Why You Should Play Flushes Aggressively

As part of the Ask SplitSuit a question series, a bunch of people asked hand history questions and this one actually came privately via Facebook. Rhys prefaces the hand by saying:

“Hi James! I’ve been religiously watching your videos and found all of them fantastic for rounding out my game. Until now, I’ve never had a situation where I couldn’t look back and go, ‘Ahh, I messed up here or I could have played better here.’ But this one kind of stumped me.”

Before we jump into the hand, Rhys, I just want to say two quick things. One, I’m glad you’re enjoying the videos and hopefully you’ll enjoy this one, too.

Two is that it’s awesome that you’re doing the work off the table, going back, studying hands, looking at situations and actually reviewing your lines very objectively. That’s excellent, excellent work, everyone watching this should be doing the exact same thing, just want to give you props for doing that.

With all that said, let’s look at the spot itself.

This is at 5 no limit on Full Tilt, so there’s an open limp from seat three, Hero obviously decides to attack it, totally happy with the size, totally happy with the hand selection, get called by seat eight, get called by the limper, go three-way to it, and end up flopping the nuts, which always makes life really, really easy. Check, donk bet from seat three, and Hero decides to call.


Okay, my general rule of thumb is not to slow play. I just find that players, especially in limits like these, tend to make such massive, massive errors that you can just play really aggressively, play your big hands quickly, and make a lot more money.

It’s just one of those where if we think about what kind of hand seat three is going to be donk betting here, I’m expecting it’s going to be like some draws, maybe like 9X or 8X is trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Maybe the occasional bit of error, but ultimately from someone who open-limped and then limped called pre-flop and then decides to donk, I assume they link their hand to some extent.

Exactly how much they like their hand, I’m not sure, but I assume that something like top pair is going to make a lot of mistakes, something like the naked king of spades is going to make a lot of mistakes. I’d really like to raise and start getting a lot of value in right this moment.

I don’t think that call is necessary terrible, I just really like raising because if you think about it, if you call, there’s going to be a lot of turned cards that don’t necessarily allow seat three to make huge mistakes. What if it’s the queen and this person has the naked king of spades? Are they going to make huge errors? Maybe, maybe not. If they have something like 8X though and the queen peels off, are they going to make a lot of errors? Eh, I don’t really think they’re going to make as many mistakes at that point.

Because of that, I just raise right this moment and see how much this person wants to make a big pot. Again, this could be like my last easy chance to get value from like 9X. There’s going to be a lot of turn cards that peel off that also 9X doesn’t want to take very far, be it a spade, be it an over-card, whatever it is.

Because of that, I’d like to see a raise here up to something like 1.50. I don’t hate the call, especially if you think that seat eight is kind of fishy and you could call, induce their call, and then go forward. Other than that, at least consider a raise in a situation like this.

Seat eight folds, go to the turn, which is eight/jack, he checks, and Hero decides to bet.

Okay, I feel like I say this in way too many of my videos, but unfortunately I’m going to have to say it again. I assume that seat three probably isn’t very good. Open limp pre-flop, limp called, donk the flop, not necessarily things, at least all of those things that a good player would do in a particular hand.

Because of that, I assume they’re not particularly good, which means I don’t need to give them 5:1 to make an incorrect call. I could give them 3:1, I could give them maybe 2:1. I could give them a much worse price and they’ll still make a lot of mistakes. I don’t think we need to go to 45 cents here to induce 9X or the naked king of spades to make a mistake. I think we could fire this out for 1.25 and get the same amount of mistakes at a pretty high frequency.

Now, maybe we don’t always get action from 8X or 9X and whatever, that again, goes back to why we should’ve considered or much more heavily done it, raise that flop.

As we got here, just bet larger. Betting is great, obviously we want to be doing that, but we’re leaving so much money on the table and giving good prices to things like two pair, weird sets, whatever. I’m not super worried about those kind of things, I’m more worried about missing value from draws that draw incorrectly or a single pair that this is really our last chance to make value from before, God forbid again, the fiver pulls off a four to a straight or four flush or whatever and now all of a sudden we make no money ever.

Again, larger here for sure, get called, board pairs on the eight, on the river, check, Hero decides to bet (but too small).


Stop leaving money on the table with my premium video on poker aggression and making overbets.

Now, you’re not going to get action a ton of the time, because if he has something like the naked king of spades or naked queen of spades, you’re never getting action here. It’s not like we can bet 95 cents and induce a check raise. We have no raise and I think that seat three is capable of making that light.

Because of that, I think this just needs to be something closer to two bucks and recognizing that you’re not going to get action a ton of the time, but also recognizing that we left a lot of money on the table on previous streaks.

In this actual hand, we actually end up getting check-raise by seat three, who leaves themselves a whopping 9 cents back. Hero decides to get after it, go for the whole thing, and I don’t really even want to talk too much about this, because it shouldn’t happen. There should’ve been so much more money in the pot by the time we got to this river that if seat three did improve on something like nine/eight or pocket fours or pocket eights and blink quads, whatever it is—good for him. I mean, the issue is that we gave them a great price on the turn, that we let him off at the price that he wanted to dictate on the flop, and ultimately I just think we left some money on the table. Again, there were baby flushes that would’ve continued, there were second-best everything that would’ve continued had we just put more money in earlier in the hand.

In this exact situation, unfortunately we do end up running into the boat, but whatever, again, results don’t really matter all that much. What matters is that the line we took was best.I think the line we took here definitely needed some work, if nothing else, the bet sizes needed a lot of work.

Again, the turn bet needs to be so, so, so much larger. As played, the river bet needs to be so, so, so much larger. We’re just leaving money on the table by taking this kind of line.

This is one of those where again, I think it all heavily boils back to the flop, a flop raise (Learn “How To Abuse Pre-Flop Limpers”) makes a tremendous amount of sense, I really would’ve liked to have seen one right there, but as played, bet sizing is going to be the name of the game on the turn at river.

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