More Stud Hi Lo Poker Strategies
Basic Stud Poker Tips: Watch the Cards
As far as Stud poker tips go, this first tip is very basic but also critical to winning at Stud poker. Learning to watch what cards are out (cards you have seen dealt to other players) can help you in many ways. If you have 8910Q and you have seen that all the Js have been dealt to other players, you can save money by folding. If you have not paid attention, you may call bets fishing for that J (that isn't coming) and waste your money.
Looking at other players showing cards at the beginning of a hand is very important, especially if you are starting out with a pair. If you start out QQK and you see a Q and a K out to other players, you may want to fold this hand since your odds of making a good hand are already slim. You may be thinking "why fold Q's ? I may make 2 pair and win high". Yes, MAY is the key word here. As I mentioned in my previous Stud Hi/Low article, 2 pair gets smacked around and loses A LOT in Stud Hi Lo.
Insane Draws and Sucking-Out
I have noticed during session after session of Stud Hi/Lo poker, that you will get dealt a made hand in the first 5 cards more often than you may expect. I try to play on these wins as often as possible, not chasing down to the river on insane draws. If you start with 426, then get a 10 , then an 8, making your 5th street hand 246108, this is what I mean by insane draws. An 8 low isn't very good - yes it will win sometimes, but more often than not it will lose.
It's not a very good play to chase or suck-out on hands like this (sucking-out is a highly used term in this game; it is when a player plays down to the river on not a very good hand - "sucking out to the river"). If you get 2345 the first 4 cards followed by a brick, (a high card that does nothing but mess up what you're going for), it's ok to suck out . If you catch your straight card you will probably win both ends of the pot.
Slow-Playing Strategies in Stud Hi/Lo Poker
If you want to maximize the amount of money or chips you can win when dealt a made hand, another important strategy to learn is when you should and should not slow-play. Slow-playing is a love-hate situation. It can work out perfectly or get you in trouble depending how and when you make your slow-play move. If you go in with rolled up suits (and have taken my advice about playing your rolled suits only if they are all lows under 8 OR if you have the ace with it) and make your flush by 5th street, you may want to slow-play. You can do so if no one is showing cards that look to be a full house hand. If you decide to slow-play, check 5th street. This will trick other players into betting their pairs. If one of your opponents catches a high straight they will bet into you, assuming that since you didn't bet on 5th street, you do not have a flush.
Slow-playing trips from 3rd street is fun as well. If you just call the bring-in (in every hand of Stud Hi/Low Poker the lowest showing card has to bring-in half of what the minimum bet is - this is a forced bet after the starting cards are dealt out) then start betting your trips on 4th or 5th street, you will probably trap someone nicely. Like all plays in poker, slow-playing can go wrong, so be careful howand when you do it. Always try to do it with a very good hand.
Stud High-Low Poker Tournaments
Remember, especially in Stud High-Low Poker tournaments, always try to play lock starting hands. If you consistently play good starting hands, you will consistently get made hands by 5th street. Using these strategies and the other methods mentioned in my previous Stud Hi/Lo Strategy article should improve your play from the minute you sit at a table. I am a good player and have no problem putting my money where my mouth is...nor will you when you see how easy it can be to win in a game of Stud Hi/Lo.
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