Poker Articles

Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #7: How to analyze your opponents moves

Let’s see now what can tell you the possible replacements of your opponents.

If your opponent replaces 3 cards, most likely, he has one pair. You should take that into consideration when you make your next move but you should remember that your opponent can improve his hand (consider the probabilities).

If a player replaces 2 cards, he probably has three of a kind or a pair. Your decision in this case should be based on his style of play, how often he bluffed, what bets he placed, how much he won or lost in the previous hand.

If a player replaces one card only, that tells you that most likely he has two pairs, 4 to a straight, or 4 to a flush. Sometimes this replacement is made with three of a kind. A player with a pair or high cards can also make such a replacement.

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Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #6: Probability

The next important part of draw poker strategy is understanding the probability of drawing different combinations when you replace cards. It is unlikely that a thinking player will enter the game only with high cards hoping for more reliable combination after cards replacement. All probabilities are against that.
When you replace 4 cards and keep an ace, you can very often form a strong pair but in most cases wins the player who already has a pair. His chances to form higher combination like two pairs or four of a kind are equal to your chances to get a second ace, therefore, he has greater chances to beat you. Thus, your opponent is already one step ahead. From time to time you will be able to compensate that but in most cases you will be late. Comparison of the probability of any combination and the pot odds will give you the mathematical feasibility of your bets. In case you have 4 cards to a flush and the probability of forming it is 1 to 4, you can enter the game when the pot odds are more than 4 to 1. In such cases, theoretically, you are going to lose 4 times a bet and in one case you are going to win the pot (which will be more than 4 of your bets).

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Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #5: Strategy Tricks – Your winning chances

The percentage of winning with higher combinations according to the number of the opponents is shown in the following table:

Opponents

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Two pairs

92

84

78

72

66

61

56

94

89

86

80

76

72

68

97

94

91

88

85

83

80

Three of a kind

97

94

91

88

85

82

80

98

96

94

93

91

89

87

99

98

97

97

96

95

94

Straight

99

99

98

98

97

97

96

Flush

99,7

99,5

99

98,5

98

97,5

97

Full House

99,9

99,9

99,5

99,2

99

98,7

98,3

Four of a kind

99,99

99,95

99,9

99,85

99,8

99,75

99,7

Straight Flush

99,99

99,99

99,99

99,99

99,99

99,99

99,99

Royal Flush

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

These percentages may be used by you in order to determine the odds – 50% are approximately equal to odds 1  : 1, and 70% odds are equal to 7 : 3. You need to know the odds in order to determine the pot odds, which in turn determine the mathematical feasibility of all your bets and raises. If the odds are 1 : 2 and you think that your opponent has a low combination of cards (judging by your opponents actions), you may continue playing in case the ratio of the money in the pot and your next bet is more than 2 : 1. For instance, if there are $ 30 in the pot and your next bet is $ 10, you can bet. In this case, theoretically, you lose $ 10 in two cases and win $ 30 in one, having made a profit of $ 10. The greater the pot odds, the more you are free in your actions. Of course, you should not forget that the mathematical  probabilities in poker are just theory, that of course, in most cases are confirmed by practice but the real poker skill is when you notice the exceptions in time. When you start to play, you’ll notice that very often you need to play with at least two opponents with strong hands. In this case do not try to raise the bets. It is better to win a little than to lose a lot. In any case you need to compare the probability with the habits and the behavior of your opponents. If your opponent usually does not bluff and suddenly he raises, recalculate the probability again. If you opponent usually plays loose and aggressive, even if the pot odds aren’t good, your bets and raises have a good chance of winning.

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Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #4: Draw poker strategy

The main principle in poker is not to follow any rules. Change your tactics, be flexible and unpredictable. In the early stages of the game play tight and enter the game only with very strong cards. Then change your strategy depending on the habits and the actions of your opponents. Use their tactics and try to turn it into your benefit. If you notice that other players analyze your play, use it. Make them think that you play in a certain style only and later make totally opposite moves – that will bring you profits for a long time. When other players find out what you do, return to the old style of playing.

Here’s a simple scenario of possible tactical actions.
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Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #3: Draw lowball

Draw lowball or simply lowball is more popular than the standard draw poker. The difference between the two games is that in lowball the winner is the player with the lowest combination. In lowball aces play low. Two aces is the lowest pair. In most games straights and flushes are not considered combinations, and the lowest combination of cards is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 regardless of suit. If you consider straight a combination, the lowest combination is A, 2, 3, 4, 6.

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