Playing Four Flush Boards the Right Way – Top Tips by Upswing Poker
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Navigating boards with four cards of the same suit is a daunting prospect, even for experienced players. There is a lot to think about on these types of textures, but if you break things down the right way, playing four-flush boards becomes easier.
In this article, we’ll look into some ideas concerning monotone boards through an example of a quite popular hand from High Stakes Poker, between a recreational player Kim Hultman and none other than Daniel Negreanu.
This example will help us look into some broader ideas surrounding strategies for four-flush boards and, hopefully, provide actionable advice for the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. So, let’s get into it.
The Hand in Question
Before going into specific details, we’ll first recap the hand. The action starts with Negreanu raising it to $1,600 with 6♦4♦ and picking up two callers in Doyle Brunson (Q♣J♠) and Kim Hultman (9♥8♠) in the big blind.
The flop comes all spades – 10♠9♠6♠, and Daniel keeps the heat up, c-betting for $1,500. Both players call and proceed to the turn of A♠.
After Doyle checks, Daniel bets again, for $5,500. Kim decides to call with his 8-high flush, but Brunson gets out of the way (despite holding J♠).
So, is this a good play by Negreanu, and what should your general strategy be on these types of textures?
Four-Flush Boards & Bluffing
Boards containing four cards of the same suit are quite interesting from a strategic point of view. It’s easy to figure out what your value bets will be, but how do you construct your bluffing range in these situations?
Usually, hands you want to bluff with are the ones containing overcards to the board or some type of a straight draw. But these types of hands aren’t valuable on these textures as when you get called, you’re likely drawing dead already.
There are no cards that can help you, as making a top pair or a straight will not give you a winner.
Instead, you should choose some hands containing pure air (like a pair of red deuces) and go with them. They don’t have any showdown value and can’t improve, but you can still generate a lot of folds with them.
Daniel’s hand is right in this category – he has two small, red cards with virtually no equity.
That said, there are some relatively strong hands that you should still use as semi-bluffs on four-flush boards. These are two pair and set combos, and betting these some of the time adds to your overall EV.
You deny equity (as another card of the same suit on the river will counterfeit your hand), and, especially with sets, the board could pair to give you the best poker hand.
Paired Rivers on Four-flush Boards
The beauty of bluffing with your airball hands is that your opponents don’t know your holdings – and when the river pairs the board, you can continue with the story. After all, two pair and sets are likely in your semi-bluffing range.
This is exactly what happened in the Negreanu hand, as the river came 6♥. It improves his hand to trips, but this isn’t relevant. He knows he doesn’t have the winner.
By this point, though, Hultman’s hand is pretty much face up – and Negreanu goes for it with a river overbet of $36,000 into $21,900. Kim is clearly not happy about the situation, but after some thought, he finally does the only sensible thing, given the action, and mucks his cards.
Hopefully, this example gives you a better idea of how to play four-flush boards and how to add some unexpected bluffs into the mix to catch your opponents off-guard.
If you’d like to learn more about this particular topic and explore a few more ideas, check out the video above and the full Upswing article and become the master in navigating these seemingly challenging textures.