Dealing 'the Flop' in Community Card Games

The flop is the first three community cards that are dealt in a hand of poker in community card games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha. Community cards are the shared cards that are dealt face up on the table that are shared by all players in the hand. In Hold'em, the aim of the game is to use your two private hole cards and the shared community cards in any combination, to make the best five card hand.

Deciding whether to play the flop

The Flop in a game of Hold'emThe flop is a critical point in the hand, and one when good decisions are key. Pre flop the only cards available are the private cards of each player. The flop is the first point that players get an indication of whether they have enough to stay in the hand and continue to commit chips. These first three cards are known as the 'Flop' and believe it or not, there are 22,100 possible different flops that can be dealt.

There are a few key things to consider at this point in the hand. Firstly, understanding hand values pre flop and post flop is simply a must. Let's assume that you hold ASpade AClub. In Hold'em, this is the best pre flop starting hand that can be made. Lets also assume that you are up against three other players. The flop comes KSpade KHeart 5Club. You raise and your opponent re-raises all in. Do you call? In pre flop play you would be looking to base decisions on your opponents, your table position and the strength of your hole cards. When the board is dealt, you have an additional three cards to help you decide what to do. You also know there are two more cards to come (the turn and river).

You need to re-evaluate the strength of your hand again. In the example above you can see that the best starting hand possible is transformed in an instant to what looks to be the second best hand. You would only be calling a sizeable bet if you had information on your opponent that made you believe he didn't have a K or the amount to call a marginal amount.

There is a second round of betting after the first three cards are dealt before the turn card (fourth community card) or Fourth Street is dealt and another round of betting.

A final community card is then dealt, also known as Fifth Street, a final round of betting and then showdown where players will turn over their cards to see who has the best hand.

Related Guides:

Poker Strategy - pre flop play

Poker Strategy - post flop play

Understanding and using table position

Standard Poker Hand Rankings

Learning to read the board


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