Suck outs are a key component of poker. No player in the world enjoys being on the wrong end of a suck out, but without them, the game would likely never reach the popularity it enjoys today.
They don’t just help weaker players win on occasion, giving them the motivation to keep coming back, but also add to drama and excitement.
In the simplest of terms, poker suckouts happens when you’re up against a weaker hand, and your opponent manages to find one of the cards they need to improve and beat you.
But given the nature of the game, this happens all the time.
For example, in a set over a set situation, the player with the lower set has only one out in the entire deck. This can be considered poker cooler, but if they somehow peel it on the turn or the river, this suddenly becomes one of the biggest suck outs that can happen.
So, the term suck out is often used to describe those situations where one player had very few outs that can help them and still managed to find it.
Another good example of a proper suck out is when you have a player completely dominated.
Imagine you flop top two pair with your AJ against their A3 on the flop of A J 7, two spades. Your opponent has virtually no outs, except they have a lonely 3s in their hand. The dealer peels a 9s on the turn, followed by 2s on the river to give them a flush.
No matter how long you play poker, when a suck out like this happens, it’s hard not to wonder if you’d perhaps somehow offended the poker gods.
But the fact is, the poker world has seen some very brutal suck outs over the years. Many of them happened behind the closed doors of private games or at least far from the watchful eyes of ESPN cameras.
Some, however, will stay forever recorded as a reminder that very few hands are over before the river is dealt.
Amazing Suckout For Kevin Martin
If you are playing online poker for any period of time, you probably know how many crazy hands you can see in this setting.
That is perfectly normal because you simply play way more hands than in a live game, so these suck outs naturally happen.
However, you can rarely see a hand as the one Kevin Martin was lucky to catch on video in his session.
While he was drawing slim even preflop with his pocket 33 against pocket TT, it looked like there was no chance when the flop brought additional T.
However, having less than a 1% chance to make the winning hand and catch running running threes, he managed to do that and then went for some serious celebration.
Sucking Out At WPT Final Table
Another ridiculous suckout happened on WPT final table with plenty of cash on stake. Danny moved all-in with A7dd against an Ace-King and, after the flop of K55, was basically drawing dead.
However, someone must like the jokes as the turn brought a 7, giving Danny a fighting chance and improving his odds up winning up to 5%.
Since this hand is in the list of biggest poker suck outs, you can easily guess what happened next. The river is another 7, which surely puts a big smile on Danny’s face and makes commentators go crazy.
Ladies Heart Ludo – Another Suck Out In Poker
There’s hardly a better feeling in poker than raising with pocket Aces, getting called, and then flopping the top set, which is also the absolute nuts.
Georgios Karakousis was probably quite happy to see Ludovic Geilich reaching for the calling chips on the flop of A K 6 with two hearts. He’d be even happier if he knew that Ludo was holding a mere pair of Queens, a hand that had only about 5% chances of winning by the river.
Ludo’s call on the flop may seem a bit strange with two over-cards, but he decided to play his hand slowly before the flop, so he had to peel at least one card and see what his opponent does.
The 5h on the turn is a pretty big card for Geilich as it suddenly brings his hand to life.
If he was behind on the flop, he is still behind, but now he has quite a few outs to hit on the river and suck out on his confident opponent.
And when the board starts to run that way, you just know what’s coming, despite numbers saying Ludo still only has an 18% chance of winning.
Poker gods have decided to have some fun and once again crack pocket Aces!
The river is 4h, giving Ludo the second nuts, and given how the hand has played out, he’s unlikely to be beaten at this point.
Karakousis’ river bet is somewhat strange as he can hardly expect to get called by worse, but it at least gave him a chance to fold to a raise and save himself the pain of discovering he was a victim of a pretty brutal poker suck out.
Suck Outs Can Be Brutal – It’s Not Over Yet, Annie
If you thought losing to a 5% hand is bad, what would you say about losing to a 2% one?
This hand between Paul Wasicka and Annie Duke took place quite a while ago during the 2010 National Heads-Up Championship, but it remains one of the ugliest and sickest poker suck outs in the history of the game.
Annie didn’t do anything wrong jamming A-10 from the button, and Wasicka most certainly didn’t do anything wrong calling with pocket Aces.
Given the situation, it’s even a bit of a cold deck for Duke but nothing out of the ordinary.
But as she stands up and congratulates Paul on the “win,” he reminds her with a smile that it’s not over yet – and you can just see it on his face that he’s been in this kind of a spot way more often than he wants to remember.
But when the flop brings another Ace, giving Wasicka the top set, it really feels like it’s all over.
Duke’s chances of winning drop to just 2% as she needs running cards to make the straight. But you should never underestimate the power of a good suck out.
Sure enough, a queen on the turn appears as one of just eight cards Annie needed even to have a chance going into the river.
But even with that, her chance of actually hitting is just 9%. Of course, the dealer peels the king as if no other cards were remaining in the deck, denying Wasicka the win in the match.
To Paul’s credit, he took it like a champ.
I can think of quite a few names who’d have a much different reaction to this situation, and there definitely wouldn’t be any smiles or hugs going around.
Everybody Loves an Underdog – Poker Gods Included
You’ve probably seen this one of the most hilarious Texas Holdem poker hands ever, but it just had to be included in this list.
It’s one of the funniest and most brutal suck outs in poker, and the fact it happened to Phil Hellmuth doesn’t change the math.
I’m not saying I wasn’t rooting for Wiggins to win when the show first aired; I’m saying he certainly wasn’t supposed to win three out of four times given the situation.
It’s hard not to laugh when you hear other players figuring out different ways Wiggins could suck out in this hand before any cards are even dealt.
Whether Hellmuth offered to run it four times because he wanted to give him a better shot at winning at least some money back or because he is just so afraid of suck outs, who knows?
But the first run actually went to Hellmuth. If he had played the hand straight up, he’d win the entire pot and sent Wiggins packing.
But then, poker gods decide to have some fun with Phil again, and the underdog catches all of his outs – both of the remaining kings and running flush cards to lock up three-quarters of the pot.
And, while other guys at the table may have some good points, it’s hard to blame Hellmuth for feeling a bit sick. It was a pretty brutal suck out.
How to Suck Out in Style
This is a lengthy hand from the 2016 PCA Main Event, and our hero ended up sucking out on the flopped top set with no pair and a backdoor flush draw.
But, he did make a royal flush by the river, which at least makes it a bit better. (Not for the guy with pocket queens, though).
To McAllister’s credit, he was the one driving the action on the flop, and Tedeschi decided to play his hand for the maximum value and just call the flop bet. Had he raised on the flop, McAllister would have been out of there without giving it a second thought.
The turn is pretty much the gin card for McAllister as his no-hand turns into a powerful draw. Once he bets again, he has decent poker odds to call Tedeschi’s all-in, although it’s a risky move with Rabah still in the hand.
It’s up for debate if McAllister should fold here given the fact he’s not the one closing the action or perhaps move in as well, putting Rabah to a decision.
As the hand played out, Rabah decided to call as well, allowing McAllister to see the river fall beautiful Ah, completing his suckout with no less than a royal flush.
Mathematically speaking, it’s a pretty big suck out, but the other two players never really did anything to make life difficult for McAllister, so they can’t blame this one entirely on luck. Sometimes, if you take a riskier line, it can blow up in your face.
Suckouts for Everyone
To wrap things up, here is a funny hand from the 2016 Card Player Main Event, where players take turns sucking out on each other.
To kick things off, Edwin manages to out-flop Mathew with a dominant hand.
Not a great spot, but it happens, and it’s not like Matthew has much of a hand to continue with.
However, this is a blind vs. blind confrontation, and he has the preflop lead, so he fires a continuation bet that Edwin sneakily just calls.
The turn comes the magical Ace, propelling Matthew into the lead with one of his only three outs left in the deck.
Edwin’s decision to slow-play his strong hand is starting to look like not such a good idea after all.
But, it is at this point that he decides to raise Matthew’s bet, completely oblivious of the fact he’d just been a victim of a pretty bad suck out.
Matthew moves all-in, figuring he should be ahead, and Edwin is committed to calling with a hand as strong as two pairs, so that’s exactly what he does.
He’s clearly not happy when he sees the bad news. There are just two outs left in the poker deck to save him and send Matthew packing.
Clearly, the lack of remaining 10s in the deck is no problem as the dealer turns one over on the river like it was nothing, giving Edwin a full house, completing the suck out that started with the flop.
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