It’s tough to know how to play when the board contains four of the same suit. But in this article, we’ll share some tips and strategies to help you play such spots more effectively.
What is a Four Flush Board?
Before getting into detail, let’s first be clear that we understand each other.
When we talk about a four-flush board, we mean any configuration that contains four cards of the same suit. So, by definition, we must at least have made it to the turn, if not the river.
We do not mean holding two cards in your hand with two more on the board for a flush draw. This could reasonably be described as having “four to a flush”, but that’s not the subject of this article.
Strategies for Four-Flush Boards
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s jump right into some strategy advice and learn how to handle four-flush boards.
Control the Pot
Whenever the board shows four to flush, the relative strength of certain hands greatly decreases. Holdings such as a set or two pairs are obviously much weaker than under normal circumstances. As a result, we ought to try and play a smaller pot where possible.
In almost all situations, you should be looking to check when the turn brings the fourth card of the same suit. Unless you’ve actually improved to a flush yourself, keep the pot as small as possible. You simply won’t be called frequently enough by an inferior hand to make betting a profitable play. Even if you had fired a c-bet on the flop, slow down from this point on.
Playing the Turn
If you’ve actually made a strong flush, then value betting is a fairly obvious move. However, any mid to low-sized flushes should still be handled with care and the above advice regarding pot control still applies. Checking the turn makes the most sense in those cases.
When holding a set, you should bet the turn often. That might not seem too sensible, given the presence of the four to a flush. But you’re actually betting for value, in spots where your opponent has an inferior hand like a two-pair. And where they already have a flush, you still have four outs to improve and outdraw your opponent.
This play also denies equity to your opponents. The deck still contains nine possible cards that would complete a flush on board. If that happens, then you’re getting a split pot at best. Forcing others out on the turn here would be a smart play.
Bluffing the Turn
If you did not make a flush, the best hands for bluffing would be those such as a bottom pair or weak pocket pairs like 2-2 and 3-3. You’re not likely to have much equity if called and these hands certainly won’t improve later on. But you can often induce folds from players with stronger holdings, such as a top pair, who might be scared of the four-flush on board. You might even get an opponent off a weak flush.
If you have a drawing hand, such as an overpair or a straight draw, there is little value in semi-bluffing. You’re likely to be up against some kind of hand that will not fold to a continuation bet. Further, you run the risk of being check-raised, denying equity had you improved on the turn.
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