MCU poker tip: Hold ’em, four suited board cards

Enhanced: 2022-05-25

In hold ’em, use caution when there are four cards of one suit on the board and you don’t have a flush. That’s obvious. But sometimes you should bet right into that board without a flush.

The best time to bet is when you have two pair, three-of-a-kind, or a straight against a lone sophisticated player who has checked into you. A check often means that opponent is concerned about the flush possibility, but will call anyway. If there were raises before the flop and parts of the four-flush on the board are high cards, figure it’s more likely that your opponent does not have a flush. Why?

Bet anyway

Early round raising means that opponent is more apt than usual to hold high cards, and those high cards are likely to match the suited ranks on the board, leaving a reduced chance to make a flush. There are fewer available ranks that will provide your opponent with a flush, and it’s more likely than usual that he has a pair.

If you’ve completely missed the board, this is occasionally a profitable bluffing opportunity.

Not even money

Also, consider that there’s a less-than-even chance that your opponent has a flush. Having the key suit in two random cards might seem like even money, but it isn’t. That’s because four of that suit are no longer left in the deck. If you both missed, those four suited board cards seem just as threatening to your opponent as they do to you.

So, sometimes bet two pair or better for value. Consider bluffing if your hand is very weak. This advice applies whether you’ve been checked to or are first to act. Not only can this be a profitable decision, the play will enhance your image. — MC

Published by

Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


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