Sample Five-Card Stud Poker Hand
In this hand, there are four players – A, B, C, D. Player A is the dealer. The stakes in this game are pot limit and each player has anted £1. Once again you are in the privileged position of being able to see all of the players’ hole cards, which would not be possible in a real situation. The players hold the following after two cards.
Player: A B C D
Down Card: 3 K A A
Up Card: 3 J A 8
Player C has the highest up card so has to bet. He holds two aces which is the highest starting hand. He therefore makes a pot-sized bet of £4. Player D calls with an ace in the hole, player A calls with two 3s and player B calls with two high cards. There is now £20 in
The second up card is dealt and the hands are now as follows:
Player: A B C D
Down Card: 3 K A A
Up Card1: 3 J A 8
Up Card2: 9 J 10 8
Now player B has the highest up cards so decides to bet the pot. Player C has a choice to make. He does not think that player B has another jack in the hole so is confident that he has the best hand. However, he thinks that if he raises, everyone else will fold and he will only win a small pot, so he just calls. Player D also calls with his two 8s; he is hoping to catch another ace giving him two pair. (Notice that it is better for player D to catch an ace than an 8, because, even though three 8s is a better hand than two pair, the three 8s would be in full view of all the other players who would all fold.) Player A decides that his hand is well beaten at this stage and so he folds. It is good tactics in five-card stud to fold if you are’beaten in sight’, that is if the cards you can see the other players holding are better than yours. This leaves three players and there is now £80 in the pot.
The third up card is dealt and the hands are now as follows:
Player: B C D
Down Card: K A A
Up Card1: J A 8
Up Card2: J 10 8
Up Card3: 4 4 K
Player B still has the highest up cards but is worried about what the other two players hold, so he checks. Player C is still confident that he has the best hand, but he decides not to bet the full amount of the pot – he only bets £50 – hoping that the other players will call. Player D knows he is beaten by player B and fairly sure he is beaten by player C so, as he did not get the card he wanted, he folds. Player B now thinks that it is a distinct possibility that player C has got two aces in which case he is beaten so he should fold. However, he knows player C very well and has seen him make a bluff in similar situations in the past. He is also fooled by the fact that player C did not bet the full amount of the pot which he takes as a sign that a bluff is possible. Also player B could still catch a king on the last card and maybe win a very big pot, so he calls.
There is now £180 in the pot and the final up card is dealt as follows:
Player: B C
Down Card: K A
Up Card1: J A
Up Card2: J 10
Up Card3: 4 4
Up Card4: Q 5
Player B is still first to act and makes a snap decision. He quickly decides to bet the size of the pot, that is, £180. He considers that player C might think that he had a Q- J as his starting hand, meaning that he now has two pair. Player B makes his bet and instantly regrets his decision because player C looks as if he is about to call. Then player C hesitates. Of course, he does not know that he has the best hand, otherwise the correct decision is to raise. But he knows player B reasonably well (or thinks he does) and considers that he is not the type of player who bluffs very often. He therefore wrongly decides that player B probably holds two pair or conceivably three jacks. After a lot of pondering, player C folds the best hand. Player B, who has got away with a bluff, breathes a sigh of relief and wins the pot. Note that if player B’s last card had been a 2 instead of a queen then he would have been less likely to succeed with the bluff as player C would not then suspect two pair (Le. a 4 and a J or a 2 and a J are not likely starting hands for him to have). By the same token, however, player C is less likely to have tried the bluff if the final card had been a 2.
Five-card stud can be an interesting game but it can become a bit stale if everyone plays very conservatively and only enters the fray with strong starting hands such as an ace or a king as their hole card or a pair as their first two cards.