Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #8: General conclusions
Ok, the lessons have finally ended and you probably have understood that playing poker is not that easy :). But what have you really learnt from this brief course?
 You can stay in the game in three cases only: If you believe that your combination is higher than the combinations of other players; if the pot odds are in your favor; if you have quite a big chance to improve your combination after drawing cards.
 In most cases, you should open the game and respond to the bets of other players only when your chance to win is more than 50%. If you don’t have a pair or, better yet, 4 cards to a straight or flush, you need to fold without hesitation, your chances to beat the other players or to form a higher combination is minimal. Remember that in most cases, wins the conservative player, who is ready to lose some of the initial bets and enter the game with a strong hand.
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.
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).
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.
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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