Position in the games of five card draw and five card stud is important, but it is important you understand the differences between today’s common online games and other forms in casinos or home games. Five card draw in a home game or a casino usually has the player who opened the betting on the first round be the first to act on the second round. In online poker however, it is much different in that position is handled just like it is for Texas Hold’em or other community games. There is a dealer button followed by two blinds and then play continues to the left. In five card stud, position is handled much like seven card stud with a low card bring in bet to start the action and then the player with the highest showing hand starts the action on subsequent rounds. This article will discuss some strategies and tactics associated with positional play in each game.
Position In Five Card Draw
In five card draw it is very important to play tight and aggressive, especially in early position. Early position is for aces and aces only! Entering the pot from early position with low ranking two pair or a hand like jacks or tens is bad news. You need to play extra tight and be extra strong when you are dealt the right hand. Consider kings in early position if you are confident your opponents are weak. Betting into strong opponents from early position is a horrible idea. From time to time you may use deception in early position to throw off your opponents. You don’t need to make a habit of this, but throwing in a check raise or a soft call from early position with a strong holding can be to your advantage in the following situations:
Players are beginning to figure out your playing style and you need to throw them a change.
You have a clear read on an opponent and you’re in the driver’s seat.
Middle and late positions will afford you the opportunity to enter with queens down through tens. Try to stay away from “shorts” which is any pair under nine. You could play a hand like this to confuse an opponent, but a regular strategy of playing nines in middle or late position isn’t sound. Play four card high ranking drawing hands from late position when the pot justifies it or is close to it, don’t regularly do this from early or early/middle position.
Position In Five Card Stud
Let’s be honest; everything is pretty out in the open in five card stud. Your position is determined by where you sit in relation to the player with the highest showing poker hand. This might be you or it might not. The important things to consider are the following:
- Is your hand better than the lead out players?
- Does your hand have a good probability of becoming better on the next card?
Are you susceptible to a raise from a player left to act behind you? If so, what are the chances that player holds something better than you?
These are all questions that will determine your course of action when considering position in five card stud. If you are the high ranking player you can use this to your advantage. You may have the best showing hand, but none of the other players know what your hole card is. Representing a strong hand is a viable strategy in this position especially when other players up cards are weak. Watch out for a player who raises and re-raises your opening bets when you have the most powerful showing hand. This player could be extra gutsy and trying to bluff, but chances are, they’re holding a hand that they know can beat yours and they’re probably figuring in your hold card as well.