# Betting strategy with a straight flush draw, ended up losing to a higher flush

The game was cash no limit Texas Holdem. Here is a hand that I had today:

Firstly, I have T♠J♠. The flop came 8♠9♠J♦. I made a minimum bet in order to put some value in the flop and also keep the players in (I figured, I am on a flush draw, so it's safe), 2 others stayed in.
The turn came 6♠, we all checked. The river was 8♥. The guy before me made a pot raise, I re-raised twice the amount, got called and he opened up with a flush King high.

So my question is, did I play right? Of course I suspected that there can be a higher flush, but I thought, flush is too good to not raise. Should I have just called?

Another question is, when I flopped high pair, would it be better to bet so much to deny the odds (keep in mind I had a draw too).

• Checking the turn with a vulnerable flush is not good, especially vs 2 players. You should have bet there for value and for protection as well. – user4090 Mar 5 '16 at 20:16

The K high flush tried to trap the lower flush on the turn and lost that opportunity. If someone had trips or two pair, they are not slow playing to let the straight/flush come on the turn. The 'Hero' should have bet a little more on the flop. When the flush came on the turn, he should have again bet 1/2 pot to see if there was still interest in the hand. The K would have likely reraised here and the 'Hero' can decide if he's beat. Does the K have a set or a straight and is trying to protect it from the 4 flush or does he have one of the four hands that beat me?

Since this didn't happen, it looks as if the 'hero' had a set and was trying to get value on the flop, was scared on the turn, and hit the full house on the river.

So here are the real questions:
Is the K capable of folding a flush despite the betting pattern indicating he's beat? If so, this is the correct play.

Is the reputation of the 'hero' such that the K thinks this is a big bluff on a scary board, or the 'hero' is capable of raising with a marginal hand against strength? If so, calling is the best option.

On the flop you had
top pair
flush draw
open ended straight draw
you have 17 outs (counting trip jacks)

Yes you could have bet more on the flop to chase off a draw but you got to figure you have a better draw and likely the best made hand. You are only behind a set, two pair, or TQ straight. If they had any of those they should have raised on the flop to chase off the draws.

On the turn you both slow play the flush. Here I think you should have bet at least half the pot. You have top pair and you want to chase off a lone higher spade.

On the river they bet the pot
Likely:

• bluff

• trip 8s which you beat

• boat not likely based on not protecting on the flop

• flush or straight flush

By you re-raising the pot:

• a bluff would fold

• trip 8s likely fold because there is straight and flush on the board

• a higher flush is not going to fold to a pot sized raise
for sure the Ace and straight-flush is not going to fold
the king did not fold and I would not fold even a queen high
unless they were KQ the were playing K7 or Q7 at best and not likely to play those

• the only hand that might call and you would beat is an under flush

• a boat would call and you would lose

If you get a call to your final raise you are likely beat. Hind site is 20/20 but yes I think you should have just called on the river.

For sure call the river. If you are not going to call a small pot sized bet on the river then you should not be playing JT suited in the first place. There are only 4 flushes that beat you. As I said 2 pair would (well should) have bet the flop. They could be betting a bluff, flush you have beat, number of straights, and trips.

## Suited / flush odds

Out of curiosity and game strategy I ran some numbers and they may be of value to others

• Suited hand
0.1448 = 14% = 5.9:1

• Ace x suited
0.0362 = 3.6% = 26.6:1

• Make a flush by the river from a suited hand
0.0842 = 8.4% = 10.9:1

• You are suited another hand is same suited
0.0449 = 4.5% = 21.3:1

• Make a flush by the river if there are two blockers
0.0486 = 5.9% = 19.6:1
this is not mean 5.9% that you will get to the river and be against a suited hand
only if there are two blockers your chances are less
Ace x is a great trap but you just don't get to execute the trap very often

• `a higher flush is not going to fold` not even a queen high flush? @khajvah didn't say what betting was pre-flop, but if he bet representing Ax suited preflop... – user1934 Mar 5 '16 at 20:32
• @Michael What? No kidding a higher flush is not going to fold. – paparazzo Mar 5 '16 at 20:39
• So you are saying that there is no chance a queen high flush would fold if you are representing the nut flush? – user1934 Mar 5 '16 at 20:41
• The only player that is going to fold is a pathetically weak tight player. I think that particular hand is better played more aggressively on the flop and turn. It is ahead, it is likely to get more ahead and minimum bet screams draw giving your opponents information. Might have folded the J high flush on the river, just depends more on the opponent making the raise. – Jon Mar 5 '16 at 21:05
• Just for clarification, there are way more than 3 hands that beat the hero on the river. There are three flushes, Ace, King and Queen high, a straight flush with the 5-7 of spades, several full houses, and of course quads, as the board did pair on the river. I do agree with Michael that the queen high flush would probably fold here, unless they had an amazing read on the hero. It's too easy to be beat. – Herb Wolfe Mar 6 '16 at 0:36

I have very different opinions.

You don't provide enough information in the question, what was the preflop action? Number of players? Positions? Stack Size? How small is "minimum bet"? All of these factors effect each player's hand range. For example a player open raise from button might have a hand like Th7h but the player who raise from early position or call from small blind usually does not have Th7h.

You flop a monster. Your hand is more than 3:2 favor against all the following legitimate hands: two pair, AA, KK, pair+open end straight draw(JT,T9,T8), KJ, AJ, AsKs, AsQs and is small favor vs. QJ and QQ, KsQs. You're only behind sets and straights, where your hand has >40% equity except when your opponent has exactly QT with Q of spade.

With that hand you almost always want to build a big pot on the flop and happy to shove/call off an all in bet

Not betting turn gives up value vs. many 1 card flush draw(people with bare As, Ks, Qs).

IMO river is the least problematic street. Yes, you lose to many hands, but most of them would have played differently on the flop/turn by many of your opponents. At least if you raise me in that spot I'm very likely to call down with hands like A8, 78 and I'm unlikely to have better hand in that spot so cheer up :).