How to set a pair with a 3-card flush draw?

Posted at Wed Dec 18 2013

One of the most interesting starting hands in OFC is a pair with a 3-card flush draw where a card in the pair is part of the flush draw. Hands like KImage KImage 7Image 4Image 8Image or TImage TImage 2Image 3Image QImage are tricky to set when you have to act first.

So, what is the default play for setting a pair with a 3-card flush draw?

If a hand has Fantasy Land capability, you always go for it since it is worth a lot of points; Warren estimates FL is worth 13 points for regular OFC and 11 points for Pineapple.

When holding 9Image 9Image 2Image AImage Kd, although you have a good flush draw, you should go for Fantasy Land by setting it Kd / AImage / 9Image 9Image 2Image at the bottom. This applies when your kickers are KQ and AQ as well.

However, if you have a hand like 9Image 9Image 2Image 7Image QImage where you won’t get to Fantasy Land often, you should set it -- / QImage 9Image / 9Image 2Image 7Image instead.

Now, this is assuming you are first to act. If you act second and your kickers aren’t live, you should abort playing aggressively for Fantasy Land and draw for a flush royalty instead. The reason is your EV decreases dramatically if a Fantasy Land out is dead (here’s a deeper analysis).

In the final analysis, if you have a chance to play for Fantasy Land, go for it. If the chance of making Fantasy Land is low, play the flush draw instead.

Sign up to Warren’s OFC Simulator to figure out more EV spots