In poker, there is a lot of strategy surrounding protecting your hand. In Power Up, players are still trying to develop strategies to do this. Protecting your hand can be a very powerful way to win more games, and in the article, I’ll have a look at how we can use power cards to do it in Power Up.
In my last article, I talked about how we can use the Scanner and Engineer cards to change our odds of hitting our draws. However, these cards can also be really useful in protecting yourself when you have hit your cards, and want to reduce the chances of your opponent making a better hand when more community cards are available.
A quick reminder of how the Scanner and Engineer cards work. The scanner card shows you the next 2 cards to be dealt, and lets you muck (throw away) these cards if you don’t like them. The Engineer card deals 3 cards from the deck, and lets you choose which one will be dealt next. Both of these cards can be used to improve the odds of finding the cards you need, but you can also fix the deck against your opponent.
To do this, you need to be able to get into the mind of your opponents. Let’s say we’re heads up against a single player. The flop is showing 2 clubs and is queen high. Our opponent is betting just under half of the pot. We have a made hand of a set of queens, so we’re obviously not going to be folding the best hand possible so far. However, we must be worried about our opponent making a flush. As they are betting, we have to think about what our opponent has in their hand. We have 2 of the queens not on the board, so the chances of them holding the last queen in the deck is small. If they have a smaller set than us, we’re not that worried, we’re ahead and likely to win. If they have a pair of Kings or Aces hidden away, we’re again not worried, and should be looking to make more chips out of the hand! The only thing we should really be concerned about is the flush.
We have a scanner card, so we play it to defend our set against that potential flush. If we see any clubs in these cards, we’re obviously going to be sending them to the muck. The best result we could get is to see both cards exposed by the scanner to be clubs. Sending both of them to the muck radically decreases the odds of a flush turning up on the turn or river, leaving only 7 clubs in the deck. However, if the scanner reveals no clubs, we can keep these cards on the top of the deck. We now know that the flush isn’t coming unless our opponent expends a power card of their own. We also have the chance to add a pair to the board, either giving us a Full House, or 4 of a kind, making the flush irrelevant.
Now let’s look at the same situation with an Engineer card in our hand. We’re trying to protect our set of queens from that flush draw. We use our Engineer card to pull the top 3 cards and pick the one that helps us the most. Again, we’re trying to send as many clubs into the muck as possible. The only time we want to see a club on the board is when it pairs with a card already there, giving us a hand that beats the flush anyway! If that happens, we want to try and make the pot bigger, and get more value for our amazingly strong hand.
I want to talk about one more card in this article. The Disintegrate card. A lot of people dislike this card, and I’ve seen people advocate getting rid of it at nearly all costs. Personally, I like using it in several situations. It is a purely defensive card, but when that card comes making a flush or straight draw into a made hand, playing Disintegrate can be a hand saver. It does show you are concerned about that draw, but if you also use it as a bluff, you can avoid that being quite so obvious.
As you can see, the addition of these power cards really does change the way you play the game. AS I said in the last article, you can use it to make a hand, but as I hope I’ve shown in this article, you can also protect your made hands when you need to.
I’m still learning, and I’m by no means an expert. Yet. Give me some more time, and a lot more games of Power Up, maybe I’ll get there. I know I’m not the only one who’s taking the game seriously, and here at PlayPowerUp.com, we plan to give you the tools to become one of them.