Number of Opponents and a Texas Holdem Poker Flop

A higher number of opponents means a higher probability of the flop being kind to someone

In any game of real money Texas Holdem poker it is not only important that the flop should fit the two personal cards you were dealt at the start, but also to be aware of the number of opponents who have called and are still contesting the pot by the time the flop comes.

We have already seen in articles such as "Why You Probably Won't Win in Texas Hold Em If You Get a Bad Flop" how the flop can make or break a Texas Hold Em hand, and that after the three cards are revealed every player will be able to see 71% of their potential hand (five cards - these three cards plus the two they were dealt at the start, leaving only the turn and river card to come). Even these three cards alone make up 43% of the amount of cards a player can use to make the best poker hand that they can (seven, from which a player will show the best five card poker hand available).

More Opponents Means More Competition for the Pot

Whilst players can be so focused on how the flop has affected their own hand, they can easily forget that these three cards will also have transformed the hand of their opponents as well, either fitting in with their two starting cards so well that they now hold a likely winning hand or being so distant from their two starting cards that it turned what looked like a promising start (if it wasn't promising it shouldn't really have been played in the first place!) into a fairly weak one.

Due to this fact, the number of players still left in contesting this particular pot will have significant importance, as the fewer players there are the less likely that the flop will have produced a strong hand for that person. This is especially true when the flop is relatively low value cards such as sevens and below, as players receiving these cards initially are likely to have folded them before the flop occurred, unless of course they were the big blind and everyone else called in which case they stayed in regardless with their low value cards.

Even so, the fewer players that are left to see the flop the better from your point of view, which is why many players will attempt to raise before the flop with a weak starting hand in order to try and scare away as many rivals as possible to prevent them from flopping a lucky set of cards which can put them into a winning position.