A♦K♥ on a Multiway Flop, what do you do here?

AK on a multiway flop-optimized.gif

Decision Point: In a Cash Game, MP1 raises and you re-raise from the Cutoff with A♦K♥. The Button calls, Small Blind folds, and both Big Blind and MP1 call. The Flop comes J♥9♥7♥. It checks to you. Action is on you, what do you do here?

Pro Answer: We 3-bet preflop with our offsuit AK and were cold called by the player on the Button. The Big Blind and the original raiser also called, making a 4-way pot on the flop.

Given the highly coordinated nature of this flop and the fact that we have three opponents, we should not expect a continuation bet to win an uncontested pot very often.

We will likely get action if we bet, so the question is whether or not our hand has enough equity against the likely continuing ranges of our opponents.

Since a continuation bet is likely to get action only from strong made hands or stronger draws (the Ah), our king high flush draw becomes relatively weak when we bet and get action.

Since this is the case, checking is a better play. We will often get a free card when the Button checks behind. When we turn a flush after the flops checks through, it is more likely to be the best hand compared to when we bet the flop and get action.

Checking this flop is the best play.

What would you do here?
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