Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball
Author Mason Malmuth
Find out how to qualify for this book in the Two Plus Two poker bonus program
Synopsis of Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball
Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball by Mason Malmuth is the ultimate book for anyone trying to master these games. This book is for both the typical player and the professional player. It is partitioned into sections that are designed to help all players grow and improve their games. Also, it teaches the reader how to think like a top player, which is absolutely essential to winning play.
Topics discussed include poker reasons, basic mistakes, basic strategy, technical plays, advanced strategy, jackpot games, killing the pot, psychology, game theory, high-draw mathematics, and advanced plays. Advice also is provided on bluffing errors, lowball value betting, profitable losing bets, playing patterns, going all in, acting the opposite, "running bad," raising with weak hands, getting maximum value, playing short-handed, and image plays. (378 pages;)
Excerpt from Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball: Lowball -- Value Betting Against Two Card Draws: Part I
Value betting is defined as betting a weak to medium strength hand when it is believed that this bet, if repeated over and over again, would show a profit. Lowball presents many opportunities for this concept. This essay will examine the situation where you are first to act against one opponent who has drawn two cards. Part II will examine the situation where you are second to act against one opponent who has drawn two cards and who has checked to you.
The first question is what hands will your opponent make when he draws two? This is answered by Table I below.
|Finishing Hand||Starting Hand|
|Pair of Aces||.1037||.1117|
|Pair of Deuces||.1037||.1117|
|Pair of Treys||.1037||.0053|
Before we go on, I want to point out that this table is accurate no matter what the two card draw may be. For example, if you were to draw to 7,6,5,Q,K (throwing away the queen and king) the chances of making a 7 is the sum of the 5, 6, and 7 entries in the table or 0.0922.
All other probabilities are the same.
So, what is the minimum hand that we can bet for value? First, lets assume that our opponent will not raise bluff after we bet. That is, if he raises, we throw our hand away. Second, let's assume that our opponent does not have a tell that indicates whether we should check or bet. In other words, our decision is based on mathematics only.
Since we want our bet to be profitable, lets agree to only bet if we feel that our win rate (on this bet), when called, is at least 50 percent. This means we bet with the top 50 percent of our opponents calling hands.
Table II below is a repeat of Table I. Except that this time the totals are cumulative. That is, the totals are for the finishing hand or better. Also given are the 50 percent points which will correspond to our minimum bet hand.
|Pair of Aces||.7057||.3529||.8218||.4109|
|Pair of Deuces||.8094||.4047||.9335||.4668|
|Pair of Treys||.9131||.4566||.9388||.4694|
Now, for example, suppose you knew your opponent did not have the joker and you believe that his minimum calling hand is a queen. What hand can you bet?
Looking at the 50 percent point in the table above we see .2532 which is approximately equivalent to him making a 10-5. (These calculations are not presented.) Hence we can bet any 10-5 or better for value.
Table III below gives minimum value betting hands for your opponent's corresponding minimum calling hand. Also note that since your opponent did make a "loose" play by drawing two cards -- this does not mean that his play was incorrect -- he will often drop his calling requirements to counter your bluffs.
|Minimum Hand to Value Bet|
|Caller With Joker|
|Pair of Aces||J-5||10-9|
|Pair of Deuces||J-9||J-7|
|Pair of Treys||Q-5||J-7|
Two final notes. Just because your opponent has a high calling requirement does not mean you can't bet. You just cannot value bet very often, but many bluffs will be successful. Also, if you think your opponent may raise as a bluff more often than he will raise legitimately, value bet more hands if you intend on calling the raise. Similarly, if you think your opponent may raise as a bluff less often than he will raise legitimately, value bet less hands if you intend on calling.