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Caribbean Draw Expert Strategy

20 June 2000

When we left analyst Howard Stern's strategy for Caribbean Draw Poker last week, we stopped with this item:

Non-winning hands with no pairs: Hold any of the following, listed in order of preference: four-card royal flush, four-card straight flush, four-card straight, four-card open-ended straight, three-card royal, three-card straight flush - including inside and double-inside draws - three-card flush or four-card inside straight. Otherwise, hold your three highest cards.

Most players will never try to go beyond that point, but would-be experts will find many exceptions in hands that include high cards.

With Ace-King-Queen-Jack-9, Ace-King-Queen-10-9, Ace-King-Jack-10-9, Ace-King-Queen-10-8 or Ace - King-Jack-10-8, the only playable three-card flushes with no straight flush possibilities are Ace-King-9 or Ace-King-8. Otherwise, just hold your three highest cards.

On all other hands that include Ace-King-Queen, three-card flushes are not playable.

With Ace-King-Jack-10 and a low card, Ace-King and the low card is the only playable three-card flush. We do not play a Jack-10-7 three-card straight flush.

With Ace-King-Jack, either a 9 or 8 and a low card, we hold three-card flushes only if they are Ace high, or if they include both the King and Jack.

With Ace-King-Jack and two low cards, three-card flushes are not playable.

With Ace-King-10-9 and a low card, three-card flushes are not playable if 10 high.

With Ace-King hands that rank lower than Ace-King-10-9, we do not hold three-card flushes.

With Ace-Queen-Jack-10-8, Ace-Queen-8 is the only playable three-card flush.

With Ace-Queen-Jack-10 and a low card, do not play three-card flushes, and do not play a Jack-10-7 double inside straight flush.

With Ace-Queen-Jack or Ace-Queen-10 plus two lower cards, do not play three-card flushes.

With Ace-Queen and three cards 7 or lower, a four-card inside straight such as Ace-2-4-5 is a better play than a three-card flush.

With Ace-Jack-10-9 and a low card, the Jack-9-7 double-inside straight flush is not playable, nor is a three-card flush consisting of 10, 9 and the low card. Ace-10-low, Ace-9-low, Jack-10-low and Jack-9-low three-card flushes are weaker than four-card inside straights.

With Ace-Jack-10 and a low card, a three-card flush with Ace-8 and the low card is not playable. Do not play Jack-10-low and Jack-8 low three-card flushes.

With Ace-Jack-10 and two low cards, three-card flushes are playable only if Ace high.

With Ace-Jack-9-8 or Ace-10-9-8 and a low card, four-card inside straights are stronger plays than Ace-8-low, Jack-9-low, Jack-8-low, 10-8-low or 9-8 low.

With Ace-10 and three low cards, Ace-low double-inside straights such as Ace-2-4 of mixed suits are better plays than just holding your three highest cards.

With Ace and four low cards, a three-card flush with a 7 and 2 along with a 3, 4, 5 or 6 is weaker than a four-card inside straight. Ace-low three-card straights are playable if there are no stronger possibilities.

With King-Queen-Jack-9-8, King-Queen-8 is the only playable three-card flush.

With King-Queen-Jack-9 and a low card, King-Queen-low is the only playable three-card flush. Do not hold a Jack-9-8 double-inside straight flush.

On other King-Queen-Jack hands, do not play three-card flushes.

With King-Queen-10-9 and either and 8 or a low card, the only playable three-card flushes are King-Queen with the 8 or low card. Do not play Queen-10-8, Queen-9-9 or 10-9-6 double-inside straight flushes.

With King-Queen-10-8 and a low card, do not play Queen-8-low or 10-8-low flushes.

With King-Queen-10 and two low cards, do not play double-inside straight flushes. Do not play three-card flushes that include both low cards.

With King-Queen hands that rank lower than those above, do not play three-card flushes.

With King-Jack hands, do not play Jack-9-7 or 10-9-6 double-inside straight flushes. King-Jack and a low card is the only playable three-card flush.

One more week, and you'll have everything you need to know about Caribbean Draw.

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski