Flop texture in no-limit Texas hold’em is critical
One of the key factors in good strong no-limit Texas Hold’em play is in marrying the flop and pre-flop action with the flop texture. Let’s say that it has been raised by a middle position player and you decide to call on the button with the Jc-10c. The blinds fold and the flop comes 9d-8d-5c and your opponent bets two thirds of the pot and now you have a decision. Here you are facing a situation where you have good equity with your straight draw and overcards.
The flop is unlikely to have hit an opponent or is less likely if they have high cards. This combined with your equity makes raising the flop the best play here if your opponent bets. If your opponent has AK,AQ,AJ,KQ or hands like 77 then they are going to fold their hand and you will not have to see the turn or river. This mixed the flop texture with your own hand and also the probable likeliness of your opponent’s hand.
Let us look at another situation and here you open raise with 8c-8d and the button and blinds call and the flop comes Js-10c-6d and the blinds check to you. Here the flop texture and the weakness of your hand combined with the number of opponents makes a check pretty automatic here and you are hoping that the button also checks and gives you a free card to hit a set.
Once again we will look at another example and here you open raise from the cut-off with A-J and the big blind calls you so there are only two players in the pot. The flop comes 6-4-3 rainbow and the action is on you. Here the low cards on the flop indicate a flop that has hit callers rather than raisers and so I would be looking to make a continuation bet here because I do not think that the flop has hit them either. But let us say that the flop bet gets called then we have somewhat of a problem. Pocket pairs would call that flop as would draws and so these hands may hang around on the turn depending on what arrived.
So let us say that the turn card is the Kd then that would be a perfect card for me as that is going to look scary to pocket pairs. But if another low card came then I may check the turn and maybe give up if my opponent bets. I wouldn’t try to take my opponent down in that situation. So you can often feel in Holdem poker what your opponent is doing and what type of range he has given the flop texture and the betting lines taken. This allows you to make continuation bets at the right time and to back off at the right time as well. So remember that the flop texture combined with the number of opponents and the likely hands given the action dictate your actions post flop.