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Deception Drawing

I guess it is a big posting day for me. Ironically, I am also getting a lot done around the office. My frenetic pace feeds on itself.

Lately, I have been playing $1/2 limit 5-card Draw Poker on Paradise Poker, and loving every minute of it. I have not see 5-card Draw online before, so I was happily surprised that Paradise had it. I used to play poker as a kid (10-17) with my misfit friends. We'd start with quarters, but moved up to $1-3 spread in no time, when oddly none of us had any discernible income. Chalk that up to growing up in the reasonably affluent suburbs. Regardless, the result was, I knew 5-card Draw well. Or at least, well enough.

On my honeymoon in Tahiti I conned wifey Kim to play some poker with me. She does not have the mentality for Hold'em (aggression, ultra competitiveness, deception -- ironically her lack of which is one of the reasons why I love her), but 5-card draw is the jalopy of poker, and requires little more than hand selection and intuition. This was especially true since we did not have any betting element. It was deal, draw, show. Even so, we played competitively and had a good time at it.

When I saw the game online, I just dipped my toe in the water, so to speak. Once I got the hang of it, I went on a $50 run. I've since given it all back (lay off! I'm on a losing streak!) but I have a much better understanding of the game.

One of the most interesting aspects of 5-card draw, and one that casual observers have probably not thought about in depth is the value of deception drawing. It's a term I have basically made up, but what I mean is, you draw is actually part of a deception play. Popular moves include:

Hiding the Trips: Three of a kind pre-draw is a strong hand. Most hands, from my experience, can be won with two pair (which, interestingly is the average winning hand in Hold'em). I want to keep players in the hand after the draw, when their pair of As are rewarded with a 2nd pair of Ks, or when their AK draws to AK4. So, sometimes (and only sometimes) I draw for 1 card, holding my three of a kind and whatever next-highest card I hold. As a result, my bet at the end gets a bit more callers. Sometimes, however, you may have players fear that you are drawing to a flush or straight and your bet on the end will scare them off. Even so, if you had drew 2, they would have known about your three-of-a-kind and folded anyway.

Standing Pat: This is a hardcore move that should only be used VERY RARELY. That is because you WILL lose if you get called. So, your timing must be right. Get to know your players and generally, play your regular game. If your players are making laydowns, then the time is right. I have seen a few players who call down post-flop bets with a pair of Js or even Ts. Those guys might be a little more dangerous. Also, only use the Standing Pat bluff when you are in position. The way to use the Stnad Pat bluff is as follows. When you are in position and no one has raised yet, bet pre-flop. You may even decide to raise if the other players have bet before you and generally are willing to lay down decent hands (or have been bluffing, themselves). When the players draw cards, watch them carefully. You are trying to avoid players drawing two cards, an indication of three-of-a-kind that they will likely not lay down. When players draw three, you are in decent shape, as they are unlikely to hit three-of-a-kind or better. If they draw 1, you may be in a tight spot, as they could have hit their flush or straight draw. However, more likely than not, they missed or wouldn't have called your pre-draw bet with a straight draw, so I suggest betting if they check to you. Of course, if they bet at you, duck and cover.

Faking the Trips- This is the reverse of hiding the trips, and can be successful when done right. It's simple enough. Have a weak pair or none at all? Feeling frisky? Bet out and then draw 2 cards. You'll be representing three-of-a-kind and can usually get anyone with 2-pair or less to fold.

Faking the Flush Draw- Same as the above, only check or limp pre-draw, draw to one, and bet out when your competition draws to three cards. Make sure they draw to three though, because if they draw to two, you know what they have (trips) and if they draw to one, they may have a solid two-pair.

Now, these are some examples, and there are probably more. But regardless, I find it to be an interesting aspect in the game. Notice that you will never draw for MORE cards because you do not want to break up your good cards/hands. You may, however, draw for LESS cards than optimal for deception reasons.

It's important to also realize that other players are doing this too. So pay attention, because if you see a player who drew to 2 cards and then wins with two pair, you know they are making moves. It is one scenario that I have been seeing a lot lately. Player X limps pre-flop, draws to two and then wins with As and Ks. Well, he only had ONE of those pairs pre-flop, if that many. So I know that for him, drawing to two might mean concealing a solid pair, holding high cards and hoping to make one big pair, or going for a three card draw (as well as the potential pre-draw trips.)

Draw poker is the jalopy of poker games. Lucky for me, I'm used to driving jalopies.

posted by Jordan @ 11:09 AM,

1 Comments:

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