Playing Ax Suited Flopping a Draw

Suppose that a mouse in second position has raised it up before the flop and the j ackal on the button has called. You then called as we!l i n the big blind with |-J, a nd the flop is





^. Generally, when you flop an open-ended straight draw (you need a four or a nine to make your hand) in Hold'em, especially when you're drawing to the big side (in this case a nine-high straight as opposed to having A-4 and drawing to the small side or eight-high straight), you're weH advised to play this hand all the way to try and hit it. What do you do now?

You know that y ou are going to have to call o n the flop, and on the t urn as weH, i f you miss making the hand on fourth street. You also know that the mouse has a strong hand and that the jackal could have anything. I would be thinking, "I hope the mouse has A-K so that I can bluff him out of this pot." (We all know how tightly t he mouse plays!) I would also be hoping that the jackal has a hand that I can beat, but that he can bet with, for example A-4 or K-8 or J-8 or some other s traight draw. P erhaps I would check with my hand, hoping that the mouse checks and the j ackal bets. Then I could check-raise, making it two bets to the mouse and therefore forcing him to fold his A-K or A-Q. Of course, what I r eally want t o do is complete my staight on the turn or the river.

You could also decide to bet right out into the mouse on the lop, t o see what he does. The mouse would either call you or raise you; it's hard to imagine him folding this flop, j ust because he's a mouse, which means he had a pretty strong hand before the lop. I f h e were t o call me, I would ty to bluff h im out on the next t wo rounds of betting, t hinking he couldn't call me down with A-K—because he's a mouse! If he were to raise me on the lop, then I would call him and check to him on the next two rounds of betting ( unless I were t o make my straight). I'm assuming t hat t he mouse would j ust c all o n the lop with A-K and raise me with any overpair.

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