Stud – Miscellaneous Thoughts

“”The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.” – Robert R. Coveyou

There are some topics that do not lend themselves to easy classification. In this lesson we will look at added outs, vision, starting with 6-7-8, and reading.

Suppose you start with (Kâ™¥ Kâ™£ )7â™¥ . The other up-cards are the Aâ™¦ , 4â™¦ , 10â™  , 9â™£ , 4â™£ , 8â™£ , and 8â™  . The 4â™¦ makes the bring-in, the 10â™  calls, you complete, the Aâ™¦ calls, the 4â™¦ folds, and the 10â™  calls. Your completion is based on the pair of Kings, of course.

On fourth street you get the 2â™¥ ; the Aâ™¦ picks up the 9â™¦ and the 10â™¦ catches the 8â™¦ . You elect to bet; both of your opponents call. On fifth street you pick up the 3â™¦ while the Aâ™¦ 9â™¦ gets the Jâ™£ and the 10â™  8â™¦ catches the 10â™£ . The pair of tens bets and you elect to call while your other opponent folds.

On sixth street you pick up the Jâ™¥ while your opponent gets the 6â™¦ . You have only a pair of Kings, but you do have the flush draw. Your opponent might have three tens, or perhaps he is on a flush draw and has made two pair. You call his bet. On seventh street you make your flush as you get the Aâ™¥ . After your opponent checks you bet and show your flush (he calls). He made two pair on sixth street (his hole cards were the Kâ™  , 6â™  , and 2â™  ).

Of course every poker player wants to play hands with as many outs as possible. Some of this is obvious: a straight flush draw is better than a flush draw, for example. But many times it’s less obvious. A two-flush adds a little extra to a hand. If your unpaired cards is live that’s an added out. If your opponents suit(s) are not live that, too, is an added out for your hand. Knowing when you have these added outs should become second nature to you.

Vision

I’m nearsighted – the glasses I wear are not for show. When you are playing stud you need to be able to look across the table and casually see what cards your opponents have. If you are squinting at cards, or can’t tell a heart from a diamond choose a middle seat (four or five) so you can look at the entire table.

Unfortunately, this advice is the opposite of what seat to choose if you are looking for tells. The best seats to observe the entire table are the end seats (2, 3, 6 and 7). These allow you to easily observe all of your opponents at the table. If you like end seats but have a vision problem you have to choose whether the advantage of seeing the entire table outweighs the disadvantage of squinting at an opponent’s cards at the far end of the table. There’s no right or wrong here – it’s just a matter of preference.

Starting with 6-7-8

You’re in seat one, and you look down at (6â™¥ 7â™¦ )8â™¦ . Your opponents’ up-cards are the 8â™¥ , Aâ™¦ , 9â™¦ , Jâ™£ , 2â™¥ , 3â™¦ and 4â™£ . The 2â™¥ makes the bring-in, and all fold to you. Do you call, raise or fold?

This is a trap hand. You can make a straight – but (at best) it will be a middle straight. You can make two pairs but they will be middle pairs. You can backdoor a flush, but three of the diamonds are out. Why throw in another penny when you’re starting at a disadvantage?

Assume you do call. Then you see the Aâ™¦ complete the bet and the Jâ™£ raise. You fold, of course, but have lost some money that you shouldn’t have.

Trap hands are the antitheses of hands with added outs. Here you have hands with fewer outs! There are also ‘trap situations’ that occur regularly in stud. Suppose you have two small pairs and your cards are live. You’re up against one opponent who has an open pair higher than your pairs. Ask yourself if he might have two pairs. If he does, he is way ahead on the hand. Remember, the average winning hand in stud is two pairs. Two big pairs beats two small pairs.

I strongly dislike all straight draws. I will admit that I’m biased; one of my first poker memories is making a straight on seventh street only to lose to a flush, also made on seventh street. It wasn’t as bad as ‘drawing dead and getting there’ but it was close. Three high cards can be played in stud (as can a high three-straight). But I think that anyone playing low straight cards is donating to their opponents.