How to Read Flops
The possibilities contained within three cards are more numerous than you might imagine. High or low cards, three different suits, an entirely suited flop, or three of a kind on board. You could broadly group flop types but the possibilities on the turn will always multiply. Flops with many potential draws are known as ‘wet’ flops. Rainbow cards which aren’t connected are known as ‘dry’. If you are in position on a wet flop you can often call a bet on the flop with a view to applying pressure to your opponent if you hit your own hand, or if a possible draw arrives. When dangerous cards hit, your opponent may just check, allowing you to win the pot with a small bet.
In split pot games things are slightly different. Now, two high cards and a low card on a dry flop are good pots to steal with a continuation bet because players will have A2 or A3 very often. They may hit some piece of a 5JK flop, but they won’t be able to withstand sustained pressure if they don’t improve. Also, when you have a hand like top set, on a 7K8 flop, you should bet heavily on turn cards which don’t bring a possible low hand. If a queen falls on the turn, what can your opponent do with a hand like A28J? They have the nut low draw, but that only wins them half the pot if it gets there, and they don’t have much going for the high. By betting full pot you charge nut low draws a bad price.
Turn and River
If you get called on the flop and a big card hits the turn, you could try betting again. If your opponent has something like JQ on a 26Q flop, a king or ace on the turn is bad for them. It’s hard for them to know if you were continuation betting the flop with AK, whether you have a set, or nothing at all. Firing the second barrel at cards which will be scary to many of the possible hands your opponent could have, is a good move. If the turn is harmless, it isn’t an immediate sign to hit the brakes and check, but you have to reassess, and make a more difficult choice.
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