In poker variants with community cards like Hold'em and Omaha, the flop is the first three board cards to be dealt.
Evaluating the Flop
The flop is evaluated on three basic criteria:
- Connectivity of the cards, i.e. whether they are close to one another in value, and hence able to build straights.
- Suitedness, or whether there are many cards of the same suit enabling flushes.
- Value of the cards, i.e. how many cards are high cards like aces or kings, since these are played more often and so opponents are more likely to have hit them. In hi/lo variants, it might also be important whether there are many low cards that enable lo hands.
||High Suitedness||High Cards|
In general, one can say that the "goodness" of a flop depends on how many draws and what kinds of finished hands are possible with it. Players tend to play with cards that are suited, connected, or high, so it is important to know which of these is possible given the flop.
- Rainbow Flop: A flop with three cards of different suit. No flush draws are possible. Occurs 40% of the time.
- 2-suited Flop: a flop with two cards of the same suit, enabling a flush draw. 55% of all flops are 2-suited.
- 3-suited Flop: A flop with three cards of the same suit, enabling a finished flush as well as draws. Occurs 5% of the time.
- Paired Flop: The flop contains a pair, happing 17% of the time. The danger of such a flop is that a player might have hit a three of a kind or even a full house, which would beat any flush or straight. Hence, those draws are not worth as much.
- 2-connected Flop: A flop with two cards in sequence, enabling straight draws. Happens 40% of the time.
- 3-connected Flop: A flop with three sequential cards, enabling finished straights.
- Ragged Flop: A very uncoordinated flop. In Hold'em, this would be a flop with small, unconnected cards of different suits, making it unlikely that anybody has hit anything.
- Draw-heavy Flop: A very coordinated flop enabling many draws, often a combination of flush and straight draws.
- Dry Flop: A flop with no or only weak draws possible. Also used as a synonym for ragged flop.