Two Poker Made Straights with One Enjoying a Redraw

This is a good opportunity for someone with a made hand to scoop a pot every now and then against a hand with no redraw. The important thing to do is, make certain a better flush draw does not stay in the pot. For example, suppose you play 8♠-9 against three other poker players and see this flop:

You can draw to the nuts and improve again if the right cards hit

You now have an open-ended straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. An aggressive player bets, and you call. Another player folds, and the fi nal player calls. The turn brings the T, giving you the absolute nut straight and a redraw to a spade flush. The aggressive player bets, which could mean several things, including that they have a straight right along with you. So what to do? Doug had this happen to him at the Bellagio in a small-stakes ($4–$8) game. An aggressive player was taking a break from what we believe was a $30–$60 game and playing over (putting his own chips on the table and playing, while the original occupant is away from the table) his wife’s seat. After he bet, Doug determined he likely had a straight along with him or was raising with a lesser hand. Because of the pot odds to call on the turn, the other player folded what we believe was a flush draw. The high-limit player yelled, “Sir, you’re scaring away the customers!” But Doug wanted to be headsup against the straight with no redraw in a small pot. It was a split pot, but Doug knew raising on the turn was correct because the player with the flush draw would either fold (because the pot wasn’t big enough to chase) or would make an ill-advised call to go after the flush. Let’s look at some numbers.

The first column of the table below shows the percentage of total money won by the three hands after the flop, if all stay in until the river. The second column shows the percentages if all three stay in after the turn, and the third column shows the percentages if the two straights stay in.

Hold ’Em Hand Results

Hand Percentage of Money Won
Flop Turn Turn
(4-6-7) (T 3-handed) (T 2-handed)
8-9 16.5% 41.7% 60.2%
8-9 16.2% 41.7% 39.8%
A-3 67.3% 16.6% (folded)

Because the player with the flush draw played correctly (which is not something you can count on), Doug’s expectation increased by almost 20 percent. There were two big bets in the pot before the flop, and everyone checked when the flop came. Therefore, when there were a bet and a raise, there were only five big bets in the pot, which would have given the flush draw 2.5:1 pot odds for a 5.6:1 shot (seven remaining spades). Plus, he had to fi gure it was likely he would be re-raised. If the gentleman with the flush draw would have seen the rest of the cards, he would have won around 1/6 of the money while having to put in around 1/3 of it. Good fold, sir.