Poker is a game that is “ loved by many, but mastered by a few”. Everyone who is aspiring to be a winning player, has to be wary of every aspect that is associated with the game. Starting from the range of hands you play, hands to stay away from, knowing when to fold, use of position and getting a good read on your opponents.
But these are not the only aspects associated to the game and there is so much more that you have to master to become a successful Poker player. One such aspect that a majority of players tend to ignore is the board texture or what is also know as the Flop Texture. Board Texture broadly refers to the connectivity of the cards on the board for completing potential draws. Knowing how to deal with the board texture is absolutely vital for your game.
The most common mistake by the majority of the players is playing their hand, regardless of the flop texture. If you come across such opponents and notice, that their style of play does not vary on a wet board or a dry board, then it is certain, that he’s a weak player. You have to learn to adjust your game according to the board’s texture.
The flop texture can be a wet board, a dry board or at times somewhere in between. Lets try and explain the board textures in a bit more detail.
A wet board implies to a flop that is a coordinated board and has closely connected cards, either suited or connecting cards drawing to a potential straight. Some examples of a wet board are Qs Js 9d or 7c 8c 9h. When such flops are dealt and three of more players have seen the flop, it is a high possibility that someone is drawing to really strong hands. Even a starting hand like Aces or Kings can sometimes be beaten with ease on such wet boards.
A dry board is somewhat inconsequential in making a decision based on the flop cards. Flops like 5c 9h 2c or 10s 4c 7h. Such cards are neither connected nor suited and even though there is a rare possibility of a back door flush or a gut shot straight but they would not really affect someone’s decision making while posting a C Bet on the Flop. Paired board are also considered to be dry and even if someone has one of those paired cards in their hand (three of a kind), their opponent would never be really able to instantly to guess and only a strong betting pattern may send some signals accross.
To understand things in a better way, let us consider a starting hand, with a wet board. You have a pair of Tens (10s 10h) to start of with and the Flop cards are Qd Jd and 8c. You raised pre-flop (UTG) and were called by two opponents (Cutoff and Big Blind), if the action is checked by the Big Blind, should C Bet maybe only one-third of the pot to check the strength of the two opponents.
As the board is fairly wet, with potential flush and straight draws, it is a likely possibility that any of your adversary has connected with the flop or drawing to a strong hand. Do not forget that there are two over cards to your pair of tens, so you could well be behind already. If you are called by your opponent, make sure to check the turn if your hand does not improve and instantly fold to any bet. Even if your opponent is bluffing, you will never really be able to call another bet on the River.
Always remember that you will be highly successful in getting your opponents fold on a dry board. If you are pre-flop aggressor, then a C Bet on the flop should do the trick. But you really have to protect your chips on a wet board and act cautiously, unless you have really connected well with the community cards on the flop. Thus always pay heed to the board’s texture and alter your game plan when required.