In our first article of this series that will deal with post-draw play, we’re going to look at how the outs work for different types of draws. This isn’t an exceptionally difficult topic overall, but certain parts of it are anti-intuitive, so it will take a little bit of study for you to start to get an accurate feel for how these distributions work.
Drawing vs. Standing Pat
When your opponents see that you draw one compared to standing pat during the discard round, it drastically changes the distribution of your range, and that’s why it’s really important for you to understand that the information that you get from the discard round is exceptionally important because it changes the entire course of post-draw play. We’re going to be looking specifically at what happens when you draw a single card in this game for the moment.
Draws to Different Hands
Consider a draw with a the hand A7432 where we are discarding the ace. Note there are generally considered to be 47 cards left in the deck (an assumption we’ll challenge later). Here’s a quick breakdown of how your outs can come in order from strongest to weakest. We’ll look at this chart and then look at a series of questions that you might want to ask about how these frequencies work.
|Card||Outs||% of This Card||% of This Card or Better|
Generally speaking, there are three shortcuts that you can use with draws like this if you don’t have outs that will give you a straight or a flush. You’ll be about 3:1 against hitting an 8 or better, about 2:1 against hitting a 9 or better and about 1:1 at hitting a J or better.
What If Your Draw is Weaker?
Similar distributions work out if your draw is weaker than to a 7432, but they’re just bunched together at the bottom level. For the above example, you have eight outs to a 7, four outs to an 8, four outs to a 9, four outs to a T and four outs to a J. Consider what would happen if you had 8432 instead. All of those outs to a seven become outs to an eight, so you’d have 12 outs to an eight, four outs to a 9, four outs to a T, and so on. Along these lines, it’s not too hard to figure out the chances of getting good hands.
What is the Mid-Point of a Good Draw?
If you go all-in with a single card draw that’s four cards to a T or better without straight or draw possibilities, then you’re going to average getting something in the neighborhood of one of the weaker J-9 or stronger J-T hands. It depends a little on which cards are in your hand, but that’s a close enough approximation that it won’t change a whole lot at the tables.
What Are The Worst Hands in Your Range?
Players who are looking to figure out which hands to bluff with after taking a draw will want to know what their worst hands are going to be like after the draw. If you don’t take a big picture view of it, then you might think that with a hand like 7432 that the worst hand that you can have is 77432 and the second-worst hand you can have is 74432.
What this misses is that you aren’t thinking about your entire range. If you have draws in your range that include something like 9842, for example, then there are going to be plenty of pairs of nines and eights in your post-draw range. You have to be bluffing with these hands before you bluff with the lower pairs if you want your ranges to be well-formed. Moreover, if you also have draws in your hand that can have straights and flushes, then you should be bluffing when you make those straights and flushes before you bluff your pairs.
The Total Distributions of Post-Draw Ranges
Even though we just looked at the outs for a single draw in the above chart, you have to remember that considering a post-draw range after drawing is going to require the cumulative totals of all of the potential drawing hands and their weighted averages.
What this means is that strong hands like a made 7 or made 8 and even the better made 9s are going to be less likely than you think compared to the made Ts and made Js. A comprehensive breakdown of these frequencies is outside of the scope of this series, but we have given you all of the information that you would need to construct such a calculation in a spreadsheet program.
Something else that’s really important to think about is that the distribution of these outs is going to change based on the cards that your opponents are likely to be holding if they are in the hand before you. This is a much bigger factor in the game than in something like hold’em, so you should think about it more than you normally would.
Moving Forward With Other Post-Draw Situations
Next week, we’re going to look at how pat hands play after the draw. This is a pretty interesting topic because we get into subjects like which hands to stand pat with to bluff. As you’ll see, the answer is going to have just as much to do with card removal as it does with anything else.
No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 1): The Basics
No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 2): Pat Hand Combinations
No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 3): Draw Combos
No Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 4): Pre-Draw Overview
No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 5): Post-Draw With Draws
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