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The Long Shots

On Tynan

I have a favorite type of hand in poker. I like it because it makes up a huge chunk of my winnings at poker, is good solid play, and looks idiotic to bad poker players. It's the kind of hand that pulls hundreds of dollars in your direction, and sometimes a couple angrily-thrown cards from your opponent when he's beaten, too.

Technically the hand would be called a plus-EV underdog draw, or something like that. In plain English, it's a long shot where you have the right odds to take it.

An example might be if I have four cards to a straight and I'm missing one from the middle. So maybe I have 4 5 6 8 of various suits. Let's say that there's still one more card to come. There are forty-six remaining cards (just trust me on this one), and only four of them, the sevens, will help me. I have less than a ten percent chance at winning the hand.

And yet, sometimes it's worth calling to see the next card. If it costs me thirty dollars to see it, but there's six hundred dollars in the pot, then mathematically I'm way ahead.

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