When playing Limit Texas Hold’em Poker, Flush draws are very strong draws to have when coming into the flop. Flush draws play easily and can result in winning. When a Flush is drawn on the flop in Limit Texas Hold’em Poker, the hand will use two or three cards of the same suit within the flop. The proper way to play the Flush draw depends upon the amount of same-suited cards in the flop.
As everyone knows, each suit contains 13 cards. The way to figure out the best odds of how many “outs” (the cards that can give you a winning hand) is by subtracting the number of cards in your hand and on the flop from 13. A player will always have 9 outs to complete a Flush when a Flush draw is displayed on the flop. This is approximately 2-to-1 (35%) against improving by the river. A potential Flush hand is stronger if additional combinations such as a pair or a straight are drawn on the river. Furthermore, the higher the cards, the stronger the hand. The higher cards are called “overcards,” and they can make or break a hand. For example, if you hold the King and Queen of Spades, and the Jack of Spades, 10 of Spades and 2 of Hearts are flopped, you will have a straight Flush draw and two overcards. This leaves 21 cards that can create a winning hand. You will have about a 78% chance of hitting at least a pair on the turn and river combined. That is a 54% likelihood for a straight / Flush and a 28% likelihood for pairing one of your overcards. If you compare that hand to holding the 2 and 7 of Spades on a flop with the Ace and Queen of Spades and the 9 of Hearts, you most likely have only 9 outs (34%) that will win the pot for you.
Deciding whether or not to draw is a relatively easy task. When a player holds a Flush draw on a two-suited flop, the player is almost always prone to draw cards to complete the Flush. However, there are a few exceptions to consider:
• If no one has raised the pot, and the only cards you hold is a Flush draw may be a good time to semi-bluff. Raise the pot just a little and force some other people out. Whatever you do, don’t check to the river.
• If a pair is shown on the flop and there is heavy action (betting), someone is likely to hold Three of a Kind. There is a chance that you would hit your Flush, but still lose to a Full house.
• If you hold a small Flush draw, and there is heavy action on the flop can indicate that you are drawing against a player that holds a bigger Flush draw. You may still get your Flush, but lose to someone that holds a higher Flush.
When three or more players are in a hand, you want to keep as many players in the hand until the flop. This way, the pot grows. In order to keep other players in the game, you must check and call if you are acting first. If you are the pre-flop raiser, bet according to the cards that you hold. Do not over-bet and try to force a player out! For example, if you hold the Ace and King of Spades, and three low cards are flopped. This gives you a very strong chance for the Flush, plus two overcards. If you are sitting in a late position and there has already been a bet plus several calls from earlier players, it is correct to raise. This is done to build the pot when the odds are only 2-to-1 against creating a Flush. This raise may also give the chance to take free card if all of the other players check on the turn.
When playing against one or two opponents, you can try to win the pot with a semi-bluff. If you feel there is a chance that you can win the pot by betting or raising, feel free to do so. This is neither correct nor incorrect, but certainly a gamble. If you happen to have overcards to go with the Flush draw, you should bet or raise to force out hands that could potentially create two pair, or a pair with a better kicker than yours.
If the flop is three suited, a player should generally just draw for the Flush if drawing for the highest (nut) or second highest (second nut) Flush hand. If a hand has additional values, such as a pair and/or a straight draw, the player might draw for a lower Flush. It is usually difficult to get action on these types of flops, because players will play less aggressively unless they also possess a strong hand, such as one or two pair. Raising and trying for free cards is less likely to succeed because your opponents will be more apt to protect their made hands. This type of draw also has less value and a weaker effect, because it is obvious when someone holds a Flush when a suited-card appears on the river. Players will not give action, unless the board stays three-suited. The time to play very aggressively is when you hold a pair of Aces or a pair of Kings, and have the Flush draw to accompany the hand.