Clipped From The Daily Herald
ON THE TOWN Section 6/Page 13 Beware the paired door in 7 Card Stud BY FRED RENZEY Daily Herald Correspondent Here's the picture. You're in the poker room at the Hollywood Casino or the Showboat playing 7 Card Stud. You started out with a pair of Jacks on your first three cards and raised coming in. A player with a 10 showing called your raise, and by the fifth card the situation looks like this: YOUR HAND RIVERBOAT GAMBLING Now falling high on board, the pair of 10's bets. Everyone else 'olds and it's up to you. Should you call, raise or fold? One of the toughest decisions you'll ever make in 7 Card Stud is how to play when your opponent pairs his "door card" (first up-card) as he has here. Why? Because of all the hands a reasonable player would come into a pot with, a healthy chunk of those would be a pair of whatever his door card is. And when he pairs that card on board, he may very well have made trips (three of a kind)! Notice that I said a "reasonable" player. If you're C laying in a game where eveiy- ody"s calling with everything, then a paired door card doesn't mean much. Let's say your opponent opponent in the scenario above is a typical veteran who wouldn't have played with anything less than a pair, a three-flush, a three- straight or at least three big cards, 10 or higher. Then based on the probability distribution of poker hands, for, every 10 times he pairs his door card he will have: Triplets 4 times 2 pair 2 times 3-flushw/pair 2 times 3-straightw/pair itime Pair w/2 high kickers l time Notice that 60 percent of the time your opponent will already have the better hand and there will still be three more bets to call. All things considered, on a straight "odds" basis you're more likely to lose this hand than win it But does that mean you should fold? Well, not necessarily. Before deciding how to play, you can use your "reading ability" ability" to determine with greater reliability "where you are" in this particular hand. To do this, you must ask yourself several questions. questions. First and foremost, were any 10s folded by the other players? If both of them were, you should at least call, maybe raise! If exactly one other 10 has been seen, was it folded right on third street (the first three cards) or later in the hand? If it was folded at the beginning, beginning, it's less likely your opponent would have called your initial raise while holding two 10s with a dead 10 on the board. In that case you should probably call. If the 10 popped up on the fourth or fifth card, you have a much tougher decision. Is your opponent a loose player? Is he the passive type who would just check if he only had a pair of 10s? Were there many spades on third street so that he's not likely to have a 3-flush? The more "yes" answers you get, the more likely your opponent started out with a pair oflOs and you should now fold. And in those cases where no other 10s have been seen, you should almost certainly fold! Notice that through all this I never asked whether your other two Jacks were still live. That's because even if they were, at this point in the game, you would only catch one of them one time out of eight. Your most realistic hope with this hand is to make Jacks up (two pair). If that doesn't figure figure to win, get out For Fred Renzey's 179-page strategy guide, "The Blackjack Bluebook," send $14.50 to "Blackjack Mentor," P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL 60009.