Leading when completing draws oop

If a scare card comes in that makes your hand and your are OOP leading is usually a better line than checking One of the...

Posted Feb 16, 2015


Bart Hanson BW2

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

If a scare card comes in that makes your hand and your are OOP leading is usually a better line than checking

One of the things that always baffles me about bad players is that they basically get the absolute minimum when they make their draws--especially if the draw completes on the turn. It is as if someone told these players that the best way to play no limit is by being deceptive and to check or to “trap”. Of course we know that this is rarely the best approach in maximizing your value in a cash game. It would be one thing if these players would make up for their lost value by betting larger on the river when the turn gets checked through, but this rarely if ever happens.

If you watch a really common scenario at the mid stakes of live no limit you will see someone check-call the flop with some sort of draw. Then they will make the draw on the turn, and especially if the card is quite obvious or scary, like a third suit front door flush draw completing they will check and the player with the flop aggression will check behind.

The amazing thing is that it is not like the flop bettor is going to fold all that often if the out of position player donk leads when he makes his draw--especially when the draw is a flush and the flop aggressor has a pair with one of the flush cards in his hand. And in a lot of cases if the preflop raiser has an overpair you are going to get turn and river value. So why check when the flush comes in?

Another common example of these dumb plays is when an out of position player makes a straight when the board comes out as a one liner. Take a hand that I played at $10-$20 at the Commerce Casino a few weeks ago. After a single limper the cutoff made it $90 with about $3000 in his stack. I covered him and called in the big blind with A J and the limper folded. The flop came out T 8 7 and I checked. The cutoff now bet $130 and I decided to call with my gutshot straight draw, back door flush draw and overcard to the board. I also thought I could represent some scary cards like front door hearts, a jack or a six. The turn brought out one of the best cards in the world for me, the 9 giving me a jack high straight and the nut spade draw. This is exactly the situation that I see so many bad players misplay. It really can appear to my opponent that I could have a front door heart draw and because so few people ever lead when they make their straight on the turn I thought it was a great spot to bet. I also assumed that if I checked the preflop raiser would often check back and I would lose out on the possibility of getting two streets of value instead of one. I ended up betting small on the turn and followed through with a larger river bet, trying to make it look like I missed something, and won a nice size pot.

Lastly and almost the most ridiculous are the players that call the flop and the turn with a draw only to check the river when they complete. It is dumbfounding to me when they sheepishly turn over their hands after their opponents check back at the end. Why call all that money when you are not going to bet when you make it? Even though it makes your hand easy to read if your opponent is going to not bet a vast majority of the time than you have to bet your hand yourself. It also demonstrates the fact that the value of draws are diminished when you are first to act in big bet games.

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