Poker Strategy: How to Analyze the Flop

Poker has millions of dedicated players worldwide. One of the reasons it appeals to such a large audience is its depth of skill. A common saying is that poker takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. There is always something new to learn, which makes it incredibly fun to play and practice.

With poker being around for hundreds of years, countless strategies and resources have inevitably emerged. You can learn about almost every aspect of the game, from reading the habits of other players to mathematically deciding if you should call a bet. This poker guide will cover an important part of poker: Flop analysis.

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1. Poker rounds explained

If you are wondering what the flop is, we have you covered. The flop is one of the five rounds in a classic game of Texas Holdem. Here is a brief description of each round:


This is when the dealer gives two hole cards to each player, and the designated blinds make their bets. Standard betting action of calling, raising, or folding to the big blind’s bet then continues clockwise around the table.


In poker, the flop refers to the first three community cards. This round gets its name because it is the round when the flop is dealt in the middle of the table. After the cards are dealt, action starts with the player to the left of the button.


This round is when the dealer puts down the fourth community card. Standard betting then begins again in the same fashion as the flop.


This round is when the dealer reveals the fifth community card. Betting action starts again in the same style as the previous two rounds.


If there is still more than one player after the river, the showdown begins. No more betting action; instead, players reveal their cards to determine the strongest hand. The winner takes the pot.

2. Why is flop analysis needed?

The core of your post-flop strategy is being able to analyze the flop itself. You want to understand how it affects not only your own hand but your opponents’ hands as well. There are only two more possible community cards, so understanding the flop usually sets you up nicely for the following rounds. The flop gives you an idea of what your opponents’ hands may be, and that information is invaluable.

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3. What to consider

When trying to analyze the flop, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:

4. Examples of flop analysis

Proper flop analysis significantly affects how you deal with your opponents. For example, if you believe your opponent is on a straight draw, you should aggressively bet and stop them from seeing the following cards for free. Another example could be using the flop to bluff. Many opponents will also take notice of the flop, so if there is a strong board pair or three suited cards, you can pretend you hit the flop and bet a lot. This will usually scare off those who missed the flop, but it’s vital to understand your opponents may have hit the flop themselves.

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Where to practice

Flop analysis is one of many skills that are part of a good poker strategy. We hope this article helped you learn how to analyze the flop and how to play poker in general. To practice, playing online poker on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, is a great idea. They have many benefits, from poker tracking software which gives you statistics and ways to improve your game, to playing many games simultaneously with multi-tabling. Sign up at GGPoker today!