Thanks to 2+2 poster bholder for most of this.
In Stud/8, it's important to remember that THIS IS NOT HOLDEM. There are major differences that one must account for, primarily:
Dead cards. in any stud game you have a lot more info at your disposal, namely, the dead cards. Keep track of the cards that have been shown and you will have a HUGE advantage over the other players. It's very difficult to remember each and every card, so concentrate on remembering those cards that either you or your opponents may have needed- straight cards, flush cards, dead low cards, etc... i cannot stress enough how important this is.
Fluid position. In stud, position is apt to change with each round of play. Keep in mind that raising for a free card when you are in late position may backfire if you pair off and are suddenly in first position. Experience alone will help you understand position in stud games, it's very difficult.
Because most low limit stud players are too loose, you can beat that game by simply playing much tighter than your opponents - that'll be the basis of your strategy.
the best hands in stud/8 are (in order):
- rolled trips (555, 999)
- pair of aces with a low card (AA2)
- three to a low straight flush
- three to a low straight or flush (238 or 2 3 4)
- three low cards with an ace (like A26, A47)
- high pairs (KK and QQ, preferably buried with a low doorcard)
- low pairs with an ace (like 44A, A66)
Don't play anything else until you have some experience. Here are the big ones - if you follow this advice closely and don't get cute, you should crush 1/2 stud/8:
First and foremost, PLAY TO SCOOP. You want the WHOLE POT. Hands that have two way potential can be played much more strongly than one way hands, even if you're behind in one or both directions.
Do not draw to second best hands, if you're drawing to a low, be sure that it will be the best low if you make it. don't draw to a straight when someone else looks to be drawing to a flush, etc. the exception is if you're playing for both ends. if you have a low straight drwa to an 8 high straight, and there appears to be a flush draw and a better low draw out there, go ahhead and play, maybe even get very aggressive and try to knock out one of the others.
Some hands do better heads up, while others do much better multiway. big draws to low straights and flushes like big multiway pots. Pairs, aces, kings, queend, and low pairs with an ace, do better heads up- try to thin the feild with strategic raises on third and fourth- remember, you want the WHOLE POT.
Use raises throughout the hand to knock out other hands if a good oppurtunity arises. you really want to knock out the low draws if you're going high (so you can win the whole pot) but it's also very important to raise to knock out other draws going the same way as you. if you have a high pair and someone else appears to be drawing at a straight, make 'em call two bets for the privalage.
Remember that until it is made, even a good low draw (such as 2347) is behind even a pair of queens or kings. you don't want to be heads up against a high hand if you only have a draw to half the pot. fopld and save some BBs. once it is made however, you will often be free rolling for the high end- be very aggressive and try to get the WHOLE POT.
As with all poker games, be tight, be aggressive. check-raising and three betting are very important in stud /8. the pots should be jammed a lot if there are good players at the table- don't be afraid to jam them yourself if you feel that you have a lock for one way or both.
Slowplaying is generally a very bad idea in a loose stud/8 game. don't do it unless you have a high rolled set or another real monster (i'd slow play a wheel unless it looks like flush draws or trips are out there). NO FREE CARDS- no free cards, no free cards. take em if you need them, but never give them out, especially on fifth.
The ability to read hands and analyze opponents and their stratigies is, imo, more important in stud/8 than any other form of poker. experience will help- concentrate first on deciding weather a player is going high or low- it can be very deceptive sometimes.
Be tight be aggressive, play good hands and play 'em hard. PLAY FOR SCOOP.
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