The sequence of play
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
seven card stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Other Gambling Card Game
EXAMPLE FIVE-CARD STUD BASIC
The limits are one or two chips to open until a pair is showing or until the final betting interval when the upper limit rises to five chips. The shaded cards are the hole-cards, and these, of course, are known only to their holders.
First betting interval
- After the first deal, player 4, holding the highest card showing, a Queen, is the first to speak, and bets one chip.
- Player 5 calls, as he has king in the hole, better than any card showing.
- Player 1 also calls, since he holds a pair of 3s, possibly the best hand out so far.
- Player 2 folds by turning over his 2 and placing it face down on his hole-card. Although his hole-card equals the highest card showing, he holds it with a lowly 2 and he knows that possibly three at least of the players hold a better hand (in fact they all do).
- Player 3 has an Ace in the hole so he calls too (he doesn’t want to raise yet and scare everybody away, and, besides, player 1, who is known as a tight player, possibly holds a pair of 3s). The betting is now equalized, so the dealer deals each of the four players still in the game another card face up.
1ST BETTING INTERVAL The poker player with the highest up-card opens the betting here player 4.
Second betting interval
- Player 4, with the Queen showing, is again first to bet. He has a pair of 5s and decides to bet a chip. He still has the highest card showing and while he possibly wouldn’t have stayed in without pairing his 5 he is happy to bet now and is not afraid of increasing the pot.
- Player 5 can still see no higher cards than his King on the table and calls, albeit without much hope.
- Player 1 calls, also without enthusiasm. He realizes his pair is unlikely to be the winning hand, but stays in for another round.
- Player 3 also calls. His hand has many possibilities but he is not going to go all out yet. Once again the bets are equalized (there are now eight chips in the pot), and further round of cards is dealt.
AFTER THE SECOND DEAL Apart from player 4, who now has a pair of 5s, no-one has improved his hand much.
As the dealer deals the cards he calls ‘Possible flush’ for player 3, ‘Pair ’ or player 5 and ‘Possible straight ’ for himself. Pointing to player 5’s hand, he says ‘Pair of 9s to bet.’
Third betting interval
Because there is now an open pair on the table, the maximum limit for bets is now five chips.
- Player 5 decides to scare off all those without a pair by betting the maximum five chips. He is not scared of player 1 who can hold nothing better than a pair of 4s. He will surely not stay in the hope of filling a straight or two pairs. Player 4 could have a pair of Queens, but would probably have bet more aggressively if his first two cards had been Queens. Player 3 might have paired his Jack or 10 but surely wouldn’t bet on in the hope of a flush.
- Player 5 was right about player 1, who folds.
- Player 3 knows he can beat player 5’s pair of 9s if he completes a flush, or a pair of aces, Jacks or 10s. he is good at maths and calculates the odds. He has seen 14 cards, including his own hole-card, guesses that no more than two or three hearts have gone (there is only one on the table in the other hands). He reckons from the betting there are probably three Aces left in the pack and possibly two Jacks and three 10s. There are therefore about 13 cards of the 38 he doesn’t know that will help him beat a pair of 9s, odds of about 2 to 1 against. Of course he could also lose to two pairs in player 5’s hand. The pot is currently 13 chips, offering odds of 13 to 5 against him pulling off a 2 to 1 chance. In view of his possibility of a flush, he calls.
- Player 4 realizes the game is up with a pair of 5s and folds. With bets equal, the dealer gives a final card each to players 3 and 5.
AFTER THE THIRD DEAL of the four players remaining in the game, players 1 and 4 will fold.
The dealer announces ‘pair of 7s’ when giving player 3 his card, and ‘two pairs’ for player 5. He says ‘Two pairs bets.’
Fourth betting interval
- Player 5 knows that he has won unless player 3 has a 7 as his hole-card, which is extremely unlikely the way he has bet, so there is no need for him to do anything but check. He cannot win any more chips because player 3 must fold now that he has failed to compete a flush straight.
- In the event, player 3 sees he is beaten without needing to know player 5’s hole-card, and folds.
Player 5 takes a pot of 18 chips, of which 11 are profit.
THE FINAL DEAL Receiving the second Jack means that players 5 can be practically sure he has won.
Most players in Five-card Stud (the Poker is understood ) have a general rule that it is not worth betting if there is a better hand on the table than you hold, however, pregnant with possibilities your hand might be. We saw some inkling of this in the previous example when player 3 stayed in all the way with a hand that after three cards could have been a royal flush, and after four still a flush, but in the end proved to be one that had to be folded.
It follows from this rule that if on the first betting interval a player has an Ace showing and is therefore obliged to bet, all other players should fold unless they happen to have an Ace in the hole. This is reasonable mathematically, but of course if everybody followed this method very few games would ever reach a showdown, and the whole session would be a bore. So everybody loosens up a little and very frequently the first better doesn’t win the pot. If you bet only when you have the best cards, you will quickly get the reputation of being such a tight player that you won’t get invited to games.