Skill #5. Evaluating Board Texture – P3: TWO NON-ACE WHEEL CARDS

This is a small point, but it should help in immediate ways, and also provide insight into board texture in general.

Consider two boards. The first is Q♥7♦3♥. The second is Q♥4♦3♥. Very similar. If you bet the first flop and someone calls, usually your opponent will have either a queen, a seven, or a flush draw, with gutshot draws 6-5, 6-4, and 5-4 also possible.

If you bet the second flop and someone calls, usually your opponent will have a queen, a flush draw, or a straight draw. Considerably more straight draws are available with this board, including 7-6, 7-5, 6-5, and also A-2 and A-5. (6-2 and 5-2 are also possible, though unlikely).

In general, boards whose flops have two non-ace wheel cards will generally see more calls—and more folds on the turn—than similar boards without these two wheel cards. With these cards present, someone on the Q-4-3 flop can hold a gutshot draw with A-2 or A-5.

Since many players play any ace, these gutshot draws are fairly common on two wheel-card flops. As long as a third wheel card doesn’t hit the turn, you should probably barrel.

For example, say three players limp in a 2-5 game. You raise to $35 on the button with K♦Q♦. Two out of three limpers call. There’s $117 in the pot.

The flop comes J♦5♣3♠. Your opponents check, and you bet $80. One player calls. There’s $277 in the pot.

The turn is the 9♥. Your opponent checks. You should probably bet the turn. The presence of the two wheel cards on the flop should make you more inclined to bet, since this provides the added chance your opponent called the flop with an A-4 or A-2 gutshot.

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