Straightening ragged boards are some of the best to semi-bluff vs the preflop raiser.
If you want to take your no limit game to the next level you have to start paying attention to board textures and the likelihood that they hit your opponents’ hand. It is also important to put your opponent on an accurate preflop calling range and figure out the number of combinations of hands that can beat you if you hold one pair as the preflop raiser.
All boards are certainly not equal. For example let us take a look at Q27. If a player has a reasonable flat calling range preflop it is impossible for them to hold two pair. Also, if they are almost always going to three-bet AA, KK or QQ AND they are unlikely to raise the flop with just a queen then IF they do raise they are only representing a set of sevens or deuces for value.
Conversely, let us take a look at a board of 789. In this case, if the opponent plays suited connectors, he could have flopped 78, 79, 89, JT or 56 many more hands that beat an overpair as compared to a disconnected flop. For this reason you really can drive draws that may not even be that strong against a competent player’s continuation bet. Let us say we have A5s on the above board and we know that our opponent has KK. We have seven outs with the bottom end of a gutshot with an overcard. Now this is not the best draw, especially multiway, but if we can get it headsup against the preflop raiser there are many many hands that we can have that beat one pair.
Especially on two flush boards there are also many cards that can come that will scare one pair on the turn. Along with the six or the ace making our hand we could represent the front door flush draw as well as a jack making it look like we had an open ended straight draw with a ten. A five and a ten also put out one-liners to straights, which look awfully scary for an overpair. That’s over half of the deck that will make it very hard for our opponent to continue on.
So the next time you want to make a play at the preflop raiser when you feel like they may have an overpair but you think you can get them to fold make sure that you have a lot of combinations of hands that beat one pair on the flop in your range and that you follow through with logical scare cards that come in on the turn.