Win A $1,000 Tournament Ticket To The Event Of Your Choice!

Deuce To Seven Triple Draw Lowball: Leading The Turn Part 2

by Kevin Haney |  Published: Sep 22, 2021


Last issue, we discussed an out-of-position turn leading range when both players drew one on the second draw. In this situation we should tend to bet all of our nine-or-better lows, but be more selective when it comes to our pat tens. An important concept to remember is that since we don’t know if our opponent outdrew us on the second draw, we must consider the likelihood a ten low survives the final two draws.

A made ten is generally an underdog to end up as the best hand, and leading with all of them will also lead to often getting raised by better made hands, as well as some drawing hands making a play attempting to get us to break. We may also get “frozen,” which is quite a bad result when we have a premium draw underneath.

Also as previously discussed, there is no good reason to lead out with our premium draws. While we may hold an equity advantage when our opponent is still drawing, this possible slim edge does not offset the times our opponent makes a strong low and we get raised.

The situation is quite different when we are a card ahead heading into the second draw.
When our opponent is drawing two on the second draw, we have an automatic turn bet with the entirety of our range because if the villain fails to improve, we will often win the pot right there.

When we have a ten, we should always pat whenever our bet is just called. While there is still a chance our smooth tens can get frozen, it’s much less likely when our opponent was drawing two and just calls the turn.

Most players understand the dynamics regarding our automatic turn bet and will often respond by raising most of their pat hands, including tens and jacks. They’ll typically be an equity underdog with tens and jacks, however, we could break some better hands and having position affords them the opportunity to just check behind on the river.

Had the villain only been drawing one on the second draw, our opponent will generally only raise for value his strong eight or better lows (generally an 8-6 or better) and may choose to just call (freeze) rougher eights and some of the better nines.

Getting Raised On The Turn

As we know by now, when our opponent is only drawing one and we get popped on the turn, it’s generally bad news. Suppose we had led out with a strong 8-5-4-3-2 low and get raised. Is our holding good enough to three-bet for value?

If our opponent’s value raising range is an 8-6 or better low, we lose to four hands (7-5-4-3-2, 7-6-4-3-2, 7-6-5-3-2, and 7-6-5-4-2) and beat four hands (8-6-4-3-2, 8-6-5-3-2, 8-6-5-4-2, and 8-6-5-4-3) for a 50% chance of having the best hand. In addition, regardless of the opponent we face, there is usually at least some probability that he is either raising slightly worse hands for value or making a move trying to get us to break.

The possibilities of him having other hands we beat may seem as if we should three-bet the turn, however, this somewhat simplistic analysis is not taking everything into account. First of all, when we hold an eight it’s less likely he holds the hands we beat, and more likely he has a seven, in which case we will be punished further.

In addition, it’s possible that the play earlier in the hand indicates that our opponent almost certainly has a deuce, thus eliminating the possibility that villain holds 8-6-5-4-3. For example, if a tight player had originally opened from first position and initially drew two, he almost always has a deuce. He also probably has a deuce if he called an early position raise before the first draw and drew two.

Assuming our opponent holds a deuce, and reflecting for card removal, the probability we hold the best hand against a typical 8-6+ value raising range is approximately 39%, calculated as follows:

As you can see, when we specifically hold 8-5-4-3-2, our opponent is mathematically more likely to hold one of the 7-6 lows than anything else. Even against a very aggressive opponent who may be raising with a wide variety of hands, this is not a profitable three-bet. Even in a very optimistic scenario where we may have 55-60% equity against our opponent’s range, a re-raise will be a small money loser because it allows him to four-bet his seven lows. It may seem somewhat tight, but when our opponent was drawing one on the second draw, we can really only three-bet our seven lows for value.

When getting raised with any eight, we are almost always just going to have to call, pat, and see the showdown. Even though with a hand like 8-7-5-4-2 we are rarely beating any value hands, we would break off way too much equity if our opponent is making a move at the pot. That said, in the live arena there are definitely some tight straightforward players where you can consider breaking a hand such 8-7-5-4-2 and drawing to a seven.

When getting raised with a holding such as 9-7-4-3-2 against a villain drawing one, you should tend to break against the majority of your opponents unless they have been getting completely out of line. Your hand unblocks many eights your opponent may be raising for value, and you have some implied odds on the river with your premium draw.

In addition, if you make a “bad break” with a nine low against a drawing hand, you break off less equity than you would have with an eight low. “Bad break” is in parentheses because while in the long run breaking may be the correct play, sometimes our opponent will be making a move and we may end up regretting not patting. Don’t get down on yourself and be results oriented in your play.

With a hand like 9-8-5-3-2 it doesn’t make sense to break as our underlying draw is drawing dead or slim against his value raising range. If you think about it, it would require quite a parlay for our opponent to be raising with an “8-6” low, we choose to break, and end up out drawing him. Versus an aggressive opponent, we are more or less committed to at least calling the turn to see if he’s making a move. Against an honest fellow who has to put down his newspaper and coffee to cut out raising chips, we can just fold.

As in all poker games, we should constantly monitor our image. If it seems like we are breaking or outright folding on the turn too often it may induce players to take more shots at us. It certainly isn’t to your advantage to make a production out of a particular break or fold as it brings attention to yourself. If you feel it’s the right thing to do, just do it and move on to the next hand.

When we get raised after our opponent was drawing two, we should be three-betting most of our eight lows since both his value and bluff raising range will be much wider. With our rougher eights this value may be very thin or in some cases slightly negative, however, being out-of-position forces us to push the action in order to punish an opponent playing too aggressively in this spot.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about on the turn, but no one said this was going to be easy! Always be cognizant of how many cards your opponent drew and assess his aggression level along with your perception on what your opponent probably thinks of you in order to make your best possible decision, given all of the available information that you have. ♠

Kevin Haney is a former actuary of MetLife but left the corporate job to focus on his passions for poker and fitness. He is co-owner of Elite Fitness Club in Oceanport, NJ and is a certified personal trainer. With regards to poker he got his start way back in 2003 and particularly enjoys taking new players interested in mixed games under his wing and quickly making them proficient in all variants. If interested in learning more, playing mixed games online, or just saying hello he can be reached at