Poker Homeland

February 19, 2020, 2:14 am

Drawing Cards in Misère Pots

In Poker, more often than not, a hand will necessitate the drawing of one card.

A player who only played on pat hands in Misère pots would lose a great deal of money. You can expect to be dealt a pat eight or better in about one deal out of fifty.

So you would contribute about one hundred chips to fifty pots, plus whatever you staked when you did get your pat hand, in the hope of winning, at best, from 20 to 30.

But if you draw one card to a good eight or better, you will be playing in about one pot out of four, and can expect to win, roughly speaking, a third of them.

Normally, these transactions should show a small but not inconsiderable profit.

It is impossible to offer a more precise statement than the above, because of the following:

First, the relevant mathematics are extremely complicated, and in any case, they are vitiated by imponderables which outweigh their importance; and finally, much more depends on the psychology and style of play of those who are participating than on mathematical considerations.

Many Poker players have spent a great deal of time investigating the mathematics of Misère Pots, but only because they are (to a mathematician) fascinating in themselves.

A knowledge of relevant odds is, of course, helpful. But in itself it does not get one very far.

With regard to drawing two cards, these are not likely to win. Nevertheless, almost all players indulge in them far more frequently than is sensible.

Ninety percent of your play should be with pat hands or with hands where you need only a one-card draw. The two-card draw is a luxury that you should indulge in from time to time, but only on the following conditions:

Your three cards are 7 4 A or better, so that if you do make a perfect draw, your hand will almost surely win the pot; the pot has been opened and at least two other players have stayed; and lastly, you have reason to believe that there will be no raise before the draw.

The probabilities of a two-card draw are as follows: drawing to 7 4 A, your chance of making a 10-high or better is two in nine, of making a nine-high or better is one in seven, and of making an eight-high is one in eleven.

These chances, assumptions but proven useful otherwise by expert Poker players, justify drawing two cards to 7 4 A.

In drawing three cards, these draws in a Misère Pot are frequently encountered in most clubs. The fructify so seldom as to make them from any standpoint, indefensible.

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