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The Flop

The Flop: Introduction to Play on the Flop

The flop is defined as three community cards that are turned face up after the first round of betting. Players will use the two unique cards they hold combined with any or all of the flop cards to begin forming a winning combination of cards for a 5-card hand.

The word, 'flop' can also be used as a verb. If you are holding a pair in the hole as your unique cards, and one of the 3 community cards is one of your pair, you have then 'flopped' a set.

When playing in a no limit Texas Hold'em tournament, each player will receive 2 cards that are called hole cards. After the first round of betting, which is referred to as pre flop, the second round is ready to commence. The dealer will show the flop. Everyone who is still in the hand after the pre flop betting round will consider how these 3 cards have helped or not helped them make a good hand.

Then, there is another round of betting. Each player is in essence betting against the other players that his cards, combined with the 3 flop cards, is better than anyone else's cards at the table.

The flop is the most significant part of the hand. After the flop the players have now seen what will represent 71% of the total cards seen (5 out of 7 cards). The player who has paid the price to see the flop will now have to make a decision whether he should continue to play.

There are many things to think about when playing the flop.

  • What is your position relative to the button (how many players to act after you)?
  • Who are your adversaries (who is in the pot and what is their style of play)?
  • How many callers are there and what are their positions relative to you and to the button?
  • Who raised (if there were a raise)?
  • How much money is in the pot?
  • How much of your stack will it cost to play?
  • How strong is your hand (potentially, according to the flop, do you have the nuts or a draw to the nuts with many outs)?
  • What is your chip stack compared to the other players in the hand?
  • What hand do you put the other players on?
  • What hand do you think the other players put you on?

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