Pre flop, flop, turn and river: essential parts of poker

The poker glossary is full of terminology that can be difficult for the most novice to assimilate. In poker, one of the most important moments is when the dealer, traditionally known as the croupier , makes the initial deal of cards.

During the course of games, it is common to hear how the cards are discussed pre-flop, how the flop develops, what card comes on the turn, and how important the river is to the resolution of the game. Those less experienced in poker will pick up on what is happening more or less at the table, but they will have no idea what it means . Pre-flop in poker, what exactly is it? And what is the flop in poker? We will tell you everything about these fundamental parts in the development of a poker game.

Understanding the concepts of poker: pre flop, flop, turn and river

When you had no idea about poker and you watched a tournament televised out of curiosity, you probably didn’t understand anything when they started to mention concepts like the flop, the turn or the river . What is the preflop thing in poker? What is a flop in poker and why aren’t the same cards always dealt?

We are going to explain how a poker game is structured in its Texas Hold’Em variant, the most common. The dealer initially deals two hole cards to each player . This is the pre-flop, the moment before the game in which only that pair of cards is received and the game does not open. When the deal is over, the flop automatically starts.

What is a flop in poker? Very simple: the dealer, by dealing two cards to each player and closing the preflop, begins to deal community cards, this time uncovered. First, three of the five that make up this series of community cards are dealt . This is the answer to the recurring question of what is a flop in poker, and indicates when the game opens. From here, each player will try to study the rivals based on their bets, their gestures and their way of reacting to try to identify the player profile of each one (from Loose Passive to Tight Aggressive).

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At the end of the round, the turn begins. On the turn, the dealer adds a single face-up card to the community cards , and the betting round is repeated where each player is free to check, bet or raise. At the end of the bets, we go to the river. What is the river in poker? It is the extra card, the last one , that the dealer adds to the community cards.

Is the flop or river more important in poker?

Although many players insist that the preflop in poker is the most important thing, it actually happens that it is the river in poker that is the most decisive of all. And the river is closely related to the concept of draw poker , which refers to the possibility of making a straight or even a straight flush, the highest hand.

However, many players wonder what the river is in poker exactly because it is a confusing term. Normally, in the Omaha or Texas Hold’Em variants it is the term that designates the fifth and last community card, although some also use this term to refer to Seven Card Stud . In Texas Hold’Em and Omaha, the river can be the fifth community card or the fourth round of betting.

How to play the river in poker

Despite how important the flop is in poker, since it is the moment in which the game of each opponent begins to be discovered and classified, the general feeling is that the strategies on the river are decisive because it is the previous moment to the showdown .

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The game changes significantly in this section of the game . During the preflop and the flop, the strategies are mainly based on making use of hands with greater room for improvement and accumulating more pot if the hand we have is good enough, doing what is known as “value bets”. But, at this point, the game changes and the data collected in the previous rounds must be taken into account.

The importance of the river is that it is the last attempt to understand the dynamics of the rivals’ game before the final confrontation. That is why many say that the river in poker is the most important phase.

At the moment we have not very strong plays, we must check the strength of the rivals by putting them in one hand. If they prove to be strong, don’t try to bluff yourself . On the contrary, if we are the ones who show strength and detect that they believed us to be weak, then we can bluff. But be careful about the pot: the size of the final bet will be decisive in determining whether our bluff ends up going well or badly.

Therefore, the idea is to bet the best hands and resign when we see that we do not have a strong enough hand. The lanterns should be reserved only when we see that they can be effective , and for very few occasions in which we are totally sure that it can go well.