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THE “STUFF” OF WINNING POKER

THIRD STREET STRATEGY

FOURTH STREET STRATEGY

FIFTH STREET STRATEGY

SIXTH STREET STRATEGY

SEVENTH STREET STRATEGY

RULE FOR WINNING POKER

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THE FINAL WORD

 

 

FIFTH STREET
THE DRAWING HANDS

If you haven’t completed your straight-flush here at fifth street, the information from the fourth street lesson still applies:  Three hands are still possible the straight flush, a flush, or a straight. Just how possible depends on how many of your needed cards you’ve seen around the board.  You have been carefully watching the board, right?  Of course!

If your four-straight or four-flush is still a four-straight or four-flush, you can continue play if your needed cards are still live.  But if you have four spades and you’ve seen five other spades on the board, the odds are long.

Give it up.  If you’ve seen a maximum of three other spades while drawing to a quality flush, or two others if you are drawing to a non-quality flush, play on.

If you’re drawing to an open-end straight, you still should take into consideration “the rule of two points.” But there’s more to consider than just how many of your cards are still live and available.After you’ve satisfied that requirement, you’ll want to determine whether your straight or flush will win if you make it.

Stay out of the trap of drawing to the second-best (or even third-best)drawing hand. That’s a big money loser for a lot of players.

For example, if your four-flush is jack-high and other players are drawing to (or have made) queen or king-high flushes here at fifth street, you should give up your flush draw but most players don’t.

They continue blindly, not even realizing they are in danger of making the hand and then losing. Or if they realize that their flush draw is smaller, they are hoping and gambling. Save your money for a potentially more profitable spot.

The same goes for your straight draws.  If you determine that other are drawing to flushes, or even bigger straights, you should withdraw and wait for an easier battle.

Remember, we talked earlier about playing with the best hand or with the best draw.  In the situations above, you have neither.  What you have is the danger of making your hand and losing and get it clear in your mind that it’s never a good idea to be trying for the second-best drawing hand-and be alert enough to realize when you are doing it. In order for you to win, you must make your hand while your opponent misses his. Your only other win is if you both miss, but you have the highest cards, or if you stumble into a pair on the end.

Often times, instead of filling your flush at fifth street, you will pair a big card and have an overpair such as kings.

You might now have the best hand and the best draw. You can play this hand aggressively.

If it’s checked to you, bet. If it’s already bet, raise. If you narrow the field to one opponent, that’s okay.  Your most likely winning hand is the pair of king.

It’s also okay if you have two or three callers to give you good pot odds for your flush draw. This fifth street raise often will allow you to get through seventh street at no additional cost.

Usually, you will checked to on sixth poker street.  If you improve to two pair, trips, or make your drawing hand there, bet.  If not, you can try for the semi-bluff bet and hope to win right there, or you can check along and take a free seventh street card.

Also, that fifth-street raise will usually assure you of having only one opponent at sixth street, making for a greater likelihood of your pair standing up.

If you don’t have that big pair to go with your flush draw on fifth street, you won’t want to be quite as aggressive with the hand, unless you are fairly certain that a semi-bluff bet will win for you right here.

Otherwise, call any bets that are made, or check along and take the free card.

If you have made a straight or flush on fifth street, I suggest pushing the hand hard at these limits.

Bet or raise as much as you can to protect the hand.  This is your hand to the end.  It can become a little higher straight or flush, but that’s it.  A player with two small pair can make a full house in the next two cards.

A player with just one pair can trip up, or make two pair at sixth street, and then fill up on seventh street.  Discourage them from trying.  Make it as expensive as you can for them to draw to those hands.

Keep in mind that after receiving the fifth card, the betting will tend to become heavier in spread-limit games, or will double in fixed-limit games.

It is at this point that players have either made their hands or have a holding to which they can draw and make a completed hand.

Given this information, you would do well to keep this “rule of play” in mind: Don’t  stay past fifth street unless you are planning to stay to the end.

Your hand should be strong enough here that folding on sixth street becomes a rarity.

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