The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. - Proverbs 27:12
When you have 4-4 and the flop brings a third 4, that feels good. But what if that 4 is a heart, and another heart is next to it?
Simply offering a small "come on in" bet could be asking for danger. Many players with flush draws are likely to wager a little, in hopes of winning a lot if one more heart comes on the turn or the river -- then spring a big "gotcha" raise at the key moment.
One thing we've learned only recently is the importance of "throwing the block" in those situations. A big bet on the flop could drive the "fishermen" away. You might not win a huge pot. But if you need to win a pot because your stack is low, at least you'll gain something.
Now let's reverse the roles. If you're on a flush draw and someone makes a big "I dare you" bet, how do you respond? Do you smell danger and cut your losses -- or "go forward in faith" (to borrow from Exodus 14:15) and risk missing the draw?
Decisions like that reveal what sort of poker player you are. The answer can depend on how you read your opponent, how many chips you have -- and if you're not careful, even whether the dealer laughed at your joke attempt three hands ago.
We've never played the reality game Dungeons and Dragons. But we've watched other people do it - and one thing they learn when they enter a new room is to "check for traps." Be smart and aware of potential dangers during poker hands, and you're less likely to be trapped by an opponent. Do that in life, and your days may be a lot longer.