While you are not going to like the flop most of the ti,e, there are those rare instances when it fits like a custom-made suit. When you are lucky enough to flop a straight flush or a full house, your major worry is not whether you will win, but how much money you can extract from your opponents. Your first order of business is to examine the texture of the flop. Based on the betting pattern prior to the flop, try to determine if one or more of your opponents has made a hand or has a draw to a hand that would be second-best yo yours.Take a look at how you can handle different types of flops:
- Straight Flush: Bet the house, the farm and the mortgage your soul. You shouldn’t lose.
- Four of a Kind: If there are two pair on the board, and you have the smaller of the two pair. It is possible – though very likely – that you can lose the hand. But if there’s only one pair on board and you have the matching pair in hand, you have the practical nuts. You can lose only to a straight flush or royal flush unless a bigger communal comes along and someone else has a bigger four of a kind. But don’t worry; you will seldom, if ever, lose with hands like these.
- Full House: terrific hand but you have to examine the board to make sure that yours is the bets possible full house before you bet the farm. But don’t be afraid to raise with a full house, it’s probably a winner.
- Nut Flush: If you have an ace high flush when all the cards have been dealt, and no pair is on the board, which means that a full house or four of a kind is not possible. You have got the best possible hand. Just keep betting or raising, and don’t stop.
- Nut Straight: If you have the highest possible straight, and there is no possibility of a flush, you have got the best hand, bet and raise for all you are worth.
- Set with Safe Boards: If you are lucky enough to hold 8-8 and the flop is 8-K-2 you have flopped a set, three of a kind, and there is not much to be wary of. There is no flush or straight draw, and anyone holding a king in his hand is going to pay you off.
- Trips: if you have a-8 and the flop is 887 you have got trips. It’s not quite as good as it would be if the pair were in your hand. Because anyone holding 8-7 will have flopped a full house. But that won’t happen very frequently, so go ahead and bet, and raise as long as the board is not threatening.
- Two Pair: If you flop two pair but they are not the top two pair, you have a good hand but one that is till vulnerable. Stay with it, however, unless it appears obvious that you are beaten.
- Top Pair: A lot of Hold’em pots are won with one pair, and that one pair is usually the top pair on board. Your primary concern with top pair and apparently safe board is determining whether your kicker is bigger than your opponents.
- Over Pair: If the board is 8-7-2, and you hold 10-10 you have a pocket pair that is higher than the highest card on the board. In poker parlance, that’s called an overpair. It’s better than top pair, and usually a hand to consider raising with.
- Suited Board: Flops where all the cards are of the same suit or are sequenced, like 9-8-7 are dangerous. Someone may already have made a straight or flush and even if you have been lucky enough to flop a set, you are heading uphill and may have to see the board pair – giving you a full house in order to win. With top pair, or even two pair discretion is usually the better part of valor with suited and sequenced flops.
- Kicker Trouble: Even if you flop top pair, your hand is only as strong as your kicker. It is always considered better to make top pair with an ace kicker than a weaker one.