WATCH: Poker ace Daniel Negreanu unveils must see Stud 8 tutorial

  • Learn intricacies of Stud 8 with Daniel Negreanu
  • Understand what hands you should always play, and which ones need to be dumped, and much more

Stud 8 is an interesting and quite a complex game that isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be a couple of decades ago, but it still has its place both as a standalone and a part of different mix game combinations.

So, in his latest training video, Daniel Negreanu took it upon himself to explain the intricacies of Stud 8, the game he claims has helped him deepen his understanding of casino games and hand ranges more than any other game out there.

It’s about those small edges

One of the first things Daniel emphasizes is Stud 8 is the game of small edges. Anyone wanting to become a good (or better) Stud Hi-Lo player needs to understand the importance of getting in those extra bets when they believe to have an edge of 3-4%.

The rules of the game are the same as in the regular Stud, which Daniel already covered in one of his earlier videos. As for the high-low part, it means that the pot is split between the high and qualifying low hand (if it exists). The low hand contains five different cards between Ace and 8, and you can learn more about it in Negreanu’s Omaha Hi-Lo lesson. While the games feature different dynamics, the differentiation between high and low hands is exactly the same.

Picking your starting hands

As with most poker variations, good starting hand selection is essential to success, as it defines the kinds of situations you’ll find yourself in moving forward. For that reason, Negreanu spends a lot of time in his video explaining how to pick the good hands to play and put yourself up for success.

The hands you’ll want to play almost always include three low connected cards, especially the ones containing an Ace. Hands like A23 or 345 stand a good chance to end up scooping the entire pot, and will usually at least win half, which gives them a great potential.

When it comes to rolled-up hands (hands containing a pair in the hole), Negreanu explains that you should prefer the ones the type of hands with low potential. For example, you’d rather have a hand like 553 than 994, as the former gives you much more scooping possibilities.

Hands featuring big pocket pairs, like Kings or Queens, are strong, but not as strong in Stud. In Stud 8, these need to be approached cautiously and, whenever possible, take them heads up. These hands will not do well multi-way. Additionally, when facing a raise from an Ace showing, you might consider just giving them up.

At the same time, hands that would be good to play in the classic Stud 8, like three to flush with two big cards (and no Ace) or hands with straight potential like 910J or 10JQ should be avoided, as they’ll often lead to you chasing just for a half of the pot, which isn’t a situation you want to put yourself in. Similarly, trash low hands, like 468 without a flush potential (three-suit) should usually be avoided. If you do decide to play them, Negreanu suggests looking around the table to see if many of the cards you need to improve are out. If your outs are already dealt to other people, there is no much point in continuing.

4th street onwards

Picking good starting hands is important, but it is also important to be able to navigate future streets. That’s while Negreanu took the time to explain intricacies of playing every street. You’ll find more details in the video, but here’s the short breakdown:

4th street: be prepared to fold when you are likely to be behind. You don’t want to move to big bet streets (5th and onwards) with a hand that is likely to be chasing. Of course, when you improve on 4th, you’ll want to continue, even if you might be behind at the moment, as there are many cards you can catch on 5th to propel you into the lead.

5th street: Hand becomes more defined, and this is when you’ll look to get the bets in when you believe you are ahead. This is where hand reading and defining ranges comes in very handy, as you’ll be able to know when you should push for the value.

6th street: Usually, if you called 5th, you’ll want to continue on 6th street as well. This is not the street you’ll want to fold on unless your opponent caught a perfect card that is likely to put you behind by a lot.

7th street: Like with most of his other videos on limit games, Negreanu suggests this isn’t the time to fold when you have even a slight chance of being ahead. You’ll be getting great odds, so make sure not to over-fold, as you’ll be costing yourself a lot of value by doing that.

If you’re looking to start with Stud 8 or want to move past just knowing rules, this video by Daniel Negreanu is a great place to start, as it will give you some nice pointers and help you think in the right direction. Thus, make sure to go through it carefully and try to adopt as many tips as possible.

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