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Old 07-27-2005, 11:09 PM
Andy B Andy B is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Default Stud Hand Converter, Posting Guidelines, and FAQ

Stud Forum Hand Converter, Posting Guidelines and Frequently-Asked Questions v 2.1.1

The stud hand converter can be found here. If you have any questions or problems, please direct them to greenage. Please note that if you play on Party, you must have the hand histories emailed to you in order to use the converter. The hand histories that are automatically saved to your hard-drive do not include all the up-cards.

The FAQ is a work in progress. Please PM me with any suggestions or corrections.

This is the best forum on 2+2. The stud forum is the best on 2+2 for several reasons, among them:

1) Stud and stud/8 much more interesting than hold'em or Omaha.
2) We have a better signal-to-noise ratio than most of the other forums.
3) Stud players tend to be nicer than hold'em players and consequently
4) We tend to behave ourselves for the most part.

We do have vigorous discussions, and we do engage in a certain amount of friendly needling, but for the most part, we don't go around gratuitously insulting each other. I would like to keep it this way.

If you have a general question, please look at the FAQs below to see if it is answered there. This forum has been around for a number of years, and most general questions have been asked and answered numerous times now. If you have a rules question, please read Robert's Rules to see if it's answered there:

Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud High-Low

Also, there is a search function for your convenience. StevieG offers helpful suggestions for using it more effectively here.

Most posts are about the play of a specific hand. Please use the hand converter if possible. If you happen to play on a non-supported site or in a casino, please provide as much information as possible, including:

1. The limit
2. The size of the ante and bring-in
3. As much information as you can about the cards that are out
4. Any relevant information about your opponents (this goes for converted hands too)

Please do not post raw hand histories. They are hard to read. You will get more and better responses if you convert your hand to a narrative. It might take some time, but it also takes time to respond, so please make your post readable.

If you have a specific question about something, go ahead and ask it. Generally speaking, however, it's best to just present the hand with as much information as possible and then let people respond however they want to respond. If you ask, "when should I have folded," that will tend to taint people's responses. If you don't ask, people will probably tell you if and when you should have folded anyway.

Avoid telling us the results in your initial post as that definitely influences responses. What's important is whether or not you played the hand correctly, not whether you won or lost. Wait a day or so before posting results.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I have a free-roll that starts in three minutes and I've never played stud in my life.

Play live cards. (Thank you Mike Caro.)

Rolled-up trips are very strong and should be played strongly. If the game is loose, raise early and often. In a tighter game, you may want to slow-play, but it's easy to get burned this way.

Three-flushes are usually good hands, but you usually don't want more than two of your suit gone. You don't want to play a small three-flush heads-up against a big pair, but they do well in most multi-way pots. If you don't pick up a fourth flush card on fourth street, you should usually fold unless you have paired, your hand has other possibilities, or the pot is large.

Three-card straights are trouble. Most players lose money on straight draws, and I don't make much. If you've never played stud before, you would probably be best off folding anything lower than QJT or so. If you are going to play smaller three-straights, be sure that your needed cards are live.

Most of your playable hands are going to be pairs. Not all pairs are playable, though. Obviously, the bigger the better and the more live the better. A quality kicker helps as well. (A9)9 and (T9)9 are much better than (94)9. Aces through Queens should usually raise. Jacks through Nines should sometimes raise and sometimes call. Eights and lower should sometimes limp and often fold, especially the smallest pairs, although you may want to raise with these hands if there is a good chance to steal the antes. If someone with a door card higher than your pair raises, you should at least consider folding unless you think he is on a steal. Exactly how you play your pair will depend on the cards that are out, the action, your kicker, and other factors. 7CS4AP spends many pages on this subject.

Stealing becomes more important as you get to the later stages of the tournament, but it isn't as important as it is in, say, limit hold'em. The ante is the same whether there are two players or eight. With two players, however, you will be the bring-in much more often. In hold'em, you will have the blinds much more often in a short-handed situation, so you have to play looser and more aggressive than you do at a full table. In stud, your overhead per hand will only go up a little, so you don't need to loosen up nearly as much.

Q. Dude, how can you play 7-card stud with eight players? Like, you'll run out of cards! 7 x 8 = 56 and there are only 52 cards in the deck! Like, y'know?

A. It is relatively rare to run out of cards in an eight-handed game, but when that happens, a community card is dealt on seventh street.

Q. How big of a bankroll do I need to play a particular limit?

A. The 300 big bet guideline so often quoted for hold'em is applicable for stud. This assumes that you are playing for a living (or at least that you are somewhat dependent upon poker for income) and that going broke is therefore unacceptable. If you are playing for a living, you might want to have a bit more than this. If you have a day job, and most of us do, these considerations are not nearly as important. If you're playing $.50/1.00 and lose your online bankroll, is it really going to be that hard to come up with another $25 or $50 to get back in action? If the thought of being out of action for a week or two until your next paycheck comes is too much for you to bear, you might seek out Gamblers Anonymous. I also think that some players unnecessarily hold themselves back by imposing unnecessarily stringent bankroll requirements on themselves. Personally, when I first moved up to $6/12 and $8/16, it was because I had a good job and a working wife, so it really wasn't that big a deal to peel off $300-400 if the need arose.

Q. How the hell am I supposed to remember all these damned cards anyway?

A. Being able to remember the cards that have shown is essential for true expert play. Fortunately for hacks like me, true expert play is not necessary to get the money in most games. DocAZ/Doctavian had a couple of excellent posts on the subject a few years back:

Post 1
Post 2

Until your memorization skills improve, concentrate on remembering cards that you need and that your opponents need. If you start with (J9)9, be sure to note any Nines or Jacks that are out. To a lesser extent, take note of straight cards that are out, especially the Tens. If your opponent is showing clubs, take note of how many clubs have shown.

Q. Are there any programs to help me remember the folded cards in my online game?

A. There is a thread discussing such a program and the ethics surrounding it he here. There is another thread on the ethics issue here.

Q. Is there a program that can show how various hands do head-to-head?

A. I use

Q. My local room/favorite site has a stud game with a high ante and/or rake. Is this game beatable?

A. Generally speaking, a high ante by itself will not make a game unbeatable. It may reduce the good player's edge, but it won't eliminate it. Take Party's $.50/1.00 game. This game has an ante of $.25, which is ridiculously high relative to the stakes. Nonetheless, the game is beatable because the players are so bad.

By the same token, while the rake in most low-limit casino stud games is brutally high, the players in the game are usually bad enough that the game is still plenty beatable. The rake in many B&M stud games is right around one big bet, which is very high. It is not unusual, however, for you to have multiple opponents making mistakes that add up to more than that 1 BB apiece. The casino is taking a lot of money off of the table, but there is usually still enough for you to get your share.

Now it could be that mostly half-decent players show up on a particular day, and the rake will be harder to overcome. Perhaps the game might still be beatable for a small amount, but you might be better off playing hold'em. This usually won't be the case in live games, though.

By way of example, I play at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. While I don't play in this game very often anymore, when the room first opened in 2000, I played quite a bit in their $2/4 stud game. This game has a $.50 ante and a $1 force. The rake is 10% capped at $4.50. There is a $1 jackpot drop on all pots of $15 or more. I tipped $1 on virtually every pot I won. This is an awful lot of overhead to fade, but I beat the game for about $7/hr because the players were so atrocious.

On-line rooms have lower rakes than brick and mortar casinos, and the cap is lower in the smaller on-line games, so the rake usually isn't a significant factor in determining whether a game is beatable.

The rake in stud/8 is more of a factor because of the split pot. There have to be some bad players to cover the rake. Fortunately, stud/8 is probably the game that most players play the worst.

Q. Geez, what are the odds?

A. Some commonly asked odds questions:

The chance of being rolled-up on any given hand is (3/51)*(2/50) = 1/425 or 424:1 against.

Absent any other information, if you start with four to a flush, you will make your flush about 47% of the time. Absent any other information, if you start with four to an open-ended straight draw, you will make your straight about 43% of the time. Absent any other information, if you start with four to a low, you will make an Eight-low or better about 71% of the time.

An overly detailed discussion of flush odds can be found here.
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