“I dare draw as soon as another man.” -Romeo and Juliet. Act II., Scene 4th.

There is a slangy saying that the game of poker is “all in the draw.” While this is an exaggeration, it is not so very far from the truth. In the first place, it should be borne in mind that it is a duty each player owes to the game, his neighbors, and himself, to discard and draw quickly and decorously. It should be concluded as soon as possible after every one has come in or passed out. The practice of poring over the cards should be deprecated; it often prevents some other player from acting on an impulse suggested by the first view of his own hand, and by delaying further procedure annoys the other players in general.

As to the method of discarding, one should throw his discards to the center of the table, as nearly as possible in front of the next dealer. This discarding should be done quickly and unhesitatingly. The dealer must. announce his draw in an audible voice; the other players of course must ask for their cards so as to be heard by the dealer and other players as well. After cards have been drawn and before a bet is made, should a player ask the dealer how many cards any other player drew, the latest decision is that the dealer is bound to answer.

Two cards should not be drawn to a pair unless an ace or king can be retained with them, except for the purpose of a “bluff.” If most of the other players are “in,” the chances of drawing an ace or a king are not quite so good as those of drawing a small card, because the other players are more likely to be staying in on high than on low cards. The probabilities of such being the case are of course quite impossible to determine, but they are very slight and are more than’ compensated by the chances of increasing the comparative value of the hand by making aces or kings “up” instead of two small pairs’. Thus, while it has been well said that the actual mathematical expectations of improving such a hand are greater by drawing, three cards, yet it cannot be denied that the practical value of the hand is much enhanced by a successful twos-card draw. The odd card should only be retained with a small pair – that is, on the merits of which the pot cannot, presumably, be won say a pair of nines or under.

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