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DRAW POKER STRATEGY

ere are the Rules of Poker that could be applied to any Poker games. As for a Poker strategy, you should follow these rules first:

  • Don't play with the minimum allowed bets: you should start with 40-50 times the table limit.
  • If you've got nothing in your hand, get out.
  • If you've got a cinch hand, make them pay to see it.
  • If they've got you beat, fold.
  • The main goal is beating the other players, not having the highest hand. If everyone else folds, you take the pot.
  • Don't try to beat a better player: if you're lucky, you'll win small; if you're not, you'll lose big.
  • There's an even chance that you won't better your opening hand.

hen it comes to Draw Poker Strategy we begin by considering the rank of the winning hands. In the Draw Poker Rules, we introduced the 5-card hands and their ranking. Chances of being dealt in the original 5 cards on the opening deal:

OutcomeChance 
Royal Flush 1 : 650,000
Straight Flush 1 : 72,200
Four of a Kind 1 : 4,200
Full House 1 : 700
Flush 1 : 510
Straight 1 : 250
Three of a Kind 1 : 48
Two Pair 1 : 21
One Pair 1 : 2.4
No Pair 1 : 2

Based on these chances of receiving an opening hand, there are a few things you can immediately conclude. The more players at the table, the greater the chance that one or more players has a Pair, for example, e.g. the more players, the lower the relative value of the lesser ranked hands. And, finally, If you haven't got a Pair or better, or four cards to a Flush or Straight, Fold immediately.

So, if you hold nothing in the opener your chances of improving and beating the other players are too slim. Of course this means that you'll fold most of your opening hands. That's Draw Poker game.

o let's assume you've got a little something to build on. Every beginning player wants to know whether they should hold a kicker and a Pair, or just the Pair. This table shows that the odds almost always favor tossing the kicker:

  Chances of making:
Any improvement Two Pair Three of a Kind Full House Four of a Kind
Drawing three cards to a Pair 1 : 2.5 1 : 5 1 : 8 1 : 97 1 : 360
Drawing two to a Pair with kicker 1 : 3 1 : 5 1 : 12 1 : 120 1 : 1100
Drawing two to Three of a Kind 1 : 8.5 - - 1 : 15.5 1 : 22.5
Drawing one to Three of a Kind with kicker 1 : 11 - - 1 : 15 1 : 46

So, the better your opener, the better your chances of improving it. But forget about trying to build something out of a three card Flush or Straight: your odds are 1 : 23 and 1 : 150 respectively. It's highly unlikely that the pot would ever justify that kind of risk.

bserve the following chances if you hold four cards to build on:

  Chances of
completion:
When drawing
one card to:
Four cards of a Flush 1 : 4.5
Straight open at both ends 1 : 5
Straight open at one end 1 : 11
Straight open on the inside 1 : 11
Straight Flush open at both ends 1 : 23
Straight Flush open at one end 1 : 46
Straight Flush open on the inside 1 : 46

It's these odds that must advise you on your betting decisions.

What are your chances of completion on the draw? 1 : 4.5 So if you're going to stay in, that pot better pay you $90 or more (4.5 x $20), after you deduct your ante and bets thus far. Anything else is blind faith in beating the odds and the sidelines are full of players who tried that as their betting policy.

f you want to play Poker as a pros do you cannot avoid reading some serious books. There are many, many books on poker and your first choice will be picking one. But remember, Poker has been around a long time. Anyone that tries to sell you a "hot new strategy" is beating you at the book counter, not the Poker table.




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