It’s amazing how many poker variations there are. Gotta be a couple of hundred, at least. Okay, maybe not that many, but an awful lot. Considering there are only four suits and 52 cards, you would think that you can’t do much more with a deck of cards than your standard poker games. You would be wrong, however. Take, for instance, best flush poker.
In the draw poker variation known as best flush, the only hands that can win are either full flushes or partial flushes. Five cards are dealt to begin the game and a maximum of three draws are allowed thereafter. The winning hands start with a royal flush and descend downward to a minimum winning hand of a two-card flush. In the event that two players hold the same winning hand, the tie is solved by high card in the flush. If the flushes themselves are tied, then that tie is further solved by who holds the high card among the non-flush cards.
Although best flush draw poker may be seen as rather simple, it does offer a few opportunities for complexity in the form of bluffing. Players with a four-flush may decide not to draw for the fifth card and try to bluff the others into thinking they already have the full flush, for instance. On the other side of the bluff coin a player holding a three-card flush may draw just one card in an attempt to bluff the others into thinking he either already has a four-card flush. The strategy behind this bluff is straightforward: Each player obviously has at least a two-card bluff simply by holding five cards. Many two-carders will be easily bluffed out of the game if they think another player is holding a four-card flush, so by drawing for just one card instead of two a player can very often get the rest of the two-card flushers to fold.
Best flush draw poker is an ideal game to pick during dealer’s choice since the dealer has the advantage of being able to wait and see if anyone else begins betting from a position of strength before him. If not, then he can bet with strength with some confidence. Should the dealer attempt the three card flush bluff described above only to watch the other players draw two cards in response, he has the option to go ahead and draw for two instead of carrying out the bluff.
In draw poker best flush definitely comes with an advantage for the dealer. Best flush can also be played in stud variety, but the dealer loses his edge in that form. Best flush played in stud poker format does allow for a much more wild and woolly brand of bluffing, however, and can actually be one of the most lucrative of poker variants for a talented poker bluffer.