While having a flopped flush draw, that is a drawing hand which has a combination of cards or one missing card to form a flush on the flop, is one of the most thrilling Texas Holdem poker hands to play, it is also one of the most difficult. This is primarily because there are multiple ways you can run the hand, and how you play it will be determined by the strength of your cards and how your opponents choose to jump into the pot. In some situations, you may choose to aggressively play the hand and raise the initial bet, while in others, you may simply call into the pot. Let’s look at some different flopped flush draw scenarios and see what the optimal play is.
When Would You Play a Flopped Flush Draw Aggressively?
- Nut Flush Draw. A nut flush draw is the most powerful hand you can have, especially when you have an ace in your hand (not on the board). A nut flush draw gives you nine clean outs to win the hand and therefore, can be played aggressively as you have pretty good odds of either making others fold who have low-end cards or getting your opponent to place more chips into the middle. It is very likely with a nut flush draw that you are going to hit your flush on the turn or the river.
- Limped Pots. If you have limped into the pot from being on the blinds or from calling from somewhere else on the table, your opponents are less likely to believe that you have hit a flopped flush draw. This allows you to lead out or make a raise and place pressure on your opponents without raising suspicion. If you were to passively play and then call bets on a draw heavy board, your opponents are going to spot what your hand is, so it’s best to lead in limped pots.
When Would You Play a Flopped Flush Draw Passively?
- Raised Pots. With raised pots, you have more money invested into the pot, meaning that you have to be willing to risk more to win the hand. In raised pots, you are far more likely to face an opponent raising you when you go to bet, so it is far better to simply call and stack against your opponents. Why? Opponents are less likely to flop draws and are more likely to have over cards and pairs, giving you an in to hit your flush and win the hand.
- Low-End Flushes. When you have a low-end flush, something like a 6D - 5D with an AD - JD - 3C on the flop, it is best to just call, especially if your opponent is making a continuous bet. The main reason for this is if you raise and run into a strong hand such as a set or a two pair, then it is likely that your opponent will re-raise you, placing you into a very difficult position where you will either need to risk your entire stack or fold on the flop. It is also best to call so that you leave yourself more options on the turn and the river, ideally hitting your flush on the turn card. Plus, if your opponent checks to you, you have an opportunity to bluff them. The only time where this becomes difficult is if your opponent raises you again on the turn, then you would need to fold if you haven’t hit your flush or haven’t made any other pairings or sets.
If you see a 3 to a flush pop up on the flop, this scenario is very difficult to play because over pairs, sets, and already made flushes are going to run the board, giving you very few outs. This type of board should be played passively until you have made your flush. Finally, if you have a 2 to a flush and the board is paired, your flush draw will lose value as there is a better chance that your opponent will make a full house and if your flush draw is on the low-end, you can lose to a runner card. You will want to play this type of hand aggressively if it is the nut flush and passively if it is not.