03-30-05, LearnTexasHoldem:

Who Has High Flush

Question: I actually have two questions here. Say that there are 4 diamonds on the board and there are only 2 people in. One of the diamonds is the Ace. The other two players both have flushes (not straight flushes or anything), so is it a split pot or do you go by the higher diamond in the persons starting 2 cards?

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Also i read about Calling to Chop under the Texas Holdem strategys. In your example you have the player holding a KQ and the board has 2-2-K-7-A and you say that the best you could do is chop which is really not true. The other perosn could have a 7 or have nothing at all.

Also another thing i like to do if i feel that the pot will be chopped, like if there is a K high straight on the board or something crazy like that i bet alot of chips because it makes people fold because they think i have the A. Or if there is like 2 or 3 people with a flush and the Ace high flush is on the board (and if im right about my question above you are suppose to split the pot), so i will go all in hoping that my opponent is not thinking and will just fold the hand.

Answer: First of all, ace high flushes go against what we learn about the rules of how to evaluate who has the best hand. The typical rule for holdem is "the best five cards win." The problem is that we always base a hand's strength on it's highest denomination. For example, an Ace high straight beats a Queen high straight. If we were to apply that same rule to flushes, then everyone would chop the flush if they had a diamond and there were four diamonds on the flop, including the Ace of diamonds. That isn't correct though. The person with the highest diamond ends up winning.

Two examples of Ace high flushes:

Flop/Turn/River: Ad - Kd - Qd - Jd - 7h

Player 1 - 3d

Player 2 - 2d

Player 1 would win the hand since he has a higher five cards than Player 2 does.

Flop/Turn/River: Ad - Kd - Qd - Jd - 5d

Player 1 - 3d

Player 2 - 2d

They both chop the pot since neither one of them can beat the board. The community cards are the best hand in this case. One of them would have to have a diamond higher than 6.

Again, calling to chop a pot in no limit holdem is a big no no. In your example of a board being 2 2 7 K A, it would be a big mistake to call a big portion of chips with KQ. Rules are useful because they can be generalized. Sure, someone may just have a 7 there, they may just be bluffing completely, they may have an Ace or a King or even 2222. Who knows? The point though is that you don't want to risk a bunch of chips when the upside is low. Do you think there is a chance that someone would be beating a 7 into that flop? Your best case scenario is a chop.

At worst you lose the whole thing. This point should make sense to you because it is essential to playing winning no limit holdem: You don't risk a lot of chips when the reward isn't great. There are plenty of situations where you could have the best hand but when you do you won't make much and when you don't you'll lose a lot; those are to be avoided like the plague. Lastly, note that I wrote "call." A bet of varying size may actually be your best move in this case. A small bet on the end is a defense because you don't want to just check and give your opponent an opportunity to bluff. If you got raised though, again you wouldn't be ever correct to call (unless possibly all your chips were already invested in the hand).

On a final note about going all-in when you are unsure what your opponent has, that is dangerous at best. You don't want to bet a bunch of chips when the only time you'll get called is if you are beat. What you end up doing is scaring off all the hands that might have called had you not gone in and you'll only get action from the guy who actually has it.

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