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Draw Poker

Jackpots—draw poker in which a pair of jacks or better are required to open. This game is usually played "pass and back in," that is, you can pass or check free before someone bets, and then come back into the pot. Jackpots is the standard form of draw poker played in homes and family groups, and it is proper that it should be. It is easier in such a game for a casual or inexperienced player to figure how good his hand is, because he is given a standard, the pair of jacks, as a starting point.

Draw poker, open on anything, pass and out—that is, in every turn you must either bet (at least the minimum, the lowest bet permitted, or a call) or you must drop. This is the game most often preferred in places where games are conducted professionally. By a professional game I mean one that is conducted for the profit of the proprietor, who either cuts the pot or charges for seats by the hour. The pace is faster because there is more betting when the artificial standard of a pair of jacks is removed, and it is easier to keep track of who is in and who is out when a player cannot check and then come back in. Most of the legal games in California (where draw poker, but not stud, is permitted by state law) are run on this system.

Blind opening, in which the player at dealer's left must open the pot and (usually) the player at his left must raise. This game is necessarily played "pass and out" before the draw but is usually played "pass and back in" after the draw. This is the form of the game favored in men's private clubs throughout the United States from coast to coast, and it is almost the only form of poker played in countries other than the United States. In fact, by many American servicemen returning from World War II overseas, it was called "English poker," "Australian poker," and so on. It is the appropriate game for clubmen, who by definition are well-to-do and like a lot of action. When you start off the pot with anywhere from two to ten times the amount it costs a person to play, the odds offered by the pot are so attractive that usually several players stay in. There is a fallacy connected with this, which I will reveal later, but the fact remains that it gives big bettors a scope for their desire to bet.

Copyright 2006 - 2013 Content by Albert H. Morehead