Updated In May, 2013 - What is a good starting hand in A5 triple draw? What about hand selection for the second and third drawing session? You will be drawing three times in A-5 triple draw so hand selection is going to play an important part in your strategy. Hand selection early in the game is more important than it is later. This A5 triple draw strategy article will cover hand selection for the three stages of the game. There are going to be situations that call for you to play hands that might go against what you learn in this article. I can not predict how many players will be in the hand with you or which type of players they are so this hand selection article should be viewed as a general guideline. The A-5 triple draw rules can vary from place to play so I will be using the standard rules used by the only places to play A-5 triple draw online; Lock Poker and Full Tilt Poker.
This section only applies to the hands you are dealt in A5 triple draw poker. I will attempt to cover all of the bases but in the end only experience can do that. I will categorize these hand selection tips by the number of players in the hand.
If you kept a three card hand at the beginning of the game and it did not improve after the initial draw you should fold if there are any bets. The only exceptions I can think of are if you have 3 cards of 4 or less and you are last to act. There will likely only be 1-3 other players in the hand at this point. I would only call a bet if I was holding a four card hand of 8 high, or better. Pay close attention to the number of cards your opponents draw.
By now you should have a made hand of eight or less or a 4 card hand of 7 or less. Anything else and you should fold, unless the other player(s) are drew 2+ cards on the previous drawing phase. If you have a 7 high hand with a 4 or 5 kicker now would be a good time to raise any bets.
After the last drawing hand you will have a few choices. If you didn't catch a solid hand you still have a chance to win the pot, especially if it is headsup. Many players will bluff at this point, especially if the other player(s) drew cards. If they were standing pat for the final draw and you do not have an 8 high or less you should fold. You can always throw out a bluff or semi-bluff with a hand like 2-3-5-7-10 if your opponent(s) drew a card. They may have paired up or caught a face card. Here are some general A-5 triple draw hand rankings for the showdown.