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Old 06-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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Venice Venice is offline
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strategyweek1 Stud Hi-Lo Strategy

Basic Rules

In Stud Hi-Lo each player gets dealt an individual hand. That hand comprises of 2 cards down and 1 card up to start, and 3 cards down and 4 cards up by the end. The betting happens on each street from 3rd to 7th inclusive. The best 5 card poker hand wins half the pot, and the best low hand (using cards A to 8) wins the other half of the pot.


Starting Hands

The best starting hand in Stud Hi-Lo is AAA, followed by 888 down to 222, followed by KKK down to 999. Naturally getting trips as a starting hand is rare (0.23%), therefore dont sit around waiting for them.

3 lows to a flush are good, particularly if it includes an ace. eg Ah 2h 3h is a strong hand and very simple to play; it is the strongest un-made hand in Stud Hi-Lo.

3 connected lows are good, eg 3 4 5. The more the gaps the weaker your hand will become.

Pairs of Aces, Kings, and Queens are good.

Now Stud Hi-Lo is a fantastic game of skill, one of the highest skill factors of any poker game, so dont feel the need necessarily to be regimented just to these sort of starting hands, as others can be strong once upcards and hand-to-hand comparisons are factored in.

Strategy

4th street is very key in Stud Hi-Lo. 4th street is the last street where the cost of 1 bet is only half of 1 big bet. From 5th Street onwards, the cost of 1 bet will be one whole big bet. ie all streets after 4th are twice as expensive. Also at 4th you have generally seen a very high percentage of the dead cards that you are likely to get to see in the hand. Also at 4th you generally have the first proper indication of the type of hand that your opponents are probably playing for.

Tracking cards is very imporant in Stud Hi-Lo. It will dramtically alter your chances of hitting your hand or analysing your comparitive hand correctly. Simple examples include:
i) tracking the number of dead spades, when you are starting with a 3-spade starting hand.
ii) tracking dead low-outs. In a common sort of scenario, you may have 4 lows by 4th street, and are therefore drawing to 16 potential cards with a 71% chance of making a low by 7th. Now if 8 of those 16 are played out as dead (eg door cards or 4th street cards of opponents) then your chances of making it are reduced dramatically down to 50%.
iii) tracking 4s and 5s for dead low straights

A bit more on tracking 4's and 5's specifically. Every low straight must contain a 4 and a 5. Therefore tracking these is very important. If either the 4s or the 5s are all dead then you cant make a low straight, and conversely, if either the 4s or the 5s are dead to your opponent, they cant make one. (eg 3x4's gone in dead-cards, and you have 1x4 in your hand)

It is better to scoop just one heads-up showdown pot, than to go seeking numerous that you will only likely split down the middle. There is very little to be gained by constantly going after pots where you can only win not much more than half the antes and the bring-ins. The gains (compared to risk) are miniscule compared to the average pot that goes to showdown and scoops. Playing a hand down weakly, to then end up scooping by a distance, is also just as bad. You really need to build pots where you have a good chance of scooping (or of taking a 2:1 or 3:1 cut) by betting and raising those; and to avoid regularly chasing down hands looking for one half (eg low only vs showing high, heads-up).

Following on closely from that, remember that there will always be a high hand, but there wont always be a low hand. A common mistake that players make is to play for the low as long as they just happen to have a bunch of low cards. Always try to keep a good high in mind, and if the cards to that straight or flush start to dead out then remember you need to have the brakes majorly on and only indeed continue at all if the comparitive carding is working in your favor.

Compartive cards - it is naturally important to compare the relative value of your hand against your opponents upcards and potential hand. Commonly this is most often done with comparing lows as the information is better. Say with villain showing 278, and you on A4856 you naturally should be getting more bets in.

Probably one of the most important of all strategy elements in Stud Hi-Lo is hand direction comparisons. If 2 or more players look as though they are playing for the low, then you should really be pushing your high hand even if it doesnt seem that strong. Conversely if 2 or 3 players seem to be battling it out for a high, you with the low or a good low draw, need to be really pushing the betting. Dont go along as a passenger with a vacant smile on your face when you win a mid-sized pot at the end. Every single bet counts, and you must push these scenarios hard. If you lose the odd one so what, it doesnt matter in the bigger scheme of things. The ones you win you want to win big so play hard when the hand directions are imbalanced in your favor. In particurlar on the high side, with raindow up, and with dead 4s or dead 5s, and 2+ low showing/betting opponents, you need to push that like crazy, even if you only started with a high pair and you are yet to even hit 2 pair. Dont be passive. Many villains will brick out and fold at 7th, many will take it all the way and lose the battle of the lows, but none of that is your concern, you just want to milk them for every ounce out there at 2:1.

Due to the shear importance of card-tracking and comparitive carding to gain a consistant edge in Stud Hi-Lo, multi-tabling too much Stud Hi-Lo at once is never a good idea. Start with 1 or 2 tables until you are rountinely making quick and correct decisions about when to push the betting and when to limit the betting/fold. Take time to go over many of your hands after the fact to cement the fact that the aggressive pots were at the right times, and that passivity does not exist in times when the conditions were right to push it.

Tools to help with card tracking

You may wish to consider Stud Inspector ($99).
Also on Full Tilt you can set the chat box comments to include all info, and then detach the chat box, you will then see all dead-cards listed even though they are no longer visible at the table
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:01 PM
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Thanks for the excellent explaination Venice.

Sorry for the brag inside, but cause of the NON-Holdem Extra vaganza Stud Hi/Lo Week i played 2 Stud Hi/Lo MTT's and made it in the money and managed even to finish 3rd in one.

Also i strongly can recommend reading this, play Stud Hi/Lo and post any hands you have doubts about. Getting feedback helps to improve your game.

Any tips how to prevent getting exhausted playing Stud Hi/Lo??
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Last edited by DrJustice : 06-23-2009 at 09:04 PM.

  #3  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:35 PM
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Thanks for that FTP pointer, Venice. Very sneaky!

Also, just as an aside, AAA >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> KKK. The reason is that you are limiting low chasers to catching a single A to finish their hand. For this same reason, 444/555, though lower in rank to KKK-666, actually hold more informational value than the other cards. This is similar in effect to snowing in 27 when you have 77772. Since you've taken away the low ability to backdoor into a high straight, your hand is well ahead of the standard range of opening hands.

Another point: Unlike in Omaha-8, where playing to win the low if you have hands like A24Kds or A35Kds is somewhat profitable due to the high option and probability of being close to chasing the wheel, the same is not true in Stud-8.

In Stud-8, you're effectively chasing 20/49 and 16/48 within four cards. If you exclude 8s from your chase, then you're at 16/49 and 12/48. If you see ANY of your potential outs on the board, you're probably in a position where it makes sense to give up on a hand like "A26" (if first to enter a pot) since you're not drawing to the wheel. It might even make sense to give up "235" if you see any As or 6s on the board.

Assuming no other low cards have been taken, you're about a 65-70% favourite to win the low. So, it just goes downhill from there.

As an aside (and this is a question too, if anyone can show me why my reasoning is wrong):

In Stud-8, I think 345s is much MUCH better than 234s. Although both are straight-flush wheel draw starting hands, the 345 has several benefits to its favour:

1) You have a 4 & 5.
2) You have more outs to the straight draw. (Catching a 2 on fourth street still gives you an open-ender, whereby catching an A with 234 gives you a four-outer chasing a key card.)
3) More cards kill your hand fast. (7, 6, 2, A and flush cards kill your hand and allow you to muck fast. Basically, if you see a lot of low cards and are only chasing the flush, it isn't a bad decision to pass. Conversely, if you see a two or more flush cards and you're probably only chasing the low, you are in a good position to pass.)
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Last edited by shimozukawa : 06-23-2009 at 09:41 PM.

  #4  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venice View Post
Basic Rules
You may wish to consider Stud Inspector ($99).
Also on Full Tilt you can set the chat box comments to include all info, and then detach the chat box, you will then see all dead-cards listed even though they are no longer visible at the table
this is a great tips I never knew about this maybe I will try to play some stud on FTP

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Old 07-05-2009, 01:04 PM
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I Really don't play Stud Well...

 


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