How to analyze the flop in Texas Hold’em Poker
In order to be successful in playing Texas Hold’em poker, you need to know how to analyze the flop. In fact, the decision you make after the flop decides the outcome of the game, so you need to know how to determine how threatening the flop to you and to your adversaries is.
First of all, you should know that there are certain patterns in the flop after which you should look and which you will use to decide how you will play the hand: These patterns can appear alone, or in combination of two or more. For each of these patterns, there is a different type of game which you must do.
During the game, it’s not possible to think up in detail what’s the best strategy to apply, so you learnt this the hard way: by trial and error, which might cost you a bit of time, or you should try to remember it from thisarticle.
Possible straights: if the three cards are in order, or have at most two gaps between them (examples include 9-6-8, J-K-T or A-3-2), it is possible that someone has already a straight. However, it depends on which are the cards: it’s three times more likely for someone to have a straight if the flop is 8-9-T than if it is 4-6-8.
This kind of a board is relatively unlikely, and if you have straight, you might not get much action, because it’s relatively obvious and the pot is small at this time. However, it gives an opportunity to bluff.
Possible flush: if three of the cards are of the same suit, it’s possible that someone has a suit. It’s also quite obvious for the opponents, so some players try to slow-play it when they have flushes, in order to avoid scaring the adversaries.
A pair: it’s quite dangerous to have a pair on the board, because it makes a lot of hands possible: from two pairs and three of a kind to quads and full houses. Because many players will have higher hands it’s quite likely you’ll see more action than usually. If you have a flush, it’s an excellent opportunity to get a lot of chips in the pot. Also, this is an opportunity of bluffing, so watch your players, who might do try this, too.
High cards or low cards: if the pot has more high cards, think that it’s possible that someone has a connection to his hand, because players tend to keep only high cards. Low cards are also an opportunity, as some players who miss the flop will continue to the flop, hope for low cards and beat the people with premium hands.