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A flopped set vs a flush draw

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  • A flopped set vs a flush draw

    Hi Guys, How should I have played this hand?? Looking back I think the flop bet sizing was very bad, I just raised the pot without discouraging flush draws. Should I just check and hope to get to a showdown cheap or bet out strong trying to take it down now (maybe risky with the number of players still in the hand)? Thanks

  • #2
    This is actually a pretty tricky spot for you, because you have:

    A) A multi way pot
    B) A Board texture which may mean you are beat NOW, despite holding a set (which is normally plenty to win).
    C) Your stack size is short enough to put you at, or near, a committment point with any sort of standard type C-bet into this bloated multi-way point.

    Let's break down what your thought process should be...

    1) When you think you hold the best hand, you want to bet to DENY ODDS, but INVITE a call.

    A flush draw here is going to need roughly 4 to 1 odds to make a call break even.
    This means you need to bet 1/3rd pot at least to deny odds.
    The reason the amount needed to deny odds is so small is that since this is NLHE you will have a chance to bet again on the turn; that means if the flush draw does not spike the roughly 20% chance you will probably be betting AGAIN.

    So on the face of it, your sizing is fine to deny odds...

    The thing is, you have to try to extract maximum value too...

    By betting the minimum amount to deny odds, you are being EXTREMELY INVITING.
    In this multi-way pot, with that highly coordinated board, chances are quite good you could bet half pot AT LEAST and get 1 caller.
    You really do not want to leave value on the table that you could get into the pot from callers.

    Result of this thought: Bet half pot at least.

    2) Thinning the field in multi-way pots is (normally) highly important not so much here.

    Normally, to avoid a "cascade of calls" that greatly increases your risk of losing a multi way pot when you hold what you think is the best hand, you want to C-Bet a LARGER standard sizing than you'd bet in a HU situation.

    Normally a C-Bet of at least 2/3rds pot is better in a multi way situation, and even a full pot bet might be called for (depending upon where the loosest callers are seated in relation to you). The reason why this is so is because if a smaller bet is made, and an early acting opp CALLS that, you may inadvertantly see other callers who are receiving a correct price to call.

    With your Set though, the worst you are facing in terms of draws is a single club.
    Your are BEATEN by any 2 club hand, or a better set.
    MULTIPLE callers, each with a single club, does not increase your chance of losing.

    53 is the only real straight draw here, and while an outside possibility, it really would be quite a weak limp along hand. Had there been more straight draw possibilities here, then you'd definately want to bet at least 2/3rds pot, and probably even full pot.

    There is no need to "blow out" opponents who might call weakly here, as they will tend to "steal" each other's outs if they are drawing.

    Result of this thought: Bet an amount you are pretty sure will get called AT LEAST in 1 place; half pot is about right.

    3) Your stack size, and the chance you MIGHT be beaten, means you really need to have an eye on your committment point.

    You start here with 32BB, and limp for 1BB.
    6 players take the flop.
    A standard half pot C-Bet would be to make it 450 to go, or 3BB.

    Betting that amount for value will not stick you overly much if someone puts you all in. Granted, I am not folding a set very often, not with 2 to come and a chance to boat, but it is a possibility with only about 12% of your stack invested and with 28BB behind.

    If anyone flats a half pot bet, and if a 4th club comes on the turn, you can check the turn and re-assess.

    So there is no real need to bet a tiny amount (like the 1/3rd pot you bet) in order to "protect" your stack. In fact, I would go so far as to say betting that small may even result in someone "testing you" with a raise; on this board texture and with your stack size, that might be a hard test for you.

    This means if there is someone highly aggro in the hand, I may actually CHECK to see if they lead. That would disguise my hand greatly, and allow a decent bet sizing on the turn if a blank falls.

    If they opp's are on the passive side (as they probably are since they all limped), I am betting at LEAST half pot to start building my value now.

    Result of this thought: i'm betting half pot minimum, and am not fussed about betting 2/3rds pot even, as a 5BB investment is not sticking me overly hard to this pot.


    All signs say you really need to be betting AT LEAST half pot, and maybe even as much as 2/3rds.
    While betting as you did will certainly keep people around, the turn may well either bring an action killer card that makes those opp's reluctant to call any more, OR it might bring a card that makes YOU reluctant to fire again for more value.

    The only concern you have is getting yourself committed with your bet sizing here, in case you are beat, or in case someone makes a mistake in drawing badly at you but still gets there. Any standard amount between 1/2 and 2/3rds pot does not stick you enough to make you sweat a fold.

    Finally, the tiny bet you made could result in your seeing an aggressive semi bluff raise to "attack" you. The board texture is such that you are not going to really LOVE calling that raise, as it could easily be YOU who are drawing thin to win. The only way to prevent that sort of opportunistic raise is to bet larger...

    Bottom line: you probably needed to bet somewhere between half to 2/3rds pot, not 1/3rd pot.

    Hope it helps.

    Last edited by JDean; Sat Dec 31, 2011, 04:05 AM.
    Double Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      this is a situation that you need to be aggressive on the flop, then back off on later streets if you don't improve.

      Preflop: I like the limp with a small pocket pair

      flop: I'm betting at least the size of the pot here. 300 prices in everyone that does not currently have a flush, but has a club to call. You want to make it -EV if at all possible for these. The more that call, the harder it is to do this, but 300 will price everyone, even the first opp in. They have 9 outs (36% equity) so you need to make sure they have to put more than this into the pot. By betting 300, the pot is now 1200 and they need to call 300 (25%)... so they're priced in.

      turn: the 4th club hits, so you can pretty much figure any opp for a flush. Checking here is perfectly fine. The opp bets 600, so we need to see if it makes sense to call. The pot is 2400 and we need to call 600 (25%). We have 10 outs to a full house or quads (20% equity). It's a marginal -EV play to call, so folding here is fine. It's also a small -EV, so calling and seeing the river isn't a horrible play either.
      If you call and see the river, if you don't improve, it's an easy check/fold.

      6 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Thanks Guys



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