In No Limit Texas Hold’em, reading the flop and how it connects with your hand and your opponent(s) is an extremely important skill to have. One of the keys to being a winning poker player is evaluating the flop board texture and how it relates to your hand and your opponent’s range.
It can be incredibly easy to get caught up in the excitement of flopping a strong hand that can put you in a great position to win a lot of money, but what you really want to think about when the community cards are dealt on the flop is the type of hands your opponent could have.
There’s literally thousands of different flops that can come down, however, thankfully they can be distinguished into two categories. A flop board texture is either a wet board or dry board, but never both. A wet board texture offers the possibility of draws, while dry board textures have no potential draws. Flops which are in-between are neutral – neither wet or dry.
Let’s take a look at dry and wet flop board textures, and how we should go about proceeding in the hand in both of these flop situations:
Dry boards typically have one high card and two small cards. On a “dry” board, your opponent either has a made hand they can call with, or they’ve completely whiffed the flop, and will just fold or consider bluffing if they sense weakness. As a result, you can get away with c-betting a smaller amount on dry flops to keep your bluffs cheaper, as well as to extract more value from worse hands that opponents would otherwise fold versus a larger bet.
An example of a dry flop would be Ks-7d-2h. As you can see from this board texture, no flush or straight draws are present, so a player can really only have an overpair, Kx hand or sets. In other words, very few hand combos.
Low raggy flops like 7h-4s-2d when no flush draws are present are also dry flop textures. Even though straight draws are possible, it’s unlikely your opponent(s) are playing these hands. When a player is betting aggressively on these kinds of flops, they are really only representing an overpair or bluffing.
On a “wet” board, there are potential draws other players can have, and hence many more hands that will continue in the hand, as they can potentially draw to the winning hand, and scoop a big pot. If you have flopped a strong hand, you want to bet your hand aggressively for value and protection from drawing hands that will call. By betting smaller, you are giving your opponent(s) a good price to call and continue in the hand.
An example of a wet flop would be Qs-Ts-7d. There are possible flush draws, straight draws, etc. Even if someone doesn’t already have a made hand, many turn cards can improve their hand to the winner.
For these reasons, generally you want to c-bet larger on wet board textures, as your opponents will have connected with the flop in a more meaningful way, and there will be lots of turn cards that will change the board texture, and will make them like their hand even more. It is also important to consider how your c-bet sizing will affect your turn SPR and how you play the future betting streets.
Players who c-bet and call on the flop with no regard for the board texture will be making costly mistakes, and these are the exact players you want to encounter at the tables.