Cigars 101

Cigar 101: How Do I Use a Draw Poker?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How a draw poker can open up the draw of a tightly-rolled or plugged cigar:

Just like the honey-do list I can never quite reach the bottom of, our fans’ cigar inquiries know no end. But unlike our least favorite chores, answering your burning questions is among our favorite things to do here at Cigar Advisor!

Each month, we take a on a question and answer it on video. This month’s tackles using a cigar draw poker on a tightly-rolled or plugged cigar.

Maybe next month, it’ll be yours…

And remember…if you haven’t submitted your burning cigar query, reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram or leave a comment below!


Cigar Question: How do I use a draw poker on a cigar?

My question this month comes from Rayna in Wolf Point, Montana. She asks, “Hey Advisors, how do I use a draw poker? I’m afraid it will break my cigar. Any advice on the right way to do it?”

Great question, Rayna! The best way to answer how to use a draw poker is by answering when a draw poker should be used. And it’s less often than you might think. Though these stogie skewers can make quick work of tobacco plugs, tight rolls, and poorly-drawing cigars, they can also ruin them if applied incorrectly.

How to use a draw poker in three, easy steps.

  • Line up the tip of the draw poker against the center of the cut head of your cigar
  • Apply gentle pressure and twist slightly to allow the skewer to burrow into the cigar. Take care to keep the poker straight.
  • Less is more. Go about a quarter of the length of the cigar or less and carefully back the poker out. Test the draw and only repeat slightly deeper until improved.

cigar advisor how to use a draw poker - poker going into a cigar

In the case of a hard spot (also called a plug), the distance you have to burrow will depend on where the plug is located. If it’s near the foot, you’re better off cutting the cigar down a bit and relighting. In either case, doing a pinch test, which is gently rolling the cigar between your thumb and fingers, should help you identify hard spots which may be indicative of a plug.

Just be sure to not use a draw poker on cigars that are over humidified. Their burning and draw issues stem from the wetness of the tobacco, and all a draw poker is gonna do in that case is fill your stick with holes. It won’t smoke any better.

Check out my full video answer where I’ll explain it with step-by-step instructions.

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Jared Gulick

Jared Gulick

Features Editor, Jared Gulick, is a Certified Tobacconist, nerd of all things science, musician and serial abuser of the Oxford comma. He made his way to the Famous Smoke Shop retail store in 2018 and joined the Advisors when it was discovered that he could locate the shift key. Prior to his work in the cigar industry, he was a recording studio engineer, songwriter, and a journalism major at Northampton Community College.

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