BoArderline: O8 board textures discussion for my 2000th post
My favorite game is LO8.
This is the game I play the most, think about the most, post about the most and not lose the most...
While posting about the following topic, i'll try to also consider how it applies to big bet O8, until I give up and concentrate on LO8.
What is the difference between preflop and postflop? the answer is: the flop
The flop can come in all sorts of forms. those forms allow us to draw conclusions about possible
: the flop may enable quads
and/or full house
if there are two or three cards of the same rank. it may enable a flush
if monotone, a flush draw
if has two cards of the same suit, a straight
and/or a straight draw
if has three cards of different ranks when the gap between the highest and lowest is three ranks tops, a straight draw
if has at least two cards when the gap between them is no more than three ranks, etc.
: the flop may enable a low and/or low draw if it has three unique low ranks (A through 8), and a low draw if it has two unique low ranks.
There are also hands/draws that are impossible
after the flop:
: on a flop of three different ranks, quads/full house is not possible.
A less obvious example: on a monotone board, unlike in holdem, a flush draw
is not possible.
: the flop may not enable a low/low draw if it has only one low rank or zero low ranks. with one low rank, a backdoor low draw may be possible by the river, but it's a rather weak draw - a longshot for half the pot.
= a board with few draws, resulting in fewer ways the odds can change with the turn of a card, or with simply the turn card.
" = a drawy board. equities run closer.
The terms heavy and light, used to describe the ranks of the cards on the board (heavy as in high, light as in low), are less common in O8.
Dry and wet boards also affect our reasons for betting:
Value is the first and foremost reason for betting, and it may effectively be the only reason for betting wet
The logic behind the previous statement is very simple: on wet boards, we expect to get called, and when we bet in order to get called, we bet for value.
On the other hand, if there's a time to bet a poor hand (bluff), it better be when the board is dry
. again, it's very logical. out opponents are less likely (on average) to hit a dry flop and more likely to fold to our bet, and bluffing is when we bet, expecting (maybe "hoping") to get folds.
a few LO8 examples
(1) folds to hero, hero raises from the BTN, SB calls, BB calls.
(3 players, 6 small bets): K
SB checks, BB checks, hero better have something decent if he considers betting, as this is one of the most wet boards and he should expect to get called extremely often!
(2) same action, only now the flop is 6
SB checks, BB checks, hero should probably bet his entire range, unless villians are the types to put hero on a hand and play accordingly. more often, though, villians will miss this dry, "nothing" flop and won't try anything fancy out of position.
(3) again, same action, only now the flop is K
SB checks, BB checks, hero should treat this flop like the previous one (dry) and bet
a flush draw is impossible on this board and anyone with a flush (even a baby flush) is a big favorite over a non flush hand. the huge equity discrepancies make this board dry and anyone without a flush should feel reluctant to continue.
When there are two or three cards of the same rank on the board
: those are extremely dry
boards, especially with no flush/low draws possible.
Paired boards (especially in a four card game) create a phenomenon of WA/WB, or: way ahead, way behind. anyone without trips (or a rare full house) is a relatively large dog to anyone with trips or better.
These boards are actually good for AA, which make nut two pair, the next best hand to have after trips. AA are often WA/WB on these boards, which is much better than they can expect on most aceless boards.
Actually, deciding whether to continue with AA past the paired aceless flop is often a tough decision to make, and will mainly depend on the number of players still in the hand. the more players, the more likely that someone does have trips or better. shorthanded, though, folding aces on these flops is usually much too tight.
Low boards are wet boards
- we will refer to boards with two or three unique low ranks as "low boards
". these boards are wet, as they enable the most common draw in this game - the low draw.
It's rare that one hand has the best chance for both the high and the low after the flop. more often, the equity in the pot will be distributed more evenly when low is possible. remember: more draws = equities run closer = board is wet
High boards are dry boards
- boards with zero or one low ranks are "high boards
". pots will often be "hogged" by one player. the likelihood of taking the whole pot creates larger edges in terms of pot equity. A hand which is a favorite will often be a very large favorite. large edges tend to occur when boards are dry
3 to a flush isn't like 3 to a straight or 3 to a low
- as we said before, on monotones boards, a flush draw is impossible. on 3 to a straight boards, a straight draw is
possible. also, on 3 to a low board, a low draw is possible.
An example with the same action as before
flop is 234
hero's hand: 2345
A low is already possible (with the nut low being the wheel using an A and a 5) and a straight is already possible, too (wheel is also a straight for high, while the nut straight being 6-high, using a 5 and a 6). however, hero has neither, and instead only draws for both using his "live" card, the 5.
Usually, when drawing to something which is already possible, the draw isn't very good. hero should probably still bet the flop, and if raised, call and fold the turn unimproved.
Hero may also improve on his flopped "three" pair, which gives him a six outer full house draw.
Note that this board is actually rather dry. the flop is rainbow and very light (=with low ranks) so the whole spectrum of middling and/or high cards, suited or otherwise, totally missed this flop.
Also, as was just mentioned before, hero's draw isn't very good. if someone has flopped a straight, hero is basically drawing to chop (with the outside chance of backdooring three quarters). a straight simply crushes a non straight hand (with the exception of 56 vs A6). range crushing two card combos are a dry board phenomenon.
The connection between typical playing ranges and board textures
- high boards are considered dry while low boards are considered wet. there is one more reason why low boards are generally wet boards.
People tend to play hands dominated by low cards. indeed, Broadway cards aren't bad, but very many players know that good hands develop from bottom up, enabling the player with the low hand to bet strongly, enjoying a freeroll and the potential to promote a half pot winner into a scooper.
If players do tend to play more low hands than any other type hands, then on low boards, more active players tend to have good flop fits. more good flop fits don't leave a single hand with a huge advantage. and no large edges indicate that the board is probably wet
As was mentioned before, the first board is very wet.
that was the flop: K
First there is the 2-flush. that's much more wet than monotone or rainbow.
next there is the low draw. dominating high hands will at least lose some of their equity to the low draws.
: even the best high hands go down in value on low boards. and when the 3rd low card comes, the high hands go way down in value. only the very best of high hands remain playable.
Morover, the 4 and the 5 create all sorts of low straight/wheel draws. these are some very common draws, also because of players' tendency to play low cards.
All those draws will often create a "fair" distribution of equity among the players who continue past the flop.
Can the flop be any more wet? it's hard, but probably yes. make the K a 9 and now the board is probably the wettest, here's why:
1) A 9 high board allows more overcard outs. for example: two pair, nines up, lose much more often than kings up. the non dominating high hand effect makes this board even more wet.
2) KK are more often seen among players who voluntarily play their hands. 99 are notorious for being: "as bad as it gets", even though with logical thinking you'll be able to tell why playable O8 hands are better off having 99 in them than 88, 77 or 66.
At any rate, a dominating high hand will more often be present on a K54 board than on a 954 board, and dominating equals dry.
: thanks for your time; Mods
: thanks for your space; Buzz
(special mod): thanks for the help with this post and thanks in general...
Long live O8, I guess...?