poker.com " target="_blank" rel="noopener">Poker has a lot of variety from game to game. That variety is perhaps poker’s greatest strength, as it ensures every game is different, making games fun to watch and play as they never get repetitive. Variety comes from many things, from opponent playstyles to the positions rotating after every hand. The most visible form of variety is in the form of the cards you are dealt, and while it does give the game an element of chance, it also deepens its strategic depth. That is because players must adapt to the board state and make complex decisions about how to play their hands.
Poker has been around for nearly two centuries, so players have only improved at analyzing their cards and changing their strategies appropriately. This poker guide will focus on a concept skilled players use to read the board state: Flop texture. It will explain flop texture and give examples you can use in your games.
Flop texture explained
Flop texture is a concept that poker players use to describe the flop in terms of its potential to create good hands. A dry flop is a flop without connected cards (cards next to each other in the hierarchy), suited cards, or pairs. This flop is not conducive to five-card hands like straights, flushes, and full houses, so a player will likely win the hand with a two-pair or less.
In contrast, a wet flop is a flop with many connected cards, suited cards, and board pairs. It is a volatile flop wherein one or more players have the potential to have a monster hand. Strong pocket pairs like AA may often fall flat on low-ranked but wet flops since they can get outdrawn by suited connectors and do not have draw potential of their own. Flop texture significantly impacts your starting hand’s strength post-flop, so a good analysis of flop texture will allow you to improve your post-flop strategy significantly. Besides being wet or dry, there are specific types of board textures which can be seen below.
Paired boards are dangerous as fewer hands connect with them, they can lead to three-of-a-kinds and full houses. Straight and flush draws lose their value because there is a chance they will get beaten by full houses and redraws (three-of-a-kinds upgrading to full houses). Since players are more likely to play high cards pre-flop, you should be careful if the board pair is high, like aces or kings. With lower-ranked board pairs, you can get away with bluffs from early positions in an unraised pot, as paired boards are hard to connect. That also works well as the pre-flop raiser when continuation betting, as you can use a smaller continuation bet size since the board is essentially dry.
Rainbow disconnected boards
These boards are the driest kinds of boards, with rainbow meaning all of the different suits and disconnected meaning no straight potential. Continuation bets are solid here, as, like with paired boards, it is unlikely your opponents hit the flop. You can get away with more bluffs and check-raise from an early position to catch people excessively bluffing.
Rainbow connected boards
These boards do not have cards of the same suit, but they provide straight potential with two or more connected cards. You want to increase your bet sizes when betting with a strong but vulnerable hand like pocket aces. That is because connected boards result in hands with lots of equity and draw potential, so the last thing you want is for your opponents to outdraw you for free. Be wary of signals like an opponent calling and a potential out appearing the following round. You should also prioritize semi-bluffs, drawing hands that are used as bluffs, so there is still a chance of hitting your draw when called.
Two-tone disconnected boards
These boards do not have straight potential, but they have two cards of the same suit. That makes them drier than rainbow-connected boards, and they are similar to rainbow disconnected boards in betting. Repeated bets with small sizes are the way to go, as they pressure hands that missed the flop but have a small amount of equity, like backdoor flush draws.
Two-tone connected boards
These boards are incredibly wet, as they have ample straight and flush potential. You should tighten up as it is likely someone has a strong enough range to call your bluff. When you have a good hand, your bet sizing should be large enough to stop people from seeing the next rounds with drawing hands, like in rainbow-connected boards. You should also check-raise with solid drawing hands like open-ended straight draws and gutshot straight plus backdoor flush draws. When playing against raises, you should remember most players don’t bluff often on this board texture, and especially in multiway pots, be more inclined to fold.
These boards are when all three flop cards have the same suit. With an overwhelming amount of flush potential, you must play defensively and attempt to check often, particularly in multiway pots. When you have a flush, you can value bet hard, but you must consider the possibility of someone beating your flush with a higher top card. It would not be wise to bluff with air, and you should limit your bluffs to semi-bluffs with drawing hands.
Where to play poker
We hope this article taught you how they can create different flop textures and and poker hands. To practice on many flops, you should go to sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. Online poker allows you to play more thanks to its faster pace and multi-tabling, meaning you can experience many flop textures and hands in less time. It also lets you use poker tracking software to find weaknesses in the playstyles of you and your opponents.