Flop Five
A Low Pair with a Suited Card

The flop:

Situation 51

The blinds are $10-$25. You are sitting one seat in front of the button with:

The flop comes:

Action Arnold raises to $75 from second position. Three players to you sitting one seat in front of the button. You smooth call Arnold 's bet. Novice Noreen calls on the button. The small and big blinds folded. With three players in the pot, $260 is sitting in the middle of the table. Arnold bets $200.

What will be your play?
Conclusion

Action Arnold is capable of raising with many different hands. You have flopped the nut flush draw with two over cards. As long as Arnold doesn't have aces or kings, this is a good flop for you.

Recommendation

You have a big hand with the nut flush draw and two over cards. You should move all-in. Action Arnold might throw away his hands and you can win on the flop. Or if he calls, you might make a hand that will beat him.

When you gain much experience you can try this out: Smooth call expecting to bring Novice Noreen into the pot. By smooth calling at this point, you will still have $700 left. And if Al doesn't have a big hand, he might check the turn. In that case, you could either make a semi-bluff for $300 to try to win the pot or you could see all the cards cheaply by just checking.

Situation 52

The blinds are $10-$25. You are on the button with:

Before the flop, Reckless Ricky brings it in for $75. You are on the button with A-Q suited and call the raise. Novice Noreen folds in the small blind. Loose Levin calls in the big blind. There is $235 in the pot.

The flop comes:

Loose Levin bets out $200 from the big blind. Ricky calls the $200 after thinking a little while. It is your turn to act.

What will be your play?
Conclusion

Even though Ricky raised before the flop, you by now all know that Ricky raises with any kind of hands. You can always count on Levin to protect his blind with almost any two cards. You have flopped a top pair with top kicker, giving you a two pair on the flop. It is a good flop for you.

Before deciding whether to raise, call, or fold, we shall analyze what hands Levin or Ricky could be playing against you. Because Ricky has called Levin's $200 bet on the flop, you have gain some additional information about the possible strength of his hand. If he has a queen or an over pair, Reckless Ricky would have raised Levin's bet on the flop, therefore you can put him on middle to low poker pair, or two over cards. However, there is a danger to this: Because of his random cards that he raises with, Reckless Ricky would have raised with something like A-5 suited in that case, he would just flat-call Levin's flop bet in order to set a trap for him on the turn.

You need to think about what Loose Levin might have that he was so enthusiastic to call a raise with before the flop and then to lead with on the flop. As Levin leads at the pot, it is possible that he has a queen than a five in his hand. If you just call you can get more additional information about the strength of your rivals' hand. If you raise there's a better chance that Reckless Ricky will fold.

Recommendation

You should raise. Now there is $635 in the pot - $235 before the flop plus Levin's $200 bet plus Ricky's $200 call. You have $925 in chips. We suggest that you should raise it to $500. As a new player, you cannot run away from this hand. Even if Levin or Ricky comes back over the top you, you will have to get going with this hand. You might even have the best hand. Knowing on their play in earlier hands, you know that either of them might have a marginal hand than you do. Suppose Levin could have a queen with a worse kicker than yours.

Situation 53

The blinds are $10-$25. You are in the big blind with:

Before the flop, Tight Tom limps in from first position, Novice Noreen limps in behind him and Action Arnold limps on the button. Authority Austin calls from the small poker blind and you check in the big blind. Before the flop there is only $125 in the pot.

The flop comes:

Austin checks. Now it is your turn to act next.

What will be your play?
Conclusion

No doubt you are going to play this hand. But you need to think that how will you get most money into the pot. You realize that there are dangers in this hand. One more five is out and that's really the only thing you have to worry about unless one of your rivals limped with pocket queens.

We can conclude that Tom is not having a five in his hand.

Recommendation

Here you can check-raise. Since you have Action Arnold on the button therefore you are relieved that he is going to bet with anything. Checking will give you more additional information about Tight Tom's hand. Your best poker strategy is to trap two or even three of your rival into betting with either a queen or an over pair.



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