Navigating one-card flush draws can be slightly appealing yet potentially troublesome, especially for inexperienced players. Often, we find ourselves with a starting hand like K♦ Q♠, and upon seeing a Flop like A♦ 8♦ 3♦, determining how to proceed can be unclear. The incentive to continue becomes challenging to ignore when we observe three flush cards showing with one in our hand. Conversely, this scenario already allows for possible made flushes, presenting an immediate red flag.

This situation often tempts players into committing to unjustified, incorrect draws. Consider an example where we’re on the Button with A♦ Q♠, putting in a pre-flop raise. After receiving calls from both Blinds, the Flop reveals K♦ 6♦ 2♦. After it’s checked to us and we place Continuation Bet, the Small Blind responds with a check-raise while the Big Blind folds, positioning us in a tight spot. A prevalent instinct among many players may be to call for a few more chips, seeing that we’re sitting on the nut flush draw, and thus an opportunity to secure a significant pot.

This could either be a correct move or a mistake, but such vital decisions should not be made without considering essential factors like pot odds and implied odds. If you haven’t incorporated these aspects into your strategic thinking, it’s advisable to explore and integrate them. For instance, considering pot odds, a familiar mistake involves using the 4/2 rule, believing that having roughly 36% equity (9 outs x 4) is safe as long as it surpasses the equity required due to pot odds – perhaps 25% in a given situation. However, this analysis is flawed as it assumes seeing the next two cards for free and doesn’t account for potential (possibly untenable) bets on the Turn. It’s imperative to recognize that this isn’t the final betting round and, in the event of another bet on the Turn, we’ll actually only see one card. Therefore, instead of multiplying our outs by 4, we should calculate 9 x 2, leading to approximately 18% equity, which makes calling this check-raise appear entirely unjustified.

As for implied odds, even with a superior flush draw where the Flop displays two of the relevant suit and we hold the other two, getting paid off when the flush hits can be challenging. Here, potential flushes are already present on the board, and if our opponent lacks the pivotal Ace (or even the King), a fourth diamond surfacing will surely set off alarm bells. If they possess a flush of their own, they’re unlikely to risk much, while a set becomes increasingly unappealing with four flush cards visible. Therefore, despite how appealing this one-card flush may seem, more indicators suggest conserving our chips than investing more. Nevertheless, if we suspect our opponent is bluffing the Flop, and might persist if a fourth diamond surfaces, considering implied odds, there’s a case for sticking around. The same applies if players struggle to abandon a hand.

Conclusion of one card flush draw

In conclusion, the depicted scenario illustrates that typically, calling might not be the optimal play. Numerous considerations are vital, and besides folding, the option of 3-betting is also available. Though it’s not an exact science, generally, one-card flushes tend to cause more issues than they resolve.

Best of luck at the tables!

Author: AngusD
last updated 05.10.2023