# Stud Hi/Lo: Sixth Street

“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.” – Barry Switzer

In all stud games, if you see sixth street you usually will see seventh street (the river). This has to do with the math, or odds, that exist. In stud high/low there are occasions where you should fold on sixth street. We’ll look at those, along with a discussion of pot odds and hand reading.

Reading your opponents’ cards is vital in hold’em because you only see the shared (community) cards. In stud games however, hand reading isn’t considered that important. If you want to be a top-notch stud player, you must be able to read your opponents’ cards. And it’s so much easier in stud than hold’em, so you can do it.

The key to hand reading in stud is to work backwards. Suppose your opponent has a board of 8â™£ 10â™¥ 4â™¦ 9â™£ . Your board is 4â™¥ Aâ™¥ 7â™  Qâ™  . A player who has since folded completed on third street, and you both called. On fourth street, you bet, and both players called. On fifth street you bet, the other player folded (his board was 6â™  Kâ™£ 10â™¦ ), and your opponent called. On sixth street you bet, and your opponent raises. What does he hold?

First, if you’re up against a maniac or person who has no idea of what he’s doing, forget about hand reading. If they don’t know what they’re doing, there’s no way you’re going to figure out their cards. In such a situation fall back on abc poker: bet your good hands, and check or fold your bad hands.

Here, though, you’re facing a sane player. He stayed in the hand when he bricked on fourth street. On sixth street, when he doesn’t have a low and it’s almost certain you do have a low, he’s raised. The only logical conclusion is that he has a made high, and figures he’s free-rolling for half the pot if you don’t have a low. The most logical down-cards he could hold would be 67, giving him a ten-high straight and a low draw. It’s possible he has 6â™£ 7â™£ for the straight flush redraw.

Looking back at the hand his actions were reasonable throughout. (67)8 is a good starting hand. Indeed, he could have completed or raised with the hand on third street. He elected to continue with one brick on fourth street as the 10 did give him an inside straight draw. The 4 on fifth street gave him a double gut-shot straight draw, which he hit on sixth street.

Once you’ve determined what your opponent likely holds, you can figure out your best action. In this case, if you have a made low that he can’t beat, say your down cards are (2â™¦ 3â™¦ ), I’d reraise. Here, you’re free-rolling against him. He can’t beat your low (the best he can make is an 8-low). If you’re wrong on your read (suppose he started with rolled-up 8s), you have a draw for the high (a 5 would give you a wheel). If I have no draw to beat my opponent’s made hand, and I’m certain he has it, I’ll just check or call, especially in a raked game. There’s no reason to give the house more money when you’re going to split the pot. If I don’t have a low (say my down cards are (Aâ™£ 2â™£ )), I’ll usually call as the pot odds will warrant my drawing one more card.

### Pot Odds

Pot odds are vital in all games, especially when you may be drawing. Most of the time you are drawing in stud high/low, so you should know how to calculate pot odds. There’s a very important catch to pot odds that stud high/low shares with Omaha high/low: you must adjust your odds when you’re drawing for half the pot.

Assume your opponent has a board of Kâ™£ [KS]10â™£ 10â™¥ , while your hand is (4â™¥ 5â™¥ )6â™¥ 7â™¦ Jâ™  Kâ™¦ . You’re fairly certain that your opponent has made his full house. You’ve been keeping track of low cards that are gone, and two 2s, one ace, and one 8 are gone. Nine non-outs are also gone. The pot has \$180, after your opponent bets \$20. Should you call?

First, we need to determine your chance of making your hand. You need an ace, 2, 3, or 8. There are 16 less the 4 that are gone; thus, you have 12 outs. The chance of you making your hand is 12/(52 – (4 + 6 + 4 + 9)) = 12/29 = 41.4%.

Next, we compare this result to the ratio of the money you must put into the pot to the money in the pot; here that’s \$20/\$180 = 1/9. If this ratio is larger than your chance of making the hand, you should fold; if not, you should call. Here, a call looks clear.

Have you noticed the flaw in the reasoning?

You’re only going after half the pot. Thus, we must make an adjustment. You can either halve the money in the pot (\$20/\$90 = 2/9) and compare as before, or you can cut your chances of making the hand in half. Either method will give you the correct answer. In this example, you should call as the pot is laying you the correct price.

Pot odds in stud high/low can be more complex because of the chance of hitting a “magic” card that gives you the scoop. Suppose you were certain that your opponent did not have the full house in the above example because all of the other 10s and kings were gone. Thus, if you hit a 3 or an 8 you would scoop. How do you calculate your chances in this situation? Assume that you have four scoop outs available of 12 total outs (29 unknown cards outstanding).

You can do the exact math calculation, of course. However, that’s time consuming and difficult to do at the table. Instead, here’s a short cut. Four of your outs are worth the entire pot, and eight are worth half the pot. So cut those eight outs in half, giving you eight equivalent outs. You would have an 8/29 (27.6%) chance of winning the hand. Another trick in all pot odds questions is to simplify the math. 8/29 ? 8/28 = 2/7 ? 28%. I do my work in percentages (I have a math background); you can also just compare ratios or any shortcut that works. You don’t have to be exact. The goal is to make a reasonable comparison.

### Boards

Like fifth street you need to be wary when you’re facing a scary board. While folding on sixth street in stud high is rare, if your opponent has a board of 2â™  4â™  5â™  6â™  , and you’ve been bricking, there’s nothing wrong with folding. Likewise, if you’ve been betting with a similar board, it almost doesn’t matter what your hole cards are-you should continue to bet.

If you are facing multiple opponents, ask yourself what they’re likely to be holding. How many of your opponents are chasing lows? Who has the high? Where do you stand? Review the betting, and act appropriately.

In the next lesson we’ll look at seventh street. There are no draws left. You either have a winner or you don’t. We’ll look at the last round of betting, with an emphasis on when you miss your draws.

### QUIZ

In this quiz we will look at some sixth street situations in seven-card stud high/low. Assume that you’re playing in a \$10/\$20 stud high/low game with a \$1 ante and a \$3 bring-in. Unless otherwise noted, Bill brings in the hand with the 3â™¥ , Cal calls with the 8â™¥ , Don folds the 8â™¦ , Ed calls with the 5â™¥ , you call with the 4â™¦ , George folds the 9â™  , Hal folds the 7â™  , and Al completes with the Jâ™¦ . Bill folds, but everyone else calls. Check below for answers.

1. You hold (6â™¥ 2â™  )4â™¦ . On fourth street, Cal gets the Qâ™£ , Ed gets the 4â™¥ , you get the 6â™¦ , and Al receives the 3â™¦ . It’s checked to Al who bets, everyone calling. On fifth street, Cal pairs with the Qâ™  , Don gets the 3â™  , you pick up the 2â™¦ , and Al gets the Kâ™¦ . Cal bets, Don hesitates and calls, you raise, and everyone calls. On sixth street Cal gets the 2â™£ , Don gets the 7â™£ , you pick up the 8â™  , and Al gets the 7â™¥ . It is checked to you. Do you (a) check, or (b) bet \$20?
2. Assume the same hand as in problem 1 except that Cal checks and Don bets \$20. Do you (a) fold, (b) call, or (c) raise to \$40?
3. Assume the same hand as in problem 2 except that your hole cards are the 5â™  and 3â™£ . Do you (a) fold, (b) call, or (c) raise to \$40?
4. Assume the same hand as in problem 1, and that you bet on sixth street. Everyone calls. Which of these down cards is the most likely that Al holds? (a) Aâ™¦ Aâ™£ , (b) Aâ™¦ 10â™¦ , (c) Kâ™£ Kâ™  , or (d) It’s impossible to determine because Al is a maniac.
5. You hold (4â™£ 2â™£ )4â™¦ . On fourth street, Cal gets the 7â™¦ , Don the Kâ™¥ , you the 2â™  , and Al the 6â™¦ . Don checks, you bet, and everyone calls. On fifth street, Cal pairs with the 7â™£ , Don gets the 2â™¦ , you get the 6â™¥ , and Al the Qâ™¦ . Cal bets, and everyone calls. On sixth street, Cal makes two pair with the 8â™  , Don bricks with the 9â™£ , you brick with the Jâ™¥ , and Al gets the Aâ™¦ . Cal bets \$20 with his two pair. Don calls. Do you (a) fold, (b) call, or (c) raise to \$40?
6. Assume the same hand as in problem 5 except that on sixth street you get the 5â™£ . Do you (a) fold, (b) call \$20 or (c) raise to \$40?
7. Assume the same hands as in problem 6, and that you call Cal’s bet. Al raises to \$40, Cal re-raises to \$60, with Don calling. Do you (a) fold, (b) call the additional \$40, or (c) cap the betting with a final \$20 raise to \$80?
8. Assume the same hands as in problem 7. What is the most likely hand that Al holds? (a) Ace-high diamond flush; (b) Ace-high straight; (c) Two pair, aces up; or (d) It’s impossible to determine.
9. Assume the same hands as in problem 7. What is the most likely hand that Cal holds? (a) Two pair, eights and sevens; (b) Full house, eights over sevens; (c) Full house, sevens over eights; (d) either (b) or (c)
10. Assume the same hands as in problem 7. You elect to fold. Should Al call Cal’s re-raise? (a) Yes, he has the proper number of outs and the right pot odds; (b) Yes, the pot is too large to fold in case Cal doesn’t have the full house; (c) No, Al does not have the right price to call given his pot odds; (d) No, Al has no outs so the pot odds are irrelevant. You may ignore the rake for purposes of answering this question.

ANSWERS: 1) B; You have two pair, which may be the best high hand, and a low draw. Allowing your opponents a free card isn’t good poker, given that there are a large number of draws out against you. 2) C; Don has 8743, four suits. It’s likely that he has a made low. By raising, you’re attempting to give your opponents the wrong price to draw. Additionally, if you make a low, it’s possible for you to scoop. 3) C; Here, you have a made low, which is also a six-high strait. If you’re going to raise on the come, you absolutely must raise with the best hand! 4) A; Examine the betting. Al can’t hold (b) because he would have a diamond flush and would have raised either on fifth street or sixth street. He also can’t hold pocket kings because he would have made trips on fifth street and should have re-raised then. Never assume an opponent is a maniac unless he gives reason for that judgment. His betting is consistent with pocket aces, with one being the Aâ™¦ . 5) Your hand is (4â™£ 2â™£ )4â™¦ 2â™  6â™¥ Jâ™¥ . Cal has at least two pair. You have a lower two pair, and no low draw. Don has a low draw. You have two outs for a full house-and it’s very possible that Cal already has a bigger full house. Folding is clear.
6)
B; Now you hold (42)4265. You have a draw to the best low. You have draws for a high that may be good (although it’s unlikely; see problem 9 below). Any ace, three, seven, or eight will give you a low. That’s sixteen outs. Only three of those outs are gone, so you have thirteen outs. Now let’s count the number of unknown cards. We start with the 52 in the deck, then must subtract the six in your hand, the twelve from your opponents’ up cards, and the four folded on third street; that makes a total of 30 unknown cards. So you have a 13/30 or 43.3% chance of making your hand. Now let’s determine the pot size. There were four players for \$10 plus the \$3 bring-in and \$8 in antes on third street, for a total of \$21. On fourth street, there were four players for \$40, making the total in the pot \$61. On fifth street, there was another \$80 bet (four players for \$20), making the pot \$141. Now, there are two additional \$20 bets/calls in the pot, making it \$20 to call \$181. It’s quite clear that the pot is laying you the right price, even when you’re going for half the pot, and even before implied pot odds are considered. 7) B; You must call \$40 to potentially win half of \$181 + \$20 + \$60 + \$40 + \$40 = \$341. Again, a call is clear. 8) A; This is the pretty easy, given that Al has four diamonds showing, and would have the nut diamond flush. 9) B; It’s very clear that Cal has a full house. He bet on fifth street when he paired the seven. Why? Most likely, he had two pair. When he pairs the eight, he has either three pair, or he has a full house. His betting indicates a full house. In stud, the most likely full house when the door card is paired is having three of the door card. While a 7 and an 8 are gone, it’s still more likely that Cal has sevens full of eights. 10) C; It’s clear that Cal has a full house. If Al has a flush, he does have an out-he could make a straight flush. (It’s also possible he has a straight flush, but that’s not likely). So let’s assume he has a straight flush draw, and has one out. That’s a 1/30 chance. The pot isn’t laying Al anywhere near the right price.