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2-7 Triple Draw: Playing The Turn In Position Part 2

by Kevin Haney |  Published: Jun 01, 2022

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Having position is important in any form of poker and allows the opportunity to get maximum value on our premium hands. In Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball (27TD) and other draw games, there are also plays that we can with employ with the positional advantage that may increase the likelihood of winning with our more mediocre holdings.

For example, as discussed in part 1, we can bet or raise with the second best made hand or on the draw in order to get your opponent to break a holding that either would have won or would have been the favorite. We can also just call our opponents turn bet with select holdings and fool your opponent into thinking he should pat a worse hand; a concept known as “freezing” that we will discuss below.

Draws Were 1/1 On Second Draw – In Position Facing A Bet With A Pat Hand

When an experienced out of position opponent leads the turn, he usually has a made hand that he will choose to pat and only possibly break in the event he gets raised. Most players will lead with any nine or better low, some select tens, and occasionally hold back some very strong holdings intending to check-raise. Against this range we should, at a minimum, value raise any ‘8-6’ or better low as we can expect to have the best holding around 70% of the time, even against relatively strong ranges that usually contain a deuce.

Hands such as 8-7-4-3-2, 8-7-5-3-2, and 8-7-5-4-2 are on the border between raising or just calling and “freezing”. Freezing is an in-position turn play where there is a decent chance that we hold the best pat hand; however, we just call for the dual purpose of saving money when our hand is instead second best and also to give the impression to our opponent that we are most likely still drawing.

Just calling the turn bet will sometimes ensure us the pot when raising could have put it at risk. For example, if we just call a turn bet with 8-7-5-4-2 our opponent will pat a hand such as 9-7-4-3-2. Had we instead raised and induced a break, the extra bet gained on the turn isn’t worth potentially losing the entire pot.

If we decide to raise 8-7-4-3-2, 8-7-5-3-2, and 8-7-5-4-2, we should have some type of read that our opponent is generally sticky and not want to break any holding, even hands such as 9-7-4-3-2. And it’s also important that we can trust a three-bet to be legit, in which case we can safely break and potentially unlock our equity by drawing to a premium hand.

The quintessential freeze hands are those ranked #13 (8-7-5-4-3) through #23 (9-6-5-4-3) where calling and patting is typically the best play against most opponents and their ranges. Raising is off the table because we are often an underdog to hold the best hand, but we must call and pat due to the size of the pot.

9-7-4-3-2 and other nines with a strong underlying draw to a seven present a decision where calling and breaking is often the correct play, even if by doing so we reduce the probability of winning the pot.

For example, suppose we have perfect clarity that our 9-7-4-3-2 is 30% to be the best hand, but we will have 22% equity by drawing. If there was a re-raise on the pre-draw round there would be 6.25 big bets in the pot after the turn lead and call; creating a situation where the difference between patting and breaking is a loss of .50 big bets (8% * 6.25).

We can, however, make up this shortfall on the last betting round. If our opponent checks he will usually always call a river bet and if his holding is strong enough to bet the river we can possibly get in a raise with a premium hand. Breaking also eliminates a potentially tough river decision because some players are capable of betting holdings that can’t beat a freezing range.

For example, someone could have lead the turn with a holding such as 10-8-7-6-2 and then bet the river trying to get a nine low to lay down. Essentially, they are saying, “You froze me with a rough eight or good nine, but I don’t care because I can beat that.”

Hero D2; Villain D1 On Second Draw – When To Draw 1

Being a card ahead heading into the second draw, villain’s turn bet is automatic and thus does not necessarily indicate a pat hand, making any draw to an eight or better low a mandatory continue.

We also need to continue on with draws to a nine; for example suppose hero improved to 2-3-8-9 and heading into the second draw villain had 2-3-4-7. Since we were drawing two, our opponent should probably pat any ten low or better and under these assumptions we have approximately 28% equity calculated as follows

The pot is almost always big enough to justify this call. Although one thing to keep in mind is that even when our opponent’s hand was not completed on the second draw, we will lose some expectation in the river betting. Even though our opponent is out of position, he has the advantage on the final round of betting with the superior draw.

Drawing to a ten low is a marginal and probable breakeven play as our estimated equity will be lower and our expected loss on the river will be slightly greater. However, if the pot is very big and our opponent has some deficiencies in his river play, we can make the call.

Hero D2; Villain D1 on Second Draw – When To Draw 2

We should only call and draw two with one draw to go in very large pots to premium hands where we have paired several cards along the way. When having seen many blockers our equity can be as high as 23-25% and we may actually win money on the river if our opponent is not adept playing against a two card draw.

When our opponent was still drawing, he might not bet hands as good as tens and jacks made on the final draw and may also over bluff partly out of frustration that the pot was not won on the turn and a possible erroneous view that his bet should get more credit than it deserves.

If he’s bluffing most of his pairs we will definitely win money on the last betting round. There’s also future steam equity to be had when say he bets a pair of threes and we look him up with a pair of deuces.

As we have seen in our discussions on turn play, position allows us much opportunity in manipulating our opponent to do what we want. Therefore, in 27TD, we can play a little looser when we are on the button, even possibly taking slightly the worst of it on the first betting round because it can be recouped on the later streets. ♠

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 haneyk612@gmail.com.