Position in Online Five Card Draw
Position in five card draw online is very similar to other games like Texas Hold’em or Omaha. There is a button and then two blinds and play continues to the left. In contrast, five card draw in real poker rooms is usually played with antes and the order of play in the second round is determined by who opened the first round. Online games however do not follow these rules; play simply starts with the first active player to the left of the button and continues in a clockwise motion.
What do I need to consider about position?
The most important thing to remember is that you will need increasingly strong hands to play in early position. Usually a pair of aces or better would be the requirement to open or raise from early position. Do not be coaxed into playing a weak two pair or a weak pair from early position.
You will also need to understand that when playing in early position you are more susceptible to an opponents bluff. Because you know how many cards they drew and they know how many you drew, they are in a much better position to make some type of advanced play against you such as a bluff. Once again, this is why it is so important to play only your strongest hands from early position.
Late position is where you have more discretion in what hands you play. Although you still need to consider every opponent in the hand, you can generally be successful with less powerful hands in later positions. There is one important consideration however when playing in late position:
Position in five card draw is extremely important online, but let the situation dictate what you play. Just because you are in late position and you are dealt a hand that under most circumstances you would play does not mean that you have to play it every given time. One example: let’s say you have QQ752 on late position. The player under the gun (first position) make an open bet. A middle position player raises 3 times the big blind. In a normal scenario, you would want to play with QQ on late position, but in this situation you are probably already behind. Don’t play a hand just because you are in late position, play a hand because you have an opportunity to make money.
Using position to your advantage
By properly leveraging your position during a hand you will be able to begin to use some advanced five card draw strategy moves. Bluffing and sandbagging (slow playing) are two common advanced strategies for five card draw. Although they will not be covered in depth here, it is good to plant the seeds for these techniques so you can begin to identify prime situations in which to use them. Bluffing is when you use deception to trick an opponent. In late position you have the most information and can use this to make a calculated bluff. Sandbagging is when you check with the intention of raising if someone else bets. There are many situations that this can be helpful and position is usually a big factor in your decision to check-raise. Here are a few five card draw tips on these topics:
- Try sandbagging with a pat (made) hand against loose and aggressive players when you are in early position.
- Bluff a weak player who is on a losing streak when you are in late position
- It never hurts to draw no cards and attempt to take the pot. Don’t do this too often, but certainly try it out! You should only do this once in each game session as a bluff. If you do it a second time, you will probably be called. If you have a very good hand on that second time, it could be a way to suck more money from your opponents. Avoid this in limit games, because you will probably be called.
- Consistent solid play is your main goal, but use these advanced strategy in five card draw to vary your play and confuse your opponents.