to most other public-facing websites, so this is a relaxing and profitable place to spend your poker time.
Part of the reason that the player pool has remained soft for so long is anonymous tables. Without screen names, other grinders can’t compile massive databases of hands on everyone and know their tendencies before they’ve even played a hand. Your anonymity is safe on Ignition; jump on and take advantage of it.
Flopping a flush is a rare very lucrative occurrence. While the best play will depend on the nuances of the situation and your overall strategy for playing your range, thinking about these factors ahead of time will go a long way to helping you maximize the profitability of hands like this when they do come up.