The 'Draw' in Poker
A draw in poker can refer to the 'draw' in a draw poker game, which is the exchange of cards, or the situation when a player has made part of a made poker hand and has cards, or outs, that will make him the completed hand. This could be in relation to a flush or straight draw (or gut straight).
For example, a player in Hold'em holds 8-9 and the board reads 10 J 2, this player has a drawing hand or what's referred to as a 'straight draw'. In essence, the player has only made part of his hand. Any 7 or Q would make him his straight. He is said to be on a draw. The same is true if a player held 8-9 and the flop came Q K . This player would have a flush draw to any of the 9 remaining hearts in the deck.
A bigger draw would be a flush and straight draw together - this is more valuable as there are more cards (outs) in the deck that can make the winning hand. For instance, a player holds 8-9 and the flop came 10 J 2 this player would have a straight and flush draw. How much better is this? In the first example, the player only had a straight draw. He need any remaining 7 (4 in the deck) or any Queen (4 in the deck), and so had a total of 8 outs.
In the second example there is a straight draw, of which any Seven or Queen (8 outs) to make the straight. As there is also a flush draw, there are additional outs (cards which could make a winning hand). There are 13 hearts in the pack. The player has two hearts and two on the board which leaves 9 left in the deck. These 9 outs in addition to the 8 outs is 17 outs. You need to keep in mind that there is some duplication as the 7 and Q you have been counted twice so there are really only 15 outs. 15 outs is nearly twice as likely to hit in comparison to 8 outs, hence a more valuable hand.
The Power of the Draw
A draw can be a powerful proposition, as in any speculative hand. It's much better to be in the position where you're semi bluffing with a solid draw than playing on the whiff of an out and out stone cold in which a player as little to no chance to improve. In fact, pre flop, if you have a straight and flush draw, you are the favorite up against one other player. Players tend to bet heavily on draws, in the hope of improving.
The power is the potential to improve. The more outs you have, the more potential you have, and so the better the hand. The same is true at the bookies. If you had greater odds against a possible scenario, you would be more likely to place a bet. Playing a draw is known as a semi-bluff as you are bluffing at the point you make the bet - you don't have a hand that would win, yet. You are betting out in hope that you hit your cards. By betting out, you also give yourself the chance that your opponents will all fold and you will win the hand, so playing aggressively has it's rewards. One of the pit-falls is overvaluing draws. If calling, work out the pot odds to be sure that you are making the right call. If raising, bet enough to ask the question without putting your stack at risk. If you're going to commit your entire stack on a draw, make sure it's a good one!.
Important Beginners Guides..
Read this no nonsense guide on how to play poker - covering the basics and game play. Perfect for those starting out.
A no nonsense guide on how to play poker. Ideal for beginners looking to learn how to play Texas Hold'em.
Check out this set of rules. It's as close to universal as you will get! Most card rooms use a variation of these.
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