Texas Holdem Drawing Hands
When you play our beginner strategy you will often find yourself in a position where there is a good chance you are behind, but your hand can improve if you see another card. This is called drawing. Most of the time this happens you should fold. We only recommend beginners draw when two conditions are met. First, you must be drawing to a huge hand. Second you must have odds to draw.
Only draw in Texas Holdem if you are drawing to a huge hand
You should only draw in situations that making your draw will give you a big enough hand to put all of your money in the pot. Don’t pay money to draw if you can’t put up a huge bet when you make your draw.
For example, you don’t want to draw to the sucker end of the straight because you’ll make that straight then risk losing your entire stack to someone with a better straight. In addition, a beginning poker player should never draw to a straight if the board has three suited cards or is paired. In this case someone might already have a flush or a full house.
Never draw to a flush if the board is paired. You may make your flush only to find out someone already had a full house.
Only pay to draw when you know that you’ll have the best hand if you make the draw. That will give you the confidence to put all your money in the pot when you make a huge hand.
Only draw if you have odds to draw
The second condition that must be met to draw is that you must have odds to draw. The following situations will give you some examples of how much you should pay to draw.
Flush and Straight Draws
Holding a straight or flush draw in late position gives you the advantage of knowing how much it will cost you to draw. A good general rule for drawing to a straight or flush that takes both pot and implied odds into account is to only call an amount that is one third of the money in the pot. For example, if your opponent bets $2 on the flop there must be at least $6 in the pot for you to call. If he then bets $4 on the turn there must be $12 in the pot to draw. By using this general rule you will make enough money on your straights and flushes that the play will be profitable in the long run.
Be careful with flush draws when you won’t have the nuts if you make your draw. You will lose a lot of money drawing and making King or Queen high flushes. This is because the people who play this strategy correctly will be taking the money from you . They’ll make an Ace high flush and then get you to put all your money in the pot with your King or Queen high flush. You can call a semi-large bet of about 10% of your stack on the river with a King high flush, but never commit all of your money with a flush that is less than the nuts.
Poor Straight Draw Example
You should never draw to a straight unless you will have the nuts when you make it. Most of the people at the table will be in the pot with face cards. So if you make your KT straight when the board is QJT39 the person playing AK has made the nuts against your medium straight.
Drawing to a full house
There are two situations that you’ll see a lot that cause you to draw to a full house. The first situation is when you have a set and the board has three flush cards or three straight cards. When this happens on a loose table there is a very high chance that someone has made a straight or a flush. This puts you in the position of drawing. Although your odds of making either a full house or four of a kind on the turn are somewhat long at 5.7 to 1 you have a very good chance that you’ll take all of your opponents money if you make your draw. Many players will commit their entire stack with a straight or flush even if the board is paired. This gives you implied odds to call a decent size bet. As a general rule you should only call 4% to 6% of your stack on each street. Fortunately, if your opponent turned a straight or flush on the flop he’ll likely try to slow play you and give you the odds you need to draw.
Drawing with an Over Pair
The second situation in which you’ll be drawing to a full house is when you have an over pair with a paired board. To make this draw your pair must be above the pair on the board. On the flop in this example, there is a very good chance someone already has a Ten giving them trips. Trips is another hand where many of your opponents will slow play and then be willing to commit their entire stack on the river. The odds of hitting your over pair is extremely long at 22.5 to 1. As a result when making this draw you should only call tiny bets of 1% to 2% of your stack. Never call more or it will be a losing play in the long run. Once again, this is a hand that your opponents will often slow play and give you the odds you need.