Playing Stud Poker in a HORSE Game


Getting back to talking about playing HORSE, the next element of the 5 would be 7-card Stud. This variant everyone knows how to play (or at least thinks they know!) at least in a rudimentary sort of way. Stud is a good game to make some hay in during a HORSE game if you are up against the type of table that likes to chase. Chasing hands is not a good thing in Stud, but because it is FL, many players will do it. These are the ones you want to take advantage of.

First off, starting hands. I do not like to play Stud hands that do not start with SOMETHING. A pair, suited cards, obviously a set, etc. Playing hands like 3 high cards is often not a good idea. You do not want to get too speculative in this game. Leave that to others and you will usually run them out of big pots when they are chasing something or representing a pair of Aces when they only have 1 showing.

Second, you should usually know where you are in the hand by 4th street. If you don’t feel that you have it won, meaning you are ahead at this point, it is a good time to shut it down before losing more chips or building a pot that you can’t take down. 5th street at latest, but you had better know where you are at by then.

Third, do not draw against someone who you can see has you beat. In other words, you have a pair of T’s and he has 2 Aces on the board. Get out of the hand when you see this. Don’t try to outdraw him, he may already have 2 pair, so even if you improve you might be playing dead. Knowing when to shut down a Stud hand is 1/2 the battle. Even if you are cruising along ahead in the hand, if you look over and that has suddenly changed, fold.

6th street and the River you will not be folding most of the time if you have made good decisions on the other streets. The main reason for this is that you should be ahead in the hand and plus it will not cost you much relative to the pot to see the remaining 1 or 2 cards. If you have come this far with the hand, stick it out. I have seen players fold to an $80 River bet with a pot of $800 sitting there. You need to see that what your opponent had if nothing else and with you getting 10:1 on your money, that is a call you have to make about 99% of the time.

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