Learn About the Stud Poker to Play New Game! Part 2

Determining if you have a live flush combination

If you have a three-flush starting hand, the other door cards you have viewed will determine the odds of you hitting your flush. You are counting how many of the cards on your table are of the same suit as your flush draw. In later rounds, for anyone else who is showing a flush-draw in their up-cards, you will need to know how live their flush is before continuing to bet or call.

A general rule of thumb to determine the odds of you hitting your flush at a full table is; if there are more than two players (excluding yourself) showing the suit you need to make your flush, consider your flush dead. If the table is short-handed you may call for one bet. Especially if you have other outs. If any cards that turn at fourth street that you need for your flush appear in other player’s hands, really consider your flush a long-shot. At a short-handed table you may adjust the fourth street rule to suck-out a back-door flush, however the door-card suit-count rule should remain the same; consider the flush dead if there are more than two of the same suit you need in other players’ hands.

Determining if you have a live straight combination

If you have a combination in your starting hand to possibly hit a straight, you will be looking to see that the cards that you need to complete your straight are still live. In later rounds, for anyone else who is showing a straight draw, you will need to know how live their straight is. If you have a connector combination such as 789 and you see 5’s, 6’s, 10’s, or J’s around the table, consider your straight dead. Also consider that if you see other 7’s, 8’s and 9’s at the table, the cards that you need to make pairs for this hand should be considered dead to your draw.

Two Pair Play

If you have a combination in your hand where you can make two-pair, you want to see who’s cards may be higher than yours. You will also be looking to see if the cards you need for pairs will still be live or if they are out of play.

The first player to raise the bring-in bet has a fairly strong combination. Most likely a pocket pair or split pair. The position that they raise from may determine if they are attempting to steal the pot or if they really have a hand to play.

Other notes to remember for low and medium stakes tables:

At low-stakes tables, players do not like to fold. Especially in card rooms. They’ll bet and call just about anything, and being in a hand usually means you’re going to end up in a heavy multi-way hand where there is a lot of action and money the winning pot is a very good amount. When nobody likes to fold and you are playing strong combinations, be aggressive. Don’t fall into the trap where you’re playing crappy combinations because other players at your table don’t know how to fold and start with crappy combo’s themselves. Use it to your advantage and play strong opening combinations with aggressive betting strategy and take the pot.

There are also tables where they will play crappy combos to the river calling all of your raises just for the hell of it, or maybe they caught something great on their crappy combo. This can be extremely frustrating and costly. Continuing to play tight and aggressively at a table like this will eventually get them to wake up and play better hands when the chips keep moving to your side of the table after show-down and you’ve been playing strong consistently.

For online play, my experience is that the players at the table usually play pretty straight-up, with little bluffing and will fold in earlier rounds when they know the cards in their hand are beaten.

The longer you sit at a table with the same players, the more you get a feel for their strategy, what they raise and call with, and how easy or difficult it is for them to fold. Take mental notes about each player and adjust your strategy according to which players are in the hand with you. Bet aggressively to fold-out the weakest player(s). Have a made hand to call bets against another strong or aggressive player.
Check and call or check and fold to players who are known for consistently having real hands and compare yours to theirs.