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 K K 7 4 8 or T T 2 3 Q 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 9 9 2 A Kd, although you have a good flush draw, you should go for Fantasy Land by setting it Kd / A / 9 9 2 at the bottom. This applies when your kickers are KQ and AQ as well.
However, if you have a hand like 9 9 2 7 Q where you won’t get to Fantasy Land often, you should set it -- / Q 9 / 9 2 7 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.
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