One of the most important factors we need to take into consideration when making decisions is Board Texture. Of course, with so many 3-card combinations that can arrive on the Flop, there can be many types of boards, but poker convention has narrowed it down to two quite distinctive categories, namely Dry and Wet board textures.
It’s not easy to avoid being simplistic when discussing strategy and theory, and some boards will be more defined than others. However, the Dry and Wet distinctions are clearly different.
This article features an introduction to Dry Flops, and the advice should form a workable appreciation of what to look out for and the level of significance and main implications of this kind of board texture. As usual, our experience and understanding of a particular aspect of online poker will ultimately mean that we can more easily determine the kind of plays to make, how much to bet, and so on.
A dry board – as the name suggests – features cards that lack coordination. This could be in terms of sequence or suit. Ks 7h 2c is a typically dry texture, for instance, and one which we would expect to have missed the starting cards of the players who remained in the hand to see the Flop. Note that this example features three different suits, and is therefore referred to as a Rainbow Flop. Ragged looking Flops with no picture cards, such as 9 2 6, are equally unlikely to have connected with anyone. Note that this isn’t to say such dry boards never hit – the world of online poker is massive, and of course there will be players who love chancing it with holdings like 6 2 but, generally, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of poker fans have reasonably sober ranges, and that uncoordinated Flops and boards are more than likely to have connected (at least significantly) with our opponents. Another example of a Dry texture is a Paired Board like 4 4 9. Paired boards such as this can be off-putting for many players, who allow paranoia to creep in to their decision-making process, fearful that someone might have hit trips. Someone could have come along for the rode to see the Flop with A4, perhaps, but it’s important to put things into perspective. Furthermore, the smaller the pair on the board, the less we need to be worried about an opponent having hit trips.
While it’s true that our hand – should we have missed the Flop – is less likely to improve a great deal once the board assumes a Dry texture, the same can often be said for the opposition, for whom the community cards will also have been uninspiring. With neither a decent hand nor even a draw to get stuck into, there tends to be little or no incentive to invest further, so we should be looking to exploit boards with a Dry texture by trying to take down the pot.
Bet Dry Flops
A common scenario is to be the pre-flop aggressor and then see a Dry Flop appear. This is the perfect opportunity to throw in a Continuation Bet because chances are our opponent(s) anyway missed and will give up the chase as soon as a bit of pressure is applied.
Regardless, whenever a Dry Flop – or any Dry board – appears, we should be seeing dollar signs and looking to make an attempt on the pot unless there are reasons not to do so. If we missed the Flop and have position over the opposition, and nobody has staked a claim, then betting up to two-thirds of the pot is a feasible way to go.
An important feature of Dry Flops is that we tend to find ourselves either well in front or well behind in the race, and, without much chance of circumstances changing due to the cards being uncoordinated, this state of play is likely to remain throughout the course of the hand. Consequently, good hands such as overpairs or top pairs often have greater strength in these situations, so we can seriously contemplate betting bigger with such hands in order to derive the most profit from the opportunity – even as far as getting all-in by the River.
Conversely, if we arrive at a Dry Flop with a decent but not fantastic hand and an opponent turns up the heat, we should be prepared to let go and live to fight another day (indeed – the next hand!) rather than commit ourselves to a hand that could be way behind with little or no chance of turning the tables…