# How to play top pair with flush draw on the flop?

I have recently joined to a new table .01/.02 so I have no stats regarding the players

4 players, every one has 50BB (maximum buy-in) I am on the button position with J♠T♥.

Preflop: HJ limps in. I am reraising to 4BB. BB calls, HJ calls.

Flop (12.5 BB on the table): 4♣7♣T♣

HJ bets 3BB. I raise to 16BB, BB folds, HJ calls

Turn (45BB on the table): J♥

HJ bets 4BB, I go all in with two pocket pairs, HJ calls

River (100BB): 7♠

HJ shows A♣3♣ and wins the pot

Did I play this pot correctly?

Here is my answer (not sure if it is correct): Based on the way that HJ limps in and his strange bet sizes (on flop and turn), I am assuming that this is a week player. He can have anything like e.g. middle pair or one club card. There is ~40% chance that there is another club appear on turn or on the river (There are 13 - 3 (on the table) - 1 (in HJ hand) = 9 clubs left). Anyway I have only top pair so I should control the pot more cautiously and make a raise of 2/3BB.

On the turn, based on weird betting strategy, he might have middle pair or one club card which makes me ahead so I believe that my betting strategy was correct. But I am not sure if my assumptions were correct.

I found the similar question: How to play two pairs when flop is connected? where the answer was that the pot was played correctly (but was won that time).

Let me know if my thinking was correct and I had only a bad luck or I should play it differently.

• I just noticed that the 4c is in his hand and on the flop, too. What's up with that? This post is 2 months old. How could nobody have noticed that? Jan 8 '16 at 3:04
• Good point! Corrected that already. Jan 9 '16 at 11:06
• @ChrisFarmer Maybe it was really this hand...
– user1934
May 2 '17 at 15:07
• What worse hand do you think would call that shove? Maybe 47. There are a lot of better hands that will call. Jun 9 '17 at 15:11

I think you played this too aggressively after the flop.

When he calls your pre-flop raise out of position and then calls your pot-sized flop raise, what is he representing? Not many of those hands are hands that you can beat. 44, 77, TT+, AcXc, AT, and maybe a few other tens if he's really loose. You're a huge underdog to that range on this flop.

The turn is admittedly a good card for you and he bets a small 4 BB into the pot of about 44 BB. It's a good card for you, but you're still behind a large part of his range. When you shove all-in here, what can he possibly call with that you are beating? You might get a call from AT or a naked A of clubs from a really loose player, but everything else you're ahead of is going to fold and no hands you're behind are going to fold, so you don't gain anything from the shove.

Once he showed a willingness to play on that flop against your large raise, I think you should slow down and go into bluff catching mode, calling down reasonable turn and river bets or getting lucky with a J or T on the river and getting some value for that.

I think your mistake was on the flop. There's a decent chance that you have the best hand after the flop, but it's important to consider how the rest of the hand is going to play out. Given that HJ has called a preflop raise and bet into you on the flop, there's a good chance he'll call the raise--the only time he folds is when you're way ahead, and do you really need him to fold if that's the case? Instead, the pot is now bigger than your remaining stack and if you think about it, there's very few cards that you don't hate seeing on the turn (this time there ended up being one of the few "good" cards).

If, instead of raising, you simply called the flop (a cheap option) to control the pot size and get more information (from the turn card), you'll have plenty of options to consider no matter the turn.

Given that you raised the flop, he's called the raise and made a small bet again so although his small bet sizes make him look "weak", he's actually showing a fairly strong pattern (call, call, bet, call, bet). Just pay the 4BB and try to get to a cheap showdown if there's not another J or 10. When you raise all in, I expect him to fold almost never. That leaves two options: either you have the best hand now but he has a minimum of 9 outs, or you don't have the best hand and you have 4 outs. The chances of you having the best hand have to be pretty high compared to the chances of him h

Couple red flags that should have caught your attention:

HJ & BB calls your 4BB raise. You now have some history on the players and can make some assumptions on their hands. One of those assumptions in a low-limit game is a suited Ace.

Club flop and HJ immediately bets into you, the pre-flop raiser. At this point, I'd assume he 1) has the nuts 2) is nuts 3) is on a nut flush draw and trying to build a pot. The calling of your 16BB re-raise makes #1 the most likely.

When the heart hits, HJ puts 4BBs out. This was your chance to get out or at least, not push all in. Even if you didn't believe HJ, he gave no hints he wasn't going to do anything but bet or call the rest of the way.

Whether or not the math works out or the theory is sound doesn't matter when you didn't feel out the table...you still have to play the man.

• HJ doesn't raise hero on the flop. Nov 22 '15 at 21:51

You cannot go all in with flop like this. You just cannot. You have -EV here even with 2 pairs, and even set. Good luck next time!

You raised to 16BB why?

Think about it. He was the first showing strength, then you got the highest pair. Great. But always take their range into consideration. There's a high chance, that he will not hold 4 or 7 as they are weak cards. If the bets to 3BB, it might mean he has something, or at least chance for something. If it is a Ten, then he's going to have a better kicker for sure. If he's waiting for one more club with one or two overcards, it's still going to be a coin-flip situation.

Going all in on the turn in this situation is one of the worst poker decisions I have ever encountered... If that's not enough evidence, for you to still think that you might have played correctly, based on the "unusual betting pattern" of your opponent, guarantees to all observers that you are a terrible poker player. I'm just writing bluntly to prevent you from losing more money.

I suggest you go and read a few books about statistics, probability and POKER, before ever sitting down with real money in a poker game.

p.s. the moment he calls your raise on the flop almost guarantees that the minimum he has at that point is a set. For you to raise again after this on the turn is incredibly amateur play...