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Fifth Street ->> Completed Flushes And Straights

COMPLETED FLUSHES AND STRAIGHTS

When we had looked at how to play monster hands in stud poker, Peter had emphasized that you should have played slowly, so as to keep as many people as possible in the pot.

When you had completed a straight or a flush on the fifth street, you may have been tempted just to call all best that had come your way.

After all, you had made a good hand; so you should have just kept those poker players in so they could pay you off, right?

Wrong! You should have rarely played a flush or straight slowly. As a rule, you would have wanted to play these hands as aggressively and as hard as possible, unless you had found a compelling reason not to.

If you had played the hand passively (just calling bets that had come your way), you would have been letting the other poker players with drawing hands stay in cheaply.

They may have drawn to a bigger straight, flush or full house and won a poker hand that you should have won.

When Calling is Okay

Peter said that the vast majority of flushes and straights had needed to be played very aggressively, but there had been cases when you would have wanted just to call bets.

You should have looked for a reason not to play the poker hand hard.

Although you would have been raising with a straight or flush at fifth street most of the time, there would have been those instances when calling would have been the best thing to do. We shall look at those poker situations now.

During our discussion of playing a full house, you had seen that calling had been the right decision when it would have been two big bets back to you and there had been something on the board that could have had you beaten, such as bigger trips.

Keeping this same rule in mind when you had played a completed flush or straight. If you had seen something to indicate that a poker player had already made a poker hand that had been bigger than yours, you should have just called the bet rather than raising it.

Here’s an example: Peter had held a ten high straight and he had been in late position. One poker player had bet and several others had called, so it had been one bet back to him.

Before automatically raising, he had glanced down at the bettor’s open cards and he’d seen that had three sevens on the board.

Peter’s straight certainly couldn’t have beaten a boat. Here, if Peter had had a good knowledge of his opponent, and if Peter had known him to be the type of poker player who would have bet only if he had made his hand, Peter would have called to see what he would have done on the sixth street.

A raise might have forced out a drawing poker hand, but you would have needed to know the other poker player very well if you had been considering raising his trips on the board.

Most of the time, though, you would have just called his bet here. So what if he had had just a pair on the board? Would calling have been the right move?

Your first thought might have been ‘yes’ as the pair could have represented a completed full house. But you should not have let a pair intimidate you unless a poker player with a pair on the board had raised a big bet that had come to him.

If he had simply bet, you should have gone ahead and raised. The odds would have been that he hadn’t filled up yet.

It would have been likely that he had been trying to defend his two pair or trips to force other poker players out, so you should have made it costly for him to stick around.

Even if he had stayed, your raise would have forced out other poker players, which would have been a good thing for you.

You should not have let a three-flush or three-straight bigger than your spook you – the poker player would still have needed more cards, so you should have banged away and not let him get those two cards cheaply. You had your hand already, so you should have protected it.