What is ‘Snowing’?
Snowing is a term that is used to describe a particular style of play in low-ball draw poker games. Snowing occurs when a player bluffs because they are holding a number of important low cards, these cards, however, are ones that pair which makes their hand quite weak. To successfully perform snowing, a player must ignore the fact they have a bad hand and focus on the fact that they know the location of a number of the key cards for other lows. By knowing that they have ‘key’ low cards, they have a good chance of snowing their way to the pot because their opponents will have a difficult time when it comes to hitting their own key cards.
Snowing is an effective tactic to employ if the player is experienced enough to pull it off. One example of successful snowing might occur in a game of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. If the player decides to raise despite having the Two of Clubs, Five of Hearts, King of Clubs, King of Spades and the Three of Spades, the chances are that an opponent will call. If both players then pick up another two high cards after discarding two, then after a couple of rounds of checking, both players then discard their cards and the player gets a two and a five, followed by the opponent checking, this could be seen as the player being in a bit of a tricky spot.
Thanks to snowing, however, the player may still be able to bluff their way to the pot. The player knows that they have a pair of twos as well as two fives. This means that even if their opponent’s hand has improved to the point where they’re looking at a one card draw, they have a limited chance of hitting it because the player has taken two fives out of play.
Snowing requires the player to roughly know the odds involved of their opponent managing to hit one of their cards, it is generally assumed that if a player’s opponent has something like a 30% chance of hitting a decent hand on the river, then that should be more than enough to proceed with the snowing technique.
In a large number of cases, as long as the player snowing is strong, they will win the pot if they are going up a weaker or less experienced player simply because their opponents effectively give up. Players will often end up resigning themselves to the idea that they have a losing hand without even thinking about the probability or the statistics involved.