I run into flushes so often.
What’s the expected rate of someone making a flush at a 4-seat table? Tonight, over my last 100 hands, there were 10 flushes shown to win. This doesn’t count flush-over-flush or flush-under-boat hands that may have happened, and it doesn’t count hands where there wasn’t a showdown, but the board texture and betting strongly suggested a flush.
So at least 1 in 10 hands, one of four players made a flush and won the hand with it. Is that about the expected rate? Or am I just running through natural cluster of flushes (that happens to miss my chair)?
How many of them were me? Zero. To find a hand that I won with a flush, I had to go past the last hundred hands, and finally found one on the 19th page, just barely within bounds of my last 200 hands.
If I’m at a 4 seat table, the expected distribution of the 10 flushes dealt in my last 100 hands would give each player 2 flushes, and two players would get one additional flush. But, you guessed it, the sample size was too small for the distribution to flatten out, and they were (once again) clustered around everyone else at the table but me.
But good old Payoff Puggywug, he hits the good ole two pair on the flop, refuses to fold, and watches the board fun out four flush and then pays off some random one-card flush, every single time. Nut flushes, junk flushes, they soak me to ruin my ROI time after time.
My bad nights come when the cards are cold for me and I can’t make a pair for 40-50 hands, but then the moment I manage to make a hand like top pair or two pair, the best I’ve seen in the last several orbits at least, the board flushes for someone and I get coolered or rivered and lose a big pot. Then I spend the next hour winning enough small pots to come within half a buy-in of break-even, when I get coolered again and then I have to roll the boulder back up the hill again. And I get almost to breakeven, and it happens again.
How can I fix my leak?
Do I play like a super nit and exploitatively fold any two pair when I flop and the board has two suited?
Do I overbet the flop when I make two pair, and try to play flopped two pair like a bluff-steal when I make two pair on the flop and there’s two of a suit, knowing the certainty of the turn and river matching the prevailing color and connecting to my opponent is close to 1:1? This seems like a poor strategy – I get to win smaller pots when everyone folds, and when someone calls, it’s because they have me crushed with a set, or believe in the power of their draw, and it gets there despite my fold pressure.
Do I check-call with my two pair and pray the board remains dry, lose the minimum, and the moment the flush is possible, fold when they bet big? This too seems like a poor strategy – I just let them hit with the free cards that I let them see, but at least the pots will be smaller?
Do I overfold on the Turn when the board is suited for a flush for V? This also seems like a poor strategy – I let opponents bluff me off every board that looks a little flushy, letting them run all over me.
From what I’ve always read, the odds of making a flush when you’re suited and flop two more of your suit is decent, but only about 40%. So a made hand like two pair should run profitably against draws to flushes (at a fair table).
The odds of making a 1-card flush with 4 on the board are far worse, yet I see that happen so often, too.