Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stealing Antes

Of the Stud variants of poker, Seven-Card Stud High/Low is the hardest game in which to steal antes. For example in Razz, the bring-in is usually a face card, and very rarely will the bring-in defend against a complete bet from an exposed low card. In Razz you can have wired kings with an exposed 2 and steal the antes. It is more difficult to steal antes in high-only Seven-Card Stud because bring-ins can have many possible card combinations worth defending. In fact, in high-only Seven-Card Stud a bring-in with a pair or high-cards in the hole, will usually defend against someone she believes is trying to steal the antes. However, a bring-in in high-only Stud will usually not defend complete garbage.

However, in Seven-Card Stud High/Low, the bring-in will often defend against a player that she believes is stealing the antes. If the bring-in has an exposed low-card and picks up a second exposed low-card, she can become very aggressive. An opponent trying to steal antes with garbage might find himself in an uncomfortable situation, because the bring-in’s low-cards could allow her to freeroll on later streets. In Seven-Card Stud High/Low, low-cards because of the their dual roles in both high and low hands, have greater value than mid-range cards, which can only contribute to high-hands. A bring-in with an exposed 2 and 6, 7, in the hole has a better starting hand than an opponent with an exposed K and Q, 8, in the hole, even though the bring-in has no over cards. Attempting to steal antes with uncoordinated high-cards will not work in Stud-High/Low as often as it will in Stud-high. A significant fraction of the time, the bring-in will have a hand worth defending, or even raising with in response to a completed bet.

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