Friday, July 13, 2007

A pocket pair needs four suited cards to flush

I was IM'ing Marsh about this earlier and thought I'd share. Touched on this a little in a different post but will break it out into its own post as well. If you have someone on a pocket pair, they can only have one card of any suit...despite all the jokes about having "suited Aces". This can be critical information. Everyone has different tells but assuming you correctly have someone on a pair, if the complete unpaired board only has three of a suit, you can be sure your flush is good regardless of how small it may be. It also opens the door to bluffing someone off their hand since players are generally overly concerned about flush draws.

In one hand, a player I knew well raised pre-flop and I was positive she had a pocket pair. Flop comes out Ace high and all Diamonds. I actually caught a six for a low second pair and I'm positive she has a bigger pocket than that. Nonetheless I lead out undeterred because I know that she cannot have a flush nor could she have caught an Ace because she had a pocket pair. She then raises me! That is awfully spunky for someone who can't beat a paired Ace on the flop. I shake my head and proceed to move in because she doesn't have much left behind and I will either take the pot down or see her hand. I actually assure her that she is way ahead of me to coax the rest of the chips into the pot. She the board completes and she shows down pocket Nines including the 9d. Logic was correct just had a stubborn player who didn't know when to fold.

So some caveats. Some players like to play AK suited like a big pocket pair complete with re-raises and willingness to push with them. If your opponent is like that then you will need to be able to differentiate between AK suited and big pairs or even just bail on this tactic for those players. It is also possible that they may settle for a high or nut flush redraw if they feel they are behind a flush so you might want to wait for the board to complete before pressuring them to fold.

So there you go. A page from the playbook for you to consider.

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