Poker is one of the most famous card games in the entire world. A big reason why it’s so popular is that it can be played by anyone, anywhere, and in any form they like. It’s a great game to play with friends, yet it is also a very lucrative sport. The top poker pros regularly compete in high-stakes million-dollar tournaments. One crucial thing that separates these pros from the average player is their ability to guess which cards their opponents may have intelligently. This poker guide will cover one of the pros’ main techniques in assuming: Board Texture.
1. What is board texture?
Board texture describes how likely the community cards are to “connect” and make good five-card hands. Boards are often described as “static” or “dynamic,” with static meaning a strong hand on the flop will remain that way in the following rounds, while dynamic means the hand is likely to get beat by five-card draws on the turn and river.
2. Wet boards
Aside from static and dynamic, boards are often described as either “wet” or “dry.” A wet board is similar to a dynamic one, but it is used more loosely and generally describes how conducive the board is to possible five-card combinations like straights and flushes. There can be varying degrees of wetness, from moderately wet boards like a jack of clubs, 7 of clubs, and 4 of diamonds to incredibly wet boards like a ten, nine, and jack, all hearts. The wetter a board is, the more hands are possible, and as a result, your post-flop strategy becomes a lot more complex. Strong early hands like pocket aces must be mindful of possible flushes and straights.
3. Dry boards
The polar opposite of wet boards, dry boards tend to have little to no connectivity and draw potential. A dry board like a two, a seven, and a queen rainbow (all of different suits) is unlikely to result in straights and flushes, meaning hands like pocket pairs are likely to remain the best throughout the game. Players are also more likely to fold since draw opportunities are rare, so you can afford to make smaller value bets with solid hands or try to bluff with a continuation bet.
4. Common board types
There are many possible board types in poker, each with different names and requiring a different playstyle. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Flush boards. The rarest kind of board, a flush board, is when the flop cards are all of the same suit. This scenario favors the pre-flop caller instead of the aggressor since hands like one/two pairs become much harder to play thanks to the possible turn and river draws.
- Board pairs. While these boards usually do not have much straight potential, they can still have some three-of-a-kind and full-house potential. Before betting, you must consider how connected a paired board is, as drier boards are better for aggressors and vice versa.
- Two-tone boards. Like board pairs, two-tone boards can vary significantly. They are when the board is composed of only two colors, leaving some room for flush and potentially straight draws depending on the actual cards. Be mindful of the turn and river since they could complete a flush.
- Rainbow disconnected. This is the driest kind of board in the game. No cards are close to each other, no board pairs and all the cards are of different suites. Dry boards usually get people to fold often since there are few good hands, so they are great for the pre-flop aggressor. As the pre-flop aggressor, you can also afford to bet smaller since people are still likely to fold to you, and those who call will just build the pot for you to take.
- Rainbow connected. These boards are in between wet and dry. While they do not have flush potential, there are a lot of possible two pairs and straights. It is vital to take into account what happened pre-flop, as even if the flop is ripe for a straight (ex. 3, 4, 6), it is unlikely that opponents would even play weak hands like a 2 & 5.
5. Why is board texture important?
Board texture is essential to your post-flop poker strategy. Players who can analyze board texture reasonably will better estimate which hands their opponents can play. Reading board texture is fantastic when you pay attention to your opponents’ pre and post-flop habits. Playing poker around your opponents’ playstyles is much better than playing poker in a set way every game. For example, when you have identified your opponents as tight, and the board is a rainbow-disconnected board, you can do a continuation bluff regardless of your actual hand. The board is very unlikely to be good for your opponents, and because of their tight playstyle, they will usually fold to the repeated pressure of a continuation bet. These plays are impossible if you only look at your hand, not at how your opponents play or the state of the board.
Practicing poker online
We hope this article about board texture helped you learn how to play poker like a pro. The best places to practice your poker skills are sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. Online poker is better for learning since you can play many more games than land poker. You even get access to poker tracking software, which helps you analyze your and your opponents’ playstyles to find weaknesses, everyday habits, and more. Sign up at GGPoker today!