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Board texture – Is it that important?

Professional will almost universally say yes. Not many say how.

The Flop is probably the most complex street in Hold'em. The board changes everything. Your great pre-flop hand is suddenly golden or trash. Pre-flop there are hand value charts that told you what your hand was worth then. The board changes everything. Your great pre-flop hand is suddenly golden or trash. There are 21,100 possible flop boards.

There is a lot of discussion of wet / dry or static / dynamic flops. Relatively simple on the surface. Let's start with Wet / Dry.

A dry board has few draws. A wet board has a lot of draws. There is also the in between flops. What looks to be a simple classification is not. Give 2 professional players the same bunch of boards and they will probably disagree on some. A professional and an armature probably will disagree on many more. Understanding flop texture is difficult and takes time to learn.

There are some general guidelines though. A flop with a pair is almost always dry and a monochrome board board almost always wet.

You can begin evaluating a board by counting gaps. With 8d6s4h there are two gaps between both the 8s6s and the 6s3d. There are draws possible but the board is dry. Ac6d5s has an Ace and a zero gap between 6c5s. The board is dry. 6s4h2s has two one gaps, one between the 6s4h and one between the 4h and 2s. The board is wet. Gap counting is an important skill.

About 1/3 of all flops are neither wet or dry. For example 9s6d3d is not wet or dry. As5s3h is dry but

AcKd4h in neither.

Try this out. Someone start a post with several flop boards then vote on which are wet, dry, or neither.

You might be surprised at the results.

What we are trying to do with board texture is to make an educated guess at our opponents likely hands. Not possible hands, likely hands. For example AdJd8h has to big cards. Most opponents will bet or call pre-flop if they have an A, K, or Q. Not so much J or T. If in A they have top pair. If they have a combinations such as KQ, KT, QJ, QT then they have flopped a Gutshot or an closed end straight draw. An A on the board pretty much eliminates an OESD draw. Your opponent probably did not open or call pre-flop with 2 small or medium cards unless it is a pair.

They might be in a Buttons range, but probably not UTG. An other element of board texture is relative position. 6s4h2s is a wet flop, but not likely hit by opponents with small cards.

Categorizing flops as Static/ Dynamic is probably a better way. I'll discuss that in a future post.

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