21 Nov

Evaluating Table Moisture (It’s a Poker Thing!)

Learn the difference between a dry flop and a wet flop, and why it’s so important in your poker game.

Learn the difference between a dry flop and a wet flop, and why it's so important in your poker game.Moist… it’s one of those words people either love your hate. The same is true for poker players. Moisture is extremely important on the felt, and I’m not talking about spilling drinks, either. I’m talking about the moisture of the flop.

Beginner poker players tend to miss a lot of little details when evaluating a hand. They see their own cards. They see the flop. They see whether their cards connect with the flop. But how many bother to feel its texture? After today, you will.

Saturation of the Flop

In Hold’em poker, a good flop comes in one of two textures—dry or wet. The moisture content has everything to do with how you should play a strong hand. A dry flop calls for slow play, harvesting as much value from your opponent as possible. A wet flop requires fast play, as your opponent is more likely to hit a lucky draw before the showdown. Let’s examine…

What is a Dry Flop?

A dry flop is a set of three community cards that don’t connect in any reliable way, shape or form. A few good examples are:

K 8 3

Q 7 2

J 6 2

Notice how none of the suits match? No one is going to peak down at a flush draw on these flops. The rank of cards is so far apart, a gutshot draw is as good as it gets. There is a very low probability of a strong starting hand, and even lower odds of drawing a better hand on later streets.

Suffice to say, if you have a strong starter with this flop, you’re not likely to be beaten. Therefore, your best option is to…

Slow Play the Dry Flop

Slow playing this hand will allow you to set a good trap for your opponent. If they are bluffing, they’re more likely to keep putting chips in the pot. If they have a strong hand, they’ll keep betting the turn and river, giving you an opportunity to either exploit them with something stronger, or back off without investing too much.

What is a Wet Flop?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a wet flop is a set of three community cards that connect well and offer a lot of potential to improve in later streets. They include hands like:

6♥ 8♥ 9♣

J♦ J♠ 8♠

K♥ Q♥ 5♥

In the first example, we see three cards to a straight. This could make an easy straight draw, or a complete straight, from the start. The second has a high pair, two cards to a straight, and two cards to a flush. The third has very high potential to reach a flush by the river, if not much sooner.

These are dangerous hands to go up against. If you land something strong on a flop like this, such as pocket Aces, you’ll definitely want to…

Fast Play the Wet Flop

Don’t give anyone else an opportunity to improve. Bet high. Don’t hesitate. Let them know you mean business. If your opponent is on a draw hand, they’ll have to invest the maximum value to play it. If your opponent has a made hand, you get the added value of turn and river cards that could easily scare them away.

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