7-CARD STUD

The Game Stud

Poker Play

Positive Attitude

Poker Intimidated

Check Other Games

Betting Styles

Poker Bluff

THIRD STREET

Third Street

Poker Big Pairs

Middle Pairs

Low Pairs

Flush Draws

Straight Draws

Best of the Rest

FOURTH STREET

Fourth Street

Force Out Hands

Poker Two Pair

Poker Big Pairs

Middle Small Pairs

Four Flushes

Ended Straight

FIFTH STREET

Fifth Street

Playing Full House

Flushes Straights

Poker Trips

Poker Two Pair

Drawing Hands

Summary

Learning to play poker


Force Out Those Drawing Hands

Another reasons it’s often best to raise is that you want to force out the drawing poker hands.  If you are in early or mid-position, you have a chance to make it more difficult for the drawing hands to stick around.  If, in those positions, you see several players who have two cards on the boards of the same suit or in sequence, bet or raise.

By betting or raising in early and mid-position, it will be easier for you to force them out than it would from late position.  Granted, if you were in late position they would have to call your raise, but by raising from early or mid-position, you make them have to call two bets.  That’s pretty difficult to do unless they have a great chance at making their hands.  Those drawing hands may stick around anyway, but if you play aggressively, at the very least one or two will fold.  That’s good for you when you are up against a drawing hand.

Many players are burned because they let drawing hands stick around when they could have forced them out.  The result of this mistake is that Poker Play er with the drawing hand turns over a flush at the showdown, saying with a smile, “The river was good to me.”  Meanwhile, Poker Play er who didn’t improve his trip jacks on fourth street mucks his hand in disgust.  If you play your good cards aggressively, that first player won’t stick around to out-draw you.  You’ll be the one smiling when the dealer pushes the stack of chips your way.

Calling & Folding

When you have trips on fourth street, raising is clearly what you should do most often.  There are times, though, when calling or even trips very often, but there will be times when that’s the right play.

Let’s first talk about when to call with trips.  Suppose you are in late position with trip 4s.  You are waiting for a pair of aces on the board to bet, and before it gets to you, a pair of deuces will have to act as well.  Poker Play er with the aces brings it in for four dollars, the next several players fold, and the holder of the pair of deuces raises.  Now it’s eight dollars to you.  That’s a lot of money for low-limit.  Should you re-raise, call or fold?

It’s tough, but here you should just call.  Raising may understandably be tempting.  The deuces will have to act as well.  Poker Play er with the aces brings it in for four dollars, the next several players fold, and the holder of the pair of deuces raises.  Now it’s eight dollars to you.  That’s a lot of money for low-limit.  Should you re-raise, call or fold?

It’s tough, but here you should just call.  Raising may understandably be tempting.  The deuces raised, which is a good indication that player has made trips.  Sure, your trips are higher than his potential trip deuces, but you have to wait for the aces to act again, and that player may very well re-raise.

At this stage, because things have gotten expensive, most of the drawing hands will be gone, and you’ll be left with just the two other players.  It’s one bet back to the pair of aces.  If that player re-raises, it’s good indication that he has trip aces.  If he just calls, he is likely representing Poker Two Pair, because with his money in the pot, most players would have a very tough time folding. They’d want to see another card  (which is the right thing to do with a solid Poker Two Pair).

If it’s raised and it comes back to you, you can call unless you have seen two of your needed cards to improve to quads or a full house fall.  If they did, as tough as it may be, you must fold.  Yes, folding with trips is the least desirable of situations.  70% of the time you will be raising with trips.  28% of the time you will be calling.  About 2% of the time you will actually have to fold with trips.  Those times will be few and far between, and it may take you a lot of courage to throw in your trips, but at times it’s worth it.

One of the factors that will play into your decision as to when to fold with trips will be the status of your cards – are they live or dead?  If your last card to improve to quads is dead, it’s not that big a deal – quads happen rarely.  But if two or more of the cards of game you need to improve your hand to a boat (full house) are gone, either play very aggressively on fourth street (if you’re hoping to win the pot right there), or play very cautiously.

Two factors help determine how you will play: the size of your trips and what the board is showing.  With no pairs on the board, or with pairs lower than your trips, even if you have two dead cards, you’ll want to bang away.  Many hands will be won by any set of trips, so when you have them and no one else appears to, you can stay in as long as possible.  Make hands that are trying to improve pay.

So when would you fold?  The only instance in which to fold is when there are bigger pairs on the board and there has been a lot of action that makes it difficult to call.  When none or one of your needed cards to improve is gone, calling to see fifth street is fine.

But if two of your cards are gone, it is two full bets to you, and you can see a bigger pair or two bigger poker pairs out there, think long and hard about calling.  You probably are looking at one or more sets of trips bigger than yours.  Is it really worth two full bets to take a chance on the two cards in the deck that can help?  Unless the pot is huge and you are getting fantastic pot odds, as tough as it is, fold in this situation.

If you’ve been paying attention to what is on the board and what has been folded, your play can be much more nuanced.  Let’s look at an example to illustrate what I mean.

Say you have trip 4s, and it is a four-dollar bet to you.  To your left (yet to act) is a pair of jacks.  Normally, you would just call the bet and wait to see what that player would do.  If you’ve seen a jack fall, tough, go ahead and raise it to eight dollars – make the pair of jacks pay to let you know if he has the last jack in the deck.  With that large of a bet and solid pair on the board, he probably isn’t going to re-raise unless he has trips.  If you have seen both of a player’s needed cards for trips fall, you can bang away no matter what is the rank of his pair.

SIXTH STREET

Sixth Street

Completed Solid Hands

Trips & Poker Two Pairs

Summary

SEVENTH STREET

Seventh Street

Calling Seventh Street

Quick Quiz

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Keep Records

the Shaking Hand

Glossary