The following are guidelines only and although they are intended to help you win more often we cannot offer any guarantee. These guidelines are mainly for pot-limit draw poker (when the maximum raise is the amount of money in the pot):-
- You generally need two pairs, which need to be stronger the earlier the pot is opened to raise.
- You need at least two Aces to open the bidding unless there are only one or two other players to bet after you. If there is only one player to bet after you, we suggest at least two kings and if you are the last to bet you can get away with two queens.
- If you intend to re-raise you really need triplets, probably about three sixes against the average player.
- If the pot is opened in the last two positions you can call with two Kings. If the pot is opened in any other position we recommend you have at least a pair of Aces.
- Do not call on a straight of different suits. Such as 9 of Clubs, 8 of Spades, 7 of Hearts, 6 of Clubs and 5 of Diamonds or any similar straight.
- Most often players are not bluffing, if you have no reason to suspect from the way that they are playing that they have a bad hand you’d do well to believe that they do have a good hand. However from time to time you should call their bluff or they will bluff more and more.
- You should also ensure you bluff occasionally or other players will never call you when you have winning hands.
- Even when you have had a run of bad luck we strongly suggest that you do not play on a low pair, this is a common mistake with players who are losing and getting desperate don’t fall into this trap.