The Flop


  After you are dealt your two-card hand, and we have the first round of betting, a card is   “burned” (discarded facedown),and the flop is dealt. 

  The “flop” is three community cards dealt faceup in the middle of the table.  Once it hits the   board, your hand becomes pretty well defined. 

  You should be able to formulate a good idea of your chances of winning the pot.  The first   step in playing the flop is reading it-determining what your hand is and what the likely   hands of your opponents are.

  When the flop hits the board, you finally have a poker hand-and so does everyone else. You   need to be able to quickly determine your own hand and the possible hands of other   players. 

  Let’s start out by looking at some flops and determine what hands are possible.

    10 9 8

  This is a scary looking flop-all of one suit and in sequence. A straight flush is possible with   this hand-in fact more than one. Q J makes a straight flush, as does 7 6

  The Queen-high straight flush is the best possible hand, but so is a Jack-high straight flush   with a J . In that case having the Jack in your hand would block anyone from having a   Queen-high straight flush. 

  So there are three possibilities for a straight flush with this flop, and two of them could   occur simultaneously.

  The next highest hand would be an Ace-high flush.  An A with any other Diamond makes   this hand. Any two Diamonds make a flush. 

  The same card combinations that make a straight flush,without the Diamonds, would make   a straight.

  Of course, even if you don’t have a made hand with this flop, if you hold a single A you’ve   got a good draw. Even a K is often worth playing with a flop like this. 

  A lot of hands are possible with this flop.  If you don’t have one of them, you’re not going to   like it much.

    A K 7

  With this flop the best possible hand at this point is a set of Aces, three Aces for a player   holding a pair of Aces in his hand. Any Ace, with a good kicker, however, is probably the   best hand at this point.

  With two Spades on the board, a flush draw is possible.However, with both the A and the K    on the flop, a flush draw isn’t likely unless your opponents tend to play fairly loose. 

  Many players won’t play just any two suited cards unless they are headed by an Ace or   King.What would be a good hand to hold with this flop? 

  Well,other than the obvious pocket pairs that make a set or having two pair, an Ace with a   good kicker is a good holding.

  If your cards are of the right suit, that’s even better. For example, A 10 is a much better   hand to have with this flop than A 10

  That’s because the Diamonds give you a three-flush, a little extra way of winning by   catching Diamonds on both the turn and river. 

  Another hand that would give you a three-flush draw would be something like A Q .    Also note that any of these hands give you three cards to a straight. 

  These three-card straights or flushes on the flop don’t have a lot of value on their own, but   they add value to hands that are already fairly good.  Small features like that can turn a   good hand into a great hand.

  On the flop, you still have two more cards to come. If your hand needs one card to make the   probable best hand, then we’d say you have a draw. 

  If you need both of the next two cards, then we’d say you have a backdoor draw, as with a   A 10 here. 

  Backdoor draws by themselves are almost worthless, but, as I pointed out, they do add   value at times, and players often overlook backdoor draws.



Entering a Public Cardroom / The Play of the Game / The First Betting Round

The Last Two Cards / Some Overrated Concepts


poker winning hands