How to Play a Flopped Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Hand

How to Play a Flopped Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Hand

DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, the under-the-gun player and hijack both limp into the pot. It folds to you in the small blind and you call as well with {6-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. The big blind checks, and the flop comes {j-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}. You check, as do the big blind and UTG player, then the hijack makes a pot-sized bet. Action is on you...

PRO ANSWER: This is an interesting flop texture for our hand. A large number of turn cards give us the ability to continue happily with increased equity.

Any diamond (9 cards) gives us a flush. Any {4-} or {10-} gives us a gutshot to go along with our flush draw (6 additional cards). Any {5-} or {9-} gives us an open-ended straight draw (6 additional cards). Any {8-} or {6-} gives us a pair with our flush draw (6 cards).

That totals 27 cards that increase our hand's equity on the turn. We can profitably call here, so we can eliminate folding as an option.

Raising would put pressure on the two limpers still in the hand (in addition to the bettor) and would often force out many hands that have very good equity against us and will continue if we choose to call.

Also, given that the bettor limped behind another limper and bet in position when checked to, their hand range could consist of many medium-strength, {j-}{x-} one-pair hands and fewer overpairs, in addition other hands making low equity stabs at the pot. We can create fold equity against a large portion of their hand range with a flop check-raise followed by a turn all-in.

In this case, check-raising to around 4,500 chips sets up a semi-bluff all-in on the turn for around 7,000 chips into a pot that will be around 10,500 when the bettor calls. This should create significant fold equity against a large portion of the bettor's hand range.

Check-raising the flop with the intention of semi-bluffing all-in on the turn is the best play.

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