Flopped a Draw in a Multi-Way Pot: Check or Bet?
DECISION POINT: In a tournament, the blinds are 150/300 when a middle position player raises to 700 and the hijack calls. It folds to you in the blind blind and you call with . The flop comes . You are first to act.
PRO ANSWER: A deep-stacked player makes a small preflop raise in middle position and a shorter-stacked player calls behind. In the big blind we are getting favorable pot odds and we close the action with a speculative hand, making for a straightforwardly profitable call.
On the flop we hit a massive draw. We have an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw, giving us 15 outs. It's important to play our big hands and our big draws similarly both for balance and so that our opponents have a hard time putting us on a range of hands.
On a coordinated board like this we would generally lead out with our big made hands, like sets or two pair. We should do the same with our big draws. In addition to providing balance, betting with our big draws gives us two ways to win this pot. We can induce our opponents to fold and win the pot uncontested or we can hit our draw in a contested pot.
Check-raising would be a viable option if the opponents had different stack sizes. If a continuation bet is likely from your opponent and you can make a standard check-raise that is all in or effectively all in and still creates fold equity, check-raising may be a better play. In this case the shorter stack has too few chips and the original preflop raiser has too many chips.
Betting about half the pot or slightly less is the best play.
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