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Draw Poker Strategy

There are two keys to draw poker: understanding what cards to trade out and playing your opponents. Playing Draw Poker can be harrowing, as it is difficult to get a feel for where you stand in any given hand, but hopefully we can reduce that stress a little bit.

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What Cards To Exchange in Draw Poker

Because you can’t see any of your opponents cards, it can be very difficult to know what type of risks to take in Draw Poker. You have A♥ 4♦ 6♦10♣ 9♦. Do you throw out your low cards and hope for some high pairs or maybe even a straight draw? Get rid of your high cards and hope for a flush?

If a lot of players have bet into the hand, go ahead and try for the flush. Chances are that one of them had made at least a pair, and could be trying for three of a kind or better. If only one or two have come in, go ahead and keep your A 10 and get rid of the spades. Chances are you’ll have the better chance of hitting a pair (or two pair).

It is always important to know where you stand and what your odds are. Spend some time learning the odds of any one hand occurring, and play your game based around that.

Watch Your Opponents Cards

Watch how many cards your opponent is drawing. If they’re exchanging only one card, they’re either drawing for a flush or straight, or have two pairs and you should watch their future bets to determine which it was. If they’re drawing four cards, it is safe to assume that they have at least one Ace or King in their hand. In general, drawing less cards indicates a stronger hand.

Play Your Opponents

The way Draw Poker is played often means playing hands you never wanted to play, but now are too invested in to let go without taking a big hit to the wallet. Since every other player is as blind as you are, bluffing can be very effective in Draw Poker. If you ever get the sense that an opponent is weak and drawing with a weak hand, it might be a good idea to fire a very strong bet at them to scare them away.

Be careful, though! If a player has made a hand, you could be at risk. It will take hundreds of hours of play before you can become an expert at reading your opponent and knowing when to bluff.

Play to Learn

If you don’t play, you’ll never get any better- no matter how many strategy guides you read! Go to a website like PokerStars where they offer excellent play money tables to get used to the rules and strategy of Draw Poker. After you get comfortable, it is easy to make a deposit and begin playing cash games against other players.


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