Boosting Your Payout Rate in Caribbean Draw PokerBy: Ryan Alders, Friday April 10th 2015
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Most players know that the progressive jackpot bet is a sucker bet in Caribbean Draw Poker unless the jackpot gets exceptionally high, which is also exceptionally rare. With that having been said, all of your play decisions from the normal ante bet forward can be optimized to improve your overall payout rate. What we want to do is cover some ideas that will help you to do this based on avoiding common mistakes and playing a solid overall game. Follow our advice here to boost your overall payout rate in this game.
The first decision is deciding if you should play the hand or not, and you have to evaluate this based on the strength of your hand. If you have a pair of any type with no flush draw or straight draw, then you should keep the pair and the largest kicker that you have. With a hand like 5579J, for example, you'll want to discard the seven and nine. Note that you can only discard up to two cards in this game, and this is the obvious way to handle that situation by keeping the highest available kicker.
With draws, you have to evaluate things based on high cards to some degree because you want to maximize your chances of catching a card that will allow you to win even if the dealer qualifies. Four to a flush or four to an open-ended straight draw will always be solid hands. However, four to a gutshot straight draw can only be a good hand if they're fairly high cards. The reasoning here is that you want catching a pair to really mean something with your draw. This is something that a lot of players make mistakes with.
On another point, three-card draws aren't really a thing in this game unless you have something exceptionally strong. Three cards to a royal flush or three cards to a straight flush with a single gap are good hands as long as all of the cards are eight or higher. Anything lower than that isn't really worth playing because you need the high card potential to make it worthwhile since hitting the straights and flushes are fairly long-shot in nature. Overall, following these general strategies and avoiding making simple mistakes will go a long way towards maximizing your payout rate in this game.
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