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Bonus of the Month

Rush Poker After the Flop: Reading Wet and Dry Boards

Playing good postflop Rush Poker is not hard. For some reason people like to make it seem like a mystical skill, only acquirable by the top 0.01% of players in the world. In reality, it’s only a matter of playing solid, conservative, ABC poker.

The common thread running through Rush Poker strategy at all stages is playing “solid”. This means no trickery, no big moves, and no 3rd-level reads. Metagame is useless and so are bluffs. Save the gusto for Emeril; keep the money for yourself.

Wet Board/Dry Board

The foundation for a solid postflop strategy is an ability to read boards. This process can be broken down into 3 steps:

1. Identify

2. Categorize

3. Analyze

Step 1 is nothing more than looking at the cards that have been dealt. How many of them are face cards? How many are low? Are there two or more cards of the same suit? Is the board paired? Ask yourself these questions, and then move on to step 2.

Any board can be put into one of two categories: “wet” or “dry”. A wet board is one that’s connected; it might contain suited cards, a few suited cards, or cards close in rank. Some examples of wet boards are:

- Ah-Kh-5d – This board looks great to those holding an ace or king. Further, there’s both a flush and a straight draw on board.

- 5c-6d-8d -- While there are no high cards here, the board completes some straights and encourages flush draws to stick around.

- 4s-6s-8s -- This board is incredibly connected. Lots of straight-type hands connect, and there’s already 3 to a flush. Anybody with spades has already hit a flush, and anyone with a single spade has a chance to hit.

On the other hand, dry boards are those that aren’t connected. They’re filled with rags and randomness that don’t really make big hands. Some examples of dry boards are:

- 2d-8c-Kh – This board only makes top-pair type hands and sets. Draws are basically shut out.

- 2h-6c-10c – There’s a flush draw here, but otherwise this board is unthreatening.

Once you’ve classified a board, you’ll want to analyze its effect on the overall hand. First think about its relationship to your hand. Do you have a made hand, or a strong draw? Did you miss entirely?

Then, ask yourself what hands the board helps. If it’s a low board connected in rank but not suit, it helps low connector-type hands; it probably doesn’t help anyone looking for a high pair or a flush. Ask yourself how likely your opponent is to hold a hand that is helped by the board. Let’s walk through an example.

Critically Analyzing a Board

You’re dealt AsKs under the gun. You raise, and all fold except for the cutoff, who calls your raise. The flop comes Qh-5c-7d. You’ll recognize immediately that this is a dry board. It’s okay for top-pair type hands or pocket pairs, and that’s about it. If your opponent is a reasonable player, there’s no way he’s holding X5 or X7. He may have a Q with an J or above, but that’s is a fairly small range of hands. Pocket pairs are always possible, but it’s a slim chance they’ve been dealt.

In any case it’s unlikely that your opponent hit this flop at all. Thus a continuation bet is in order. More often than not on a board like this, villain will fold to your bet and you’ll take down the pot. However if an opponent decides to get aggressive and raise, you can easily let go of your weak hand—you’re not sucked into sticking around for a draw here. It’s +EV for you to take a shot, since more often than not you’ll take it down.

Read the Board, Gain Information

So by simply paying close attention to the board and conducting a bit of analysis, you’re able to make an extremely informed decision about playing a hand. You’re given almost no information about your opponent in Rush Poker, so reading boards is critical; it’s one of few information-gathering techniques you’ve got available.

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