Explanation of Nut Flush Draw

Flushes are ranked according to their highest card, then their second highest card and so on. The term nut flush draw implies that we are drawing to the best possible flush.

In many cases this will be a draw to the Ace-high flush, but it’s useful to remember that the Ace-high flush is not always the absolute nuts in community card games such as Hold’em and Omaha. If the board is paired it means that stronger hands are possible such as full houses. Even in such circumstances, players may continue to refer to the Ace-high flush draw as the nut flush draw despite the fact that it is not technically the nuts if it hits.

In games without community cards such as Stud and Five Card Draw, the term “nut flush draw” loses some of its meaning. This is because no flush can ever be the nuts; it’s always possible that one of our opponents has made an even stronger hand. Even still, players again may continue to refer to the Ace-high flush draw as the nut flush draw. The term should be taken to mean, the strongest possible flush, rather than “the stone cold nuts”.

Example of Nut Flush Draw being used in a sentence -> (Hold’em) We had a backdoor flush draw on the flop and picked up the nut flush draw on the turn.

How to Use Nut Flush Draw as Part of Your Poker Strategy 

It’s commonly believed that the nut flush draw should always be played aggressively in a variety of different variants. While it’s rarely a big mistake to play the nut flush draw aggressively, it won’t necessarily be the correct approach in many different scenarios. 

By definition a draw won’t usually be the best hand, after all, it’s a type of high-card hand. The main reason why we’d still choose to play a draw aggressively despite often being an equity underdog is the fact that we can generate fold equity. Assuming that we don’t anticipate being able to get our opponent to fold, it will be correct to play draws passively and only ramp up the aggression after we hit. 

Not all nut-flush draws are created equal. In Hold’em we want to differentiate between two card and one card nut flush draws. Two card nut flush draws are generally stronger than one card nut flush draws. True, both hit with the same frequency, but two card draws carry better implied odds since we are more likely to get a big payout.

This is simply to do with the transparency of one card flushes. When we hit, it means that there will already be four cards to the suit on the board. It doesn’t take a lot for our opponent to figure out that we might have a flush. This generally makes our opponent less likely to pay out with a wide range.

In games such as Stud, the strength of a nut flush draw will often depend on the strength of our opponents’ boards. If there is little co-ordination, nut flush draws are very strong. On the other hand, if our opponents’ boards are showing a lot of co-ordination (especially in terms of pairing), our nut flush draws might suffer from reverse implied odds. 

See Also 

Flush, Full House, Implied Odds, Nuts, Draw

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