Flopped straights are usually the nuts.
That is, until the next card comes.
I am playing .25/.50 NLHE at PokerStars, I've had a decent session, and I've got $62 in front of me.
I have - in early position. This is not a great hand in early position, but I've always liked J-10 for its drawing possibilities, so I call. It's really not a great move, and I'd prefer it much more if it were suited, but I do call. I probably will not call a raise heads-up as it would put me out of position against practically any other player, but I will consider it if it's a multi-way pot because that will give me odds.
There's a limper on the button and both blinds are in, so we're four-handed to a flop of - - . Gin!
It's really hard not to get excited about a flopped straight, especially when you flop Broadway. But you have to remember that there's still a turn and river to come. It's something I really needed to remember, as we'll soon see.
I check because I have the nuts. Honestly this is not a terrible play. We've got three others in the hand, and that's exactly the kind of flop that should have hit at least one of them. So I expect at least one of them to bet.
Sure enough, the button bets $2.50, about the pot. The blinds fold and it's back to me. I just call.
I make my first mistake here. I should have raised him. There are a lot of cards that could ruin my hand, and I needed to make him pay to see it. He could be betting with a flush draw, a set (unlikely since he did not raise pre-flop and would have to have made that set with high cards, but you never know) or he could be drawing to the straight, too, which would split my pot.
In fact, it's hard to put him on anything else because he didn't raise, which rules out A-Q, A-K or probably even K-Q. I'm not really sure what I was thinking by letting him off cheaply.
Well, yeah, actually I do.
What I was thinking was "I've got the nuts." And that's all I was thinking.
This is exactly why flopped straights are so dangerous. We fall in love them and forget to consider later streets. You should always be planning ahead in a hand, but I think seeing the nuts in your hand is so hypnotizing, you tend to forget how to do that. We're just thinking about how much money we're going to win in the hand.
At least I was.
The real problem with flopped straights is it's almost impossible to improve your hand. You have no redraws. This is why they're especially deadly in Omaha, when redraws are a vital part of the game. So you've got to protect what you have and protect it hard.
Needless to say, the third spade came down. I called his $4 bet on the turn, and he checked the river. I bet $8 because, hey, I've got the nuts. He check-raised me on the river another $18, and I paid him off. He showed me - for the true nuts, and I shut down for the night.
I played the hand terribly and got schooled. I should have checked the river because it did fit that he had the flush. He made a good play by checking the river there. It completely fooled me.
It probably would not have had I not fallen in love with my straight.