If you have a hand after the flop which has the potential to be a winning hand it is called a drawing hand. Decisions about how to play this type of hand will depend on the strength of your drawing hand. Generally a very strong drawing hand is one where you have a lot of outs, for example you may only need one card out of a possible 15 to hit a straight or a flush (e.g. holding 8h-9h when the flop comes 10h-Jd-Ah). A weaker drawing hand is one where you don’t have as many outs and it is therefore less likely that you will hit one of the cards that you want.
The stronger your draw is, the more aggressively you should play the hand, especially if you were the initial aggressor. The key to this play is that you continue to show the strength of your hand to your opponent even though you do not have a made hand yet. Even if your opponent calls, you are still growing the pot and have a good chance that you are going to catch the cards you need to make your straight or flush. However, if your opponent was raising a lot of money pre-flop, it may be more advisable to play more cautiously even when you have a strong drawing hand.
Another question which you need to ask yourself is how many other people are still left in the hand?
If there are a lot of people in the hand it is going to be harder to semi-bluff to win the pot. In this case you should think about calling, even if you have quite a strong drawing hand. When you do not have a strong drawing hand you should be more cautious about going up against your opponents, especially if there are still a lot of people left in the hand.
If you look at these plays from your opponent’s perspective it might be easy for them to tell if you are on a draw, especially if you think about someone’s bet for a while and then call. Sometimes raising with a weak drawing hand can be enough to win the hand, and if they do stay in there is always a small chance that you will hit your card to pick up a pot which is often quite large. The more you play these types of hands the more you will be able to tell when you should semi-bluff and when you should call for those big drawing hands.
To learn more about playing drawing hands, straight from the professionals, you can visit the PokerStars School.
The things to consider are:-