Top Two Pair vs. Turn Flush Card: Call or Fold?
DECISION POINT: In a no-limit hold'em tournament, it folds to you in the cutoff seat and you raise with . The button and big blind call, and the flop comes . The big blind checks and you bet, and again the button and the big blind both call.
The turn is the . This time the big blind bets and you call. Then the button raises and the big blind calls the raise. Action is on you...
PRO ANSWER: On a turn that completes a flush draw, the big blind leads out and you call with top two pair. The button then raises and the initial bettor calls. What do you do?
Most players are far too fearful of flushes whenever a flush is possible on the board. This leads to many playing far too timidly and losing value with their big hands. However, when a possible flush is accompanied by corresponding aggression from your opponents, their hand range narrows to be comprised of more flushes.
In this case, one of the callers on the flop bet out into two opponents when the third spade hits on the turn. This range alone is cause for concern and often contains many spade flushes. However, we are getting reasonable pot odds to call this turn bet, knowing that there are other types of hands that we beat in the big blind's range.
After we call, the button raises. Most players do not raise on three-flush boards against a bet and a call without a very premium hand, in this case usually a spade flush.
In addition, the initial bettor chooses to continue against this raise, making stronger hands an even more likely part of that player's hand range.
Since we are unlikely to improve to a full house (we only have four outs), we should simply cut our losses and fold this hand.
Folding is the best play.
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