# The flop

The value of a starting hand can change dramatically after the flop. Regardless of initial strength, any hand can flop the nuts—for example, if the flop comes with three 2s, any hand holding the fourth 2 has the nuts. Conversely, the flop can undermine the perceived strength of any hand—A♣ A♥ would not be happy to see 8♠ 9♠ 10♠ on the flop because of the straight and flush possibilities.

There are

(50/3) = 19,600

possible flops for any given starting hand. By the turn the total number of combinations has increased to

(50/4) = 230,300

and on the river there are

(50/5) = 2,118,760

possible boards to go with the hand.

The following are some general probabilities about what can occur on the board. These assume a “random” starting hand for the player.

Board consisting of Making on flop Making by turn Making by river
Prob. Odds Prob. Odds Prob. Odds
Three or more of same suit 0.05177 18.3 : 1 0.13522 6.40 : 1 0.23589 3.24 : 1
Four or more of same suit 0.01056 93.7 : 1 0.03394 28.5 : 1
Rainbow flop (all different suits) 0.39765 1.51 : 1 0.10550 8.48 : 1
Three cards of consecutive rank (but not four consecutive) 0.03475 27.8 : 1 0.11820 7.46 : 1 0.25068 2.99 : 1
Four cards to a straight (but not five) 0.03877 24.8 : 1 0.18991 4.27 : 1
Three or more cards of consecutive rank and same suit 0.00217 459 : 1 0.00869 114 : 1 0.02172 45.0 : 1
Three of a kind (but not a full house or four of a kind) 0.00235 424 : 1 0.00935 106 : 1 0.02128 46 : 1
A pair (but not two pair or three or four of a kind) 0.16941 4.90 : 1 0.30417 2.29 : 1 0.42450 1.36 : 1
Two pair (but not a full house) 0.01037 95.4 : 1 0.04716 20.2 : 1

An interesting fact to note from the table above is that more than 60% of the flops will have at least two of the same suit—you’re likely to either be drawing to a flush or worried about one.