2-card flush draw versus 3-card straight draw

Posted at Mon Dec 30 2013

I was discussing OFC strategies with probably the best OFC player in the world, Shaun Deeb, and he brought up an interesting starting hand theory: a 2-card flush draw with a big kicker is better than a 3-card straight draw.

This sounds ambitious because it’s difficult to make a flush when you start out with only 2 cards. However, he has been crushing high-stakes OFC this past year so I was curious and used Warren’s OFC Simulator to test his theory.

Suppose Villain has 8Image 7Image 3Image JImage 5Image and set it:

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

Hero has KImage 5Image 6Image 7Image 9Image. How would you set it?

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

OR

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

OR

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

To figure out what is the correct play, I ran simulations for each of the 42 cards for each starting hand.

Which hand did you think do well?

7Image 6Image 5Image / KImage 9Image (back) does the worst by far. However, one interesting note is that if you remove the spades, the equity among the hands are comparable.

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

But once I add the spades equity, 5Image 6Image 9Image / KImage 7Image (back) crushes the other two. This is due to the increase possibility of drawing to a flush in the back.

2-card flush vs 3-card straight draw

In the final, analysis, you rather have a 2-card flush draw with a big kicker than 3-card straight draw and probably a 4-card gutshot straight draw.

If you want to explore more cool situations, make sure to use Warren’s OFC Simulator to help you figure out the correct equity play.

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