Mobile Gambling and Poker

The Odds in Five-card Stud Poker

Five-card Stud was invented in about 1870 and is the simplest form of Poker Stud.

It can accommodate at least ten players, and that is its sole merit at a low or moderate limit.

Despite the dullness of Five-card, some groups occasionally plays it, at the following stakes: one ante chip by each player; two chip limit until a pair shows or the last card is dealt; then the limit is increased to four chips.

At the option of the dealer, this variation may be introduced: a four flush beats one pair. It is a logical variation, because a four-flush in five cards occurs almost as seldom as do two pairs.

Now, assuming you are playing Five-card Stud with your friends. Player B deals. The open cards: A-- 9; C--- Q; E--- A; F--- 5; G--- K; H--- J; D--- 6; B--- 3. Now, E bets, F folds. You have a Q in the hole. Raise, call or fold?

An established principle in this variation is: when the first two cards have been dealt, FOLD unless you hold a wired pair OR unless your hole card is higher than any opposing open card.

There are two exceptions: a) if your hole card is a 10 higher, you may stay, or b) if your open card beats the board, and if your hole card is a 10 or higher, you may stay.

In this deal, your hand meets none of the foregoing requirements, so you should fold.

Now, say, A deals, and the open cars are now: C--- 7; E--- 10; F--- K; You--- 2; H--- Q; D--- J; B--- 8 and A--- Q. F checks. You have another two in the hole, a wired pair. Do you open, or check?

Open. If four or more of your opponents stay, and if one of them raises, fold. If they stay without raising, and if your third card fails to improve your hand, fold on the next round.

Against four stayers, do not pay to play any pair lower than eights. Against five stayers, do not pay to play any pair lower than nines. The reason is that you probably will fail to improve, and one of the stayers will probably catch a higher hand.

On this one, B deals. You catch wired K's. No A shows, and you open. The only other stayers are H, who shows a two, and A, who shows a Q. The third card pairs H's twos, and he bets. A, who has caught a six, folds. You have caught an A.

H checks. You bet four chips, and he calls. The fourth card is dealt, and H shows 2 2 2. Your fourth card, however, is another A, and with a K in the hole you show K A A.

You remember that no other open twos, K's, or A's have been dealt. H bets four chips. Call or fold?

Here, your two pairs, A's and K's, are like a pretty but untrained girl competing in a beauty contest with a professional model. In this situation, you would not stay with an inside or one-way straight, would you?

The odds against the only possible improvement, to a full house, are just as long: only one of four cards can help you. Even disregarding the possibility that H holds four twos, those odds are too long. So, fold.