A flush, known for being the fifth strongest hand in poker, occurs when a player can combine five cards of the same suit with their hand and the five community cards placed down by the dealer. For example, in a Texas Hold’em format, a flush will occur if you hold a 7 of hearts and jack of hearts, with the community cards being an 8 of hearts, king of hearts, 2 of diamonds, 3 of clubs and 5 of hearts. Why? Because, between the seven cards at your disposal, you’re able to connect five suited cards (hearts.)
As online poker tournaments go, a flush has a strong possibility of winning the round. However, it’s important to recognize the nut hand before betting aggressively – a full house can beat flushes in poker, four-of-a-kind, straight flush and a royal flush. Read on as we discuss the best poker tips for when the flush gets there and you don’t have it.
Playing flush-completing turns on the preflop
Whether you’re a preflop caller or raiser, it’s important to always monitor the hand possibilities based on the cards placed down by the dealer. For instance, if you’re holding two club cards and the community cards are a 6 of clubs, 9 of clubs and 9 of hearts, as tempting as it is to bet aggressively and chase the flush, be aware that an opponent may have a 9 in their hand, meaning they are a pair away from a full house – the fourth strongest hand.
Key tells provide an understanding of your opponents’ playing personalities. If you notice a competitor who regularly folds but is betting aggressively, it may be best to fold, as it suggests that they have strong cards. Another factor that should influence your betting behavior when holding or chasing a flush is the high card. When there are four community cards sharing the same suit, it isn’t uncommon for more than two players to be holding a flush, meaning a winner is decided on a high card (otherwise known as a kicker.) With an ace being the strongest card, don’t get carried away with a card valued under 10. Realizing when to play aggressively or defensively in poker is what separates the good from the great.
To learn more about flush-completing turns on the preflop as a caller or raiser, look at these six tips to help guide you to victory.
Flush-completing turns as the preflop raiser
- When out of position, semi-bluff with open enders.
Playing out of position makes it trickier to reach the showdown, as you no longer have the option to check back for free. So, if you’re holding an 8 of hearts and 9 of hearts, while there are 6 of clubs, 10 of clubs and 2 of hearts, it would be a shame to check-fold away as you have a possibility of a straight.
The best-case scenario is betting aggressively, forcing a fold and winning the pot outright. Your worst-case scenario is getting raised and folding.
- Always check with the second pair.
Regardless of being in or out of position, a second pair is too weak to play aggressively when facing the possibility of a flush in poker. When holding a second pair, the best way to reach the showdown is by playing passively. So, if an opponent has staked a big bet, it’s safest to fold the round unless you have the option to check.
A second pair occurs when you’re holding a queen and king of diamonds and the community cards are a queen of clubs, 9 of clubs, 7 of clubs and 3 of hearts.
- Unless you have an additional extra draw, if you have a top pair in position, you should check.
Although a top pair usually puts you in the strongest position after the flop, if there is the possibility of a flush, any bet you make may be a financial waste.
Flush-completing turns as the preflop caller
- Always fold naked open enders against a second bet.
For experienced players, open enders are brilliant as it presents an opportunity for a big flush, straight or any other high-ranking hands. However, it’s important not to get carried away and stake high, as the value of your open ender can quickly diminish if the turn produces a flush card.
- Unless you have a flush or straight draw to go with it, you should fold when holding a pocket pair above the second card.
As previously mentioned, when there’s the possibility of a strong hand, such as a straight or flush, your pocket pair has a minimal chance of winning. Your best chance of winning is to bluff and hope players perceive you to have the strongest hand with a high kicker. Otherwise, just fold.
- Middle pairs are too weak to call against a second bet when you’re out of position.
An example of a middle pair on the flop is holding a 7 of clubs and 8 of hearts, while the community cards are jack of diamonds, 8 of diamonds and 3 of clubs.
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