THE DRAW Let’s look at some theoretical draws. What I mean is that you are the first person to draw two cards from the 52 card deck, leaving 50 cards remaining in the deck. Of course you are not always the first to draw from a full deck, but for the purpose of illustrating a draw’s strength or weakness in these hypothetical examples, lets look at some odds and probabilities. The Monster Draw. A Low A: 48 outs = 96%
This is A low A high. This is the nut draw. There are 48 cards in the deck that can help you and only the two remaining aces can make you “hit the post”. In this instance, you have approximately a 96% chance of winning the pot. This draw illustrates why if the first card you draw is an ace, you should always play it as low. The reason is because the second ace is always high. If you see the first ace come and call it high, and the second ace comes, the second ace will also be high leading to a dead draw. As long as two aces remain, this is always the correct strategy. In other words always call an ace low, as there are more cards that can help you create a draw. If there is one ace in the deck, use your disgression. Thus for the purpose of this discussion we will ignore A high Low draws and all draws will start low. Obviously King- two is the same as two- King, so there is no need to repeat this twice. Premium Draws Remember these are hypothetical draws and the probabilities will change as cards are removed from the deck, and the only way to know your exact odds during a game are to count cards. Also take note that since a 52 card deck is not divisible by three, one card will remain at the end of a deck. So while there are 52 cards in the deck, only 51 will be in play, yet any of the 52 could be drawn from the fifty one. For the purpose as keeping this as simple as possible, all probability percentages will be based on a 52 card deck, minus the two from your draw.
Ace Low-King draw: 48 outs 96%
Two-Ace high Draw:
Good Draws In the following draws you are still a big favorite.
Ace Low-Jack Draw:
Two Queen Draw:
Three king draw:
Four Queen Draw:
East Card Ace low Ace low Two Two Three Ace low Two Three Four
West Card Ace High K Ace King Ace J Queen King Ace
West Card J Queen King Ace
Probablility 48 44 44 40 40 36 36 36 36
96% 88% 88% 80% 80% 72% 72% 72% 72%
Good Draws East Card Ace low Two Three Four
Probablility 36 36 36 36
72% 72% 72% 72%
Decent Draws These draws are calculated the same way as the prior draws, while they are good you are only a 64% favorite. East Card Ace low Two Three Four Five
West Card Ten Jack Queen King Ace
Probablility 32 32 32 32 32
64% 64% 64% 64% 64%
Coinflip Draws In these draws you are only a slight favorite (56%) to win the pot. While some of these look good, you are basically flipping a coin on your shot to win. East Card Ace low Two Three Four Five six Three
West Card Nine Ten Jack Queen King ace Jack
Probablility 28 28 28 28 28 28 28
56% 56% 56% 56% 56% 56% 56%
Sucker draws Here are the most common bad draws that will be played because they don’t look so bad. In the best of them you will be a slight dog (48%), which is essentially a coinflip, but since you’re a dog to win, these are just not worth playing ever. While your chances are not that much worse of the slight favorite “coinflip” draws, you are still not favored to win and a coinflip draw is not recommended as a smart play either. East Card Ace low Two Three Four Five six seven Three Four six seven eight
West Card Eight Nine Ten Jack Queen king Ace Nine Ten Queen King Ace
Probablility 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 20 20 20 20 20
48% 48% 48% 48% 48% 48% 48% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
These are the probabilities of winning a pot when you are first to go and there are fifty cards remaining in the deck. Again this is a hypothetical situation so how do we apply these probablilities during a game? Say for example you are the sixth person to be dealt a hand. This means that you will be drawn card number 16 (the east card), card number 17
(the west card), and card number 18 as the middle card. Now we know in the perfect scenario what percent favorite you are to win the pot, but what happens when we know that 17 cards have been removed from the deck? The answer can become quickly complex, and computing a situation like this in the heat of the often high action game of Acey-Ducey is difficult for many people to do. However, unless you want to gamble without all the available information you must learn to count the cards. Mind that you do not need to count all the cards in the deck, only the ones involved in these premium draws. Remember we are gambling here, and when you gamble the point is to beat the game. You only do this by maximizing your profits. The only way to do this is to push big action when the odds are in your favor. Like a boxer you must pick a spot to devastate your opponent, not open your self up to be knocked out by a foolish move.
How to count Cards These two words together can scare people away, but do not worry. In this method of counting cards you just need to count twelve cards in the deck. The cards that we will be counting are AAAA,2222,3333,KKKK. These twelve cards are the only cards in this game that will give you a premium draw. As you can see from the charts above, the worst draw these cards will give you is 80% which is extremely strong. Remember now that since cards are leaving the deck, you can no longer rely on these theoretical odds. So before we do this you must already always know how many cards are still in the deck. Dealer Figure 7
Before we do anything we must learn how to calculate a general count.
Easiest way to Get a General count: 3 piles of cards x 3. Example: you are the fourth player to go . Three piles x 3=9, and you will get cards 10,11, and 12. Try this exercise. Deal your self as a dealer would in a game. Wait until you have the Ace Low-ace High draw. If you do not hit this the first time, reshuffle the deck until you get this draw. Say, for example, card numbers 34, 35, are the Ace low and ace high, at the same time before these aces come if an individual ace comes, you must count it. Say, for example, no aces have come yet. The middle card will be card number 36, so before it is drawn there will be 16 cards (including the middle card) left in the deck. Now out of these 16 cards, two aces are left that can crack your draw. You have and 88% percent chance of winning the pot. Say that an ace had already come out in the same situation. Now there is one card in the deck that cracks your draw, making you a 93% favorite to win the pot. If all four aces are now out there is not one of the remaining 16 cards in the deck that can hurt you leaving you with the Absolute Nuts, with a 100% chance to hit your hand. In this situation it is obvious that betting the maximum is the correct play and unless the deck is funny you are a lock to win. Now being in this situation would be extremely rare and waiting around to have this draw is not a winning proposition since antes are involved and you could be anted to death. So now that you have counted the aces, lets count aces and kings. Now you have the eight cards in the deck to keep track of. Keep in mind, with this counting method you only need to keep track of how many cards that can hurt you left in the deck and how many cards remain. For example try this exercise. As you did before deal yourself as a dealer would but be sure to keep track of all aces and kings in the deck. Deal yourself until you have the A low-King Draw and then we will calculate again. Say that you have been dealing and you noticed that 2 kings and one ace have left the deck. Now you have the A low King draw. Let us say that cards number 22, and 23, are your drawing cards (A low ace –King) and number 24 will be the middle card. Before you draw there will be 29 cards left in the deck. Now we know that two kings and an ace have been removed from the deck. An easy way to remember this is to say to your self you got a pair of kings and an ace. Now we see that another ace and a king have come out of the deck creating your draw, making it three kings and a pair of aces ,so out of the eight cards that can hurt you five are already gone. This leaves you with three “killer” cards in the deck that can crack your draw. Being that 29 cards are left, and only three can hurt you, you have close to a 90% chance of winning the pot. You are close to being a 10 to one favorite in this instance. Notice that your odds are better in this example then when your draw was A low A high. Let’s incorporate 2’s now. We will now have 12 cards to count (AAAAKKKK2222). Now this is how I suggest you proceed. As each of your cards come out and count them one by one. If by the 24th card in the deck 7 of these 12 cards have come and it is your turn you know can know the general count without having to count it as the same time as counting the 12 cards. The way to do this is very simple. You look at where you are in relation to the dealer and multiply by three. For example in this instance since you will see three piles of cards with eight cards each meaning you are ninth to go in this game. Most games of Acey-Ducey are dealt sloppily and you can easily see how many are in each pile. Before you are dealt you will know what the general count will be after your
draw. Here is another easier example. You are third to go. Multiply the two piles by 3 and you have 6. You will be receiving the 7th, 8th, and 9th cards. So you know that before you get the middle card that there will be 43 cards left in the deck at this point. This way you need only pay attention to what cards have left the deck out of the 12 we are looking at now. As long as you know where the dealer is and how many times it has gone around you will know the general count. In the worst case scenario count the number in one the piles that you can see and multiply by three. Add two from your draw and then subtract from 52. Lets go back to the example where you are ninth to act and you will be receiving card number 25, 26, and 27. So before the draw, there are 29 cards left in the deck. This is where the counting of cards becomes more difficult. You simply have more numbers to keep track of. Here is your draw: K-2. There are 29 cards left. The cards gone from the deck are A,A,2,2,2,K,K. Now we know there are three of these cards that can crack this draw. The reason why is that 7 of the 12 cards have come plus the K-2 draw, making it nine of these cards we have counted. We know that three of these cards can now hurt your draw (The remaining king and remaining two aces). So you have a 29 to three chance of hitting. Just like in the previous example you are almost a ten to one, or a whopping 90% favorite to win the pot. As you can see, the next step is to incorporate the threes and the queens. Lets ignore the jacks for now. Now we have twenty cards to keep track of. But then you can subtract the cards from the deck that have come out that can hurt you. Here is an example. You have a draw of Ace low- K. You are 6th to act. The first thing you must do is calculate the general count and add 2. You are the sixth to so there were fifteen cards out before you, and you will be receiving cards number 16,17, and the middle card will be 18 (15 out plus your 2 drawing cards=17) So before you receive this card you must must subtract 17 from 52, leaving you with 35 left. Lets say of the 20 cards of the ones we are counting(AAAA22223333QQQQKKKK) 9 have left the deck.(including your ace and your king). AA233QQQK are out on the table. Lets look at our draw. Ace Low K. Ok we know there are 35 cards left in the deck. Lets look at what cards can hurt us now. Any ace or any K is a killer. Since there are 2 aces out (including our draw), and there is one king out (including our draw) there are five cards in the deck that can hurt us. Since we know that a queen, three or two can not hurt our draw, we do not need to pay attention to them, however you must remember the count for future hands. There are five cards in the deck that can hurt us (AAKKK). There are 35 cards left. This gives us an 85% (35 outs, and five killers) of hitting the pot. As you can see this can quickly become a lot to handle during the course of a game. There After you master this you must include the jacks. Unless you have a photographic memory counting the cards requires a tremendous amount of practice and there is no other way around this. So how do we calculate an approximation during the game without all of this? Lets say we are not counting cards in the group. You are receiving cards number 31,32, and 33 out of the deck. Before your middle card comes there are twenty cards left in the deck. Your draw is Ace low-Jack. Now we will look at the cards that can hurt us.
AAA,JJJ,QQQQ,KKKK. There are 14 cards here that can crack our draw, with twenty cards left.
If you can count just these cards plus your draw you can approximate how strong your draw is. AAAA 2222 3333 QQQQKKKKAAAA, These are the cards to keep track of. Example: You have an Ace Low- Queen draw. It is your second time around in the game and you are receiving the 37th, 38th, and 39th card, leaving 13 cards in the deck. If 8 of these 20 have come, plus the 2 that are in your draw there are 10 out of the 20 of these cards of this group removed from the deck. Out of the 13 left, there could be 10 cards that will crack the draw. Now we can subtract the four theoretical deuces, and the four theoretical threes from the group because a 2 or a 3 would not hurt this draw. This would leave us with 2 cards in the deck that could hurt us and nine that could help. But what if So now This ac that of the 13 cards left in the deck, four can hurt you. In this method of approximation your worst case scenario would be that you are a 67% favorite.
Letâ€™s say in this previous example we now counted Aces, deuces, threes, Queens and Kings. These are twenty cards. Say that we are in the last example, but out of the 20 cards only five have came. So there are twenty nine cards left and there are 13 in the deck that can kill you(minus 2 for your draw). Now if we had a draw of king-2 what would the correct move be. Lets say we are not even paying attention to what cards come just that they are in the group of twenty. The best case scenario would be that the cards that did come out were K,K,K, and 2,2 or 2,2,2,KK. Now your K-2 and would be a 100% favorite to win. But what if these were not the cards that came out and you just wanted to approximate your odds without counting these 20 cards. The easiest way is to first look at what cards can hurt you. KKK22AAAA are the cards that can hurt you. There are nine of them. 20 cards in the deck that can help you and 9 that can hurt you. You are almost a 69% favorite and even if you werenâ€™t counting and you saw one king, ace, or deuce, your percentage would be higher. Lets look at another example. You have an Ace Low- Queen draw. It is your second time around in the game and you are receiving the 37th, 38th, and 39th card. After your draw there
are 13 left in the deck. Lets look at what cards can hurt us . How many have come out? If you have no idea this can do nothing to help you.
The twenty plus four card system
A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A Winners Guide to Acey Ducey by Josef Galatioto These strategies are applied to Acey-Ducey, in which each individual is dealt two cards when it is their turn and the middle card comes next. Some rules dictate that every player is dealt one card before the player to the left of the dealer is dealt the second card and then the “money card”. In this variation, depending on how many players are in the game, you will see cards come out of the deck before you draw. The former version seems to be the more common variation, however this strategy can be altered to play that way as well. Also remember that it is extremely important to call how long the game will go for before the game begins. For example, does the deck get shuffled again when the pot is completely won, or do you go through the deck more than once? Does the last person to win a pot go first on the next round or does it go clockwise as in poker? The most common way seems to be a variation of both. In any case, these rules must be disclosed before a game and it is extremely important for a player to know. Furthermore, since cards are usually dealt left, right, center in this game I have taken the liberty of calling the first card to be dealt the east card, the second card the west card, and the center card the middle or “money card”. Note that because 52 is not divisible by three you are always dealing with 51 cards after the 17th deal with one left. To keep things simple, I will be counting into a 52 card deck.