In Stud High you have to pay attention to having a decent starting hand, great pot odds calculation, good read on your opponents and finding the right spot for stealing the bring in and the antes. The following example was played against one of the most known female poker players: Cyndy Violette.
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The above mentioned game was $2/$4 Stud High with $0,40 ante and 8 players. The player with ♣3 brought in for $0,50, Cyndy Violette (from now on Cyndy) called with a ♣7, the next 4 players folded. This call was already interesting for me because I have read some articles on Stud High from the best poker players and they have all written that they either fold or raise but never limp in. So I completed to $2 with a ♦A (hidden cards: ♥T♠7). This was not a premium hand but ace up shows strength and there was only one player behind me. Until this point no one had shown strength so it was a perfect chance to steal the antes and the two bring ins. The player who brought in folded but Cyndy made the call.
The two of us played on and Cyndy got the ♣2 on 4th street and I got the ♠3. This did not change anything. Cyndy did not show any strength on 3rd street and she did not seem to be dangerous. Probably she thought the same about my hand. I decided to go on with my bluff and fired $2 again, Cyndy made the call.
On 5th street she received ♦T and I was dealt ♣5. Cyndy’s cards were the following at this point: xx♣7♣2♦T and mine: ♥T♠7♦A♠3♣5. I had absolutely nothing without draws. However her hand was also not paired either and her cards did not seem to be scary. The bets on 5th street double from $2 to $4 and many players usually fold at this point because of the good pots odds later on. If someone calls now then there is a good chance of calling the hand down to showdown. (So the big decision is to fold your hand on 5th street or keep going and look at the showdown. However if you call 5th, 6th and 7th street and you lose then it costs you a lot of money and most of the times you should have folded already on 5th street.) For this reason I fired $4 again. She called again quickly. It seemed like my plan to mak e Cyndy believe I had a pair of aces was not working or she just had a strong draw with her 2 down cards. I had to slow down because if she called until that point she would also call the next street. Of course if I got a good card on 6th street then I could go on with my betting.
I got the ♥J and she received the ♥4. Since my hand did not improve anything I checked. She took the lead and bet $4. This bet was interesting. She could have seen very well that I had nothing and she bet with also nothing or at most with a pair. Her hand looked absolutely harmless and with great pot odds I made the call.
On 7th street I got the ♠2 and of course I did not see her card (if you are new to Stud games, the first two cards and the last card are faced down). I completely missed everything so I checked and Cyndy bet. At this point there were $39,30 in the pot so I had about 10:1 pot odds but I only had ace high. I remembered what Paul Sexton said once: “If you can beat the board of the other player you have to make the call in the end”. I only had A high but it was better than Cyndy’s board (ten high) so painfully I made the call.
As a huge surprise her three down cards were ♣J♥8♥6, she showed a jack high hand and my ace high hand won the $43,30 pot. With ace high hand it does not happen too often that someone wins a showdown but what is important that you have to make the last call no matter what, if you beat your opponents’ board. My call was not easy to make at the end when Cyndy tried to bluff me out but I remembered what Sexton said and this advice won the hand for me. Just to add something to the last hand. I did not understand Cyndy’s play. She called with very weak cards in the beginning. She also called 4th and 5th street with nothing. Even if she read my hand perfectly there would be no reason to make calls in a limit poker like stud when she cannot bluff me out on a later street and at the same time she cannot even beat a bluff.
I also suggest you read books, articles and watch videos from the pros. These suggestions can win you hands which you would play differently otherwise.
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