Flopping The Nuts

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Extracting Max Value When You Flop The Nuts

It doesn’t happen often when you are playing poker, but when you flop the nuts you want to make sure that you extract the most amount of chips to get paid off with your big hand. It is of vital importance that you get as much money in the pot as you can. Too often I will see novice players slow play when they flop the nuts only for it to get checked back on all streets and win a really small pot.

When you know that you have the best hand when you have the nuts, it is important to know your opponents and their tendencies. It’s important to understand that even when you have flopped the nuts, extracting the maximum value for your hand is all about knowing your opponents and how they are likely to react.

When you flop the nuts against the typical loose live player you are required to play the hand differently than if you were playing against someone who plays their hands a lot more conservatively.

Calling stations are likely to be calling with bottom or middle pair on a flush board for example, so it would be worthwhile to bet on every street because you can be confident that they will call you down and not respect your bets.

On the other hand, tight players will be fearful of the scary board, so you want to try and keep them in the hand by perhaps checking back and faking weakness. Against conservative players, you can probably expect to only extract 2 streets of value when you make the nuts, unlike loose players where you can get 3 streets of value.

You can also consider slow playing when you make the nuts when playing against aggressive players. If you think they will more then likely get out of line post-flop, you are required to play the hand in a more deceptive manner in order to maximize your profits. So, instead of taking the bet/bet/bet line you would use against a station, it could be worthwhile to check back on the river to represent a weaker hand to induce a bluff from the aggressive player.

If there wasn’t much action before the flop, it is very possible that your opponent does not have a strong hand and hence leading out with a big bet will just get them to fold. In order to extract max value when you make the nuts, you also need to consider the strength of your opponent’s hand.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your opponent may have a drawing hand which they can call with. For example, let’s say you have A4hh and the flop comes 983hh. You have the nuts on the flop, you make a continuation bet on the flop and get called by a tight player. He could very likely have a drawing hand like KQhh so you want to make sure that you get them to pay for chasing their draws, and if another heart comes on the turn or river keep betting because there is no way they are folding the second nuts.

Having a good understanding of the way your opponents play by being very observant when you are playing will help immensely. More then likely your hand is going to win when you have the nuts but you still need to be aware of other hand possibilities as well. If you flop the nut flush and a player is showing strength, its likely they have the second best flush or a flopped set, so just put them all-in without seeing the next card to possibly kill the action.

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