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What Is Board Texture?
The term “board texture” refers to how the community cards interact with typical hand ranges. It is the starting point of postflop strategy after hand ranges have been clearly defined by the preflop action.
The categorization falls across how dry or wet the texture is, meaning how likely it is that a player’s range has connected in some way. No-limit Texas hold ’em poker is all about implementing plans that consider how card hand ranges interact with different boards.
What Is a Dry Board?
A dry board is one that is difficult to connect to. The traditional example is that of K 7 2 with no flush draw. A flop such as Q 9 2 with no flush draw is also considered dry with just the one draw. A dry flop texture makes it much less likely that any player has a strong poker hand and is perfect for continuation bet bluffing.
What Is a Wet Board?
A wet board offers many different ways to connect with both made hands and draws. Examples are flops such as Js 8s 6d, Kd Jd 9s, and Qh Jh Tc. These textures hit many different hand ranges and make postflop strategy more interesting and difficult. The increased connectivity of the board dramatically increases how often a player will flop hands such as two pair and made straights. A hand such as top pair is vulnerable in this situation.
On boards with a wet texture, you should expect much less fold equity for your continuation bets than what you would get on a dry flop. This dynamic also opens up opportunities for bluffing later in the hand and stealing the pot.
For example, you may call a bet on the flop and turn with a second pair—but when the river card completes some draws, it might be more profitable to turn your showdown value into a bluff by raising your opponent’s bet. It is this kind of flexible thinking that separates good players from those who play an ABC strategy and only make minimal profits.
What Is the Importance of Reading Board Texture?
The board texture dictates your postflop strategy. If you have an accurate idea of what your opponent’s card hand range looks like, then you will also be able to tell whose hand range has the advantage on the flop. This allows you to get the most from your hole cards with better postflop plans. Factors such as fold equity are usually less on wet boards, but if your hand range connects well and your opponent’s hand does not, you can seize the initiative and bluff more often.
It is this type of planning that will enable you to find an edge on the remaining players while they play an ABC strategy back at you.
It is practice such as this that has made world-class poker players what they are. This daily honing of their skills has given them finely tuned intuition which allows incredibly accurate planning and bet sizing.
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