By keeping the requirement noted above in mind, it is fairly easy to identify the types of starting hands you’d like in 543 draw poker:
A pat high hand: straight, flush, full house or 4 of a kind. Bear in mind that these hands do not come very often at all. The chart below outlines your chances of being dealt these and other hands.
Trips is an excellent starting hand. If the board pairs or matches one of your other hole cards you have a full house. But, be cautious if a board pair is of a higher rank than your trips. Even if the board cards miss you there is still the opportunity to improve by drawing. Depending upon the board cards, trips may even stand up by themselves. But, if the board cards are coordinated (eg suited or connected) or both higher than your trips, play them cautiously and be prepared to fold if you do not improve.
Two pair, especially if the pairs are high. This hand gives you decent chances to make a full house if the board matches one of your pair. If not, you still have a one card draw.
A pat low hand: Generally at least an 8 low, but, obviously, the lower the better. The 2 board cards have a major bearing on what you will probably need to win. If both of those 2 cards are 7 or under, your pat 8 low is probably not enough (but you might now have a 7 low or better by using the board cards). If both of the board cards are higher than your highest card you are usually in decent shape. When playing for low you always want your 5 card hand to be better than the best hand that can be made using the board cards. For example, with a board of 87, you want to have no worse than 76 for low.
Four low cards of 7 or less.
Three low cards of 6 or less.