WHEN YOU MAKE A STRONG five-card hand in Stud 8/b, you have to decide whether or not you want to jam it in order to eliminate players, or slow-play it in order to keep more players in the pot. Often, the nature of your hand and the nature of the board will tell you what you should do.
If you make a seven-high straight (3-4-5-6-7), youâ??ll try to raise all the low draws right out of the pot, so that your seven-high straight and the accompanying rough seven low, Iâ??ll jam the pot in order to protect my hand. When you make a full house in Stud 8/b, you want to jam the pot in order to weed out the low draws, so that you can scoop the pot. The concept of when to protect you hand and wen to trap with you hand seems to fall along the lines of trapping when you make a strong two-way hand and protecting when you make a strong high hand. Most of the time, though, you want to jam the pot, both to protect your hand and possibly to build a bigger pot for you to scoop!
WORLD-CLASS PLAY ON THE LAST
ROUND OF BETTING
Here is an advanced concept in Stud 8/b, one that a lot of players donâ??t even know exists. It is something to think about in the last round of betting. The concept involves making the bluff raise with a high hand on the end. This is a play that works only on the end to save one raise. When youâ??re obviously on a high hand in Stud 8/b and your opponent, who you suspect is going low, hits a small two pair instead of a low, then you can go ahead and raise on the end with your one-high-pair hand, because your opponent will suspect that you have a high hand which beats his high hand. Ted Forrest was able to use this play successfully for years, until some of the other high-limit players finally figured out what he was doing. (Ted wrote an amazing Hand of the Week for me describing that very play; you can read it at philhellmuth.com.) The problem with this play is that most players wonâ??t fold their hands on the end with two small pair in low- or mid-limit games. Therefore, this play is to be saved for occasional use in the high-limit games at the Bellagio or Commerce Casino.
THE BIGGEST POT I EVER SAW IN STUD 8/B
I remember one beautiful pot in which a well-known high-limit player named Don (â??Zuluâ?) Zewin won a $50,000 pot in a $400-$800 game ($50,000 pots are unheard of at this limit). Don had a hand of (2-3) 6-5-8-4 (7). Three of his opponents had high hands (aces up, trips, and a flush draw) , and the other opponent had a seven-high straight made after five cards. The betting and raising going in this hand were incredible! One player had started with aces, one with trips, and so on.
When Don was showing down his hand on the end, he said, â??Six-high straight.â? The high hands all threw their hands away, and now the seven high straight said, â??Seven-high straight,â? and started to reach for his half of the pot. Don absentmindedly flipped up his last card-it was a seven-when he suddenly realized that he hand made an eight-high straight. Don said, â??Sorry, I overlooked my hand. I have an eight high straight!â? The dealer, who was busy stacking this enormous pot to divide it up, and would have been stacking at least another two minutes, just pushed it all to Don in about four different strokes. All those white hundred-dollar chips, green thousand-dollar chips, and stacks of hundred dollar bills in one enormous pot! It took Zulu more than five minutes to count all the cast and chips and determine that the pot had $54,400 in it.
BY PHIL HELLMUTH, JR.