I had 100 chips and As4h, I only called the bet, 12, so I would see the flop. Flopped 7hAhAc. I bet 25. My opponent called. Turned 9h, I went all in. My opponent called. Turned 2h and he made a flush in AK972h, beating my flush A9742h. What was the correct way to play this hand?

I think I lost because I should have protected the hand when I had Three of a Kind, Aces after the flop, probably by going all in. Is that correct?


5 Answers 5


Your question has to do with an important poker concept: board texture.

You must always consider what your hand is vis-a-vis according to the other cards on the board and how that board can improve. Overall, you should recognize that the more cards your opponent sees, the more value your hand loses - don't let them see more card than they need to.

In the case of your particular hand, it was misplayed. Two things should have jumped out at you:

  1. With two hearts on the board, a flush was likely
  2. You are vulnerable to other Aces because you have a weak kicker with the 4

While it doesn't apply to your hand, in the future you should also evaluate boards for straight possibilities too.

In regards to #1 above, the flush possibility requires you to bet into this. You should be betting quite a bit to "price out" the flushes. I would be betting at least 1.5x the pot, maybe even twice the pot. Why? Keep in mind that something that's still big, like say a half-pot bet, still gives your opponent 3-1 odds which is enough to continue with a flush draw. So you have to make the pot large enough to discourage them from continuing.

In regards to #2 above, you'd have to consider the other players in the pot. You now see three aces (two on the board, one in your hand). What is the opening range for the other players? What is the likelihood that their range includes Ax? Did their pre-flop betting indicate an A in their hand? If so, you need to consider that you have a weak kicker in your hand. I would still follow the above with a large bet but definitely slow down on the turn and river if you get called. If you get raised, it would be a very close call but I would consider folding.

Hope that helps.

  • I fully agree, the largest mistake on this hand was staying in to see the flop, and if staying in, a flop bet (around 2/3rds the pot) is necessary to deprive the opponent of proper odds to draw to the flush. Unfortunately, at the level of play this seems to be, it's likely the villain would have chased the draw anyway, but in the long run the decision would pay off for the hero.
    – mah
    Dec 5, 2014 at 18:35
  • I have mixed feeling with weak trips (A4 or A-x-x) and definitely not play them like the obviously stronger set. In most cases i play them like a 2-pair since i recognise that my intention preflop was to flop something straighty (no? A4o can't ask for more if you ask me). These hands have their bigger value on flop, which one should just shove (as well with weak 2-pairs) especially on wet boards. Just extract full value; no better way to get the most value while the board is not hot
    – user1165
    Dec 18, 2014 at 21:34

You say you only called the bet and had one opponent, which means the opponent had the big blind position and checked to see the flop. This means he could have any two cards and it would be impossible to put him on any range.

If you were the SB, the pot was only 24 on the flop (if there was no ante). This means you made a decent pot sized bet with your three of a kind, which means your opponent did not have the odds to chase a flush draw. Even if he would, you would always have outs for hitting a full house.

From what I understand he even only made his flush on the river, which indicates he only has one hearth. the all-in call of 63 in a 74 pot seems ridiculous. Even with a hand like KhKs, which is very unlikely since he checked pre-flop

I do not think you played this hand incorrectly, you just suffered a bad beat. I do not know how often you cbet and what your cbet size is, but you would usually want a call on that flop from your opponent's hand range. Shoving on the flop would be polarizing your range to an Ace or a bluff and will not give you max value on the long run. Only when you hava a really loose image you might pull this of and get called by a 7 or some pocket pair when your opponent tries to be a hero.


Your post lacks information to answer well.we don't know about positions and we don't know about your player (is he loose (seem to play every single hand), is he tight (plays only very strong hands)) and the image you have at the table. First A4os is not really a hand you should consider playing usually. With such a board and other player who seemed to show he had a hand worth playing (Ax for instance), you can easily put yourself in a difficult spot. And that is what happened.in the case the villain plays his hand aggressively, it is also very difficult to convince yourself you should fold after hitting the board. I was playing a hand ytd : I had 56s in late position that I just called because I knew that even if I raised the several callers before me would still call my raise and we would be at least 4 to see the flop. The flop comes 559 with 2 suited cards. I am pretty happy and this is usually a scary board for most players if there is action. One of the initial raisers bets the flop (small amount). Everyone folds until me (we get heads up). I 3bet the raiser around x3 and he calls. The turn gives the board a flush draw. Now he bets big, more than half the pot. I folded my trips. The past 2 hours (live play) I caught that player chasing twice a flush at any price and showing weak suited hole cards (loose player). What I observed from that player led me to assume I had to fold here. Tough fold but not worth risking my whole stack at this cash game.


To my mind, ace rag is a questionable play - ace rag off suit doubly so.

N.B. this assumes full ring or such like. The range of hands you should play increases as you go from full ring to heads up.

Once you're in the hand and you hit aces on the flop, I can see why you played on. I don't think you played badly from here but your choice to play the hand is what I'd question.


Once you played the weak A and saw the set, you should have tried protecting them better. There's some rationale as to why BB would have stayed in but we'll never know why players defy math, there is still the element of gambling that degenerates love about poker. A4 aren't cards you should be playing in that position, no matter what the experts say. You were forced to play the 12, don't compound that loss with additional 12+.

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