Fifth Street ->> Don't Be The Chump


When it would have been more than one big bet to you, you should have thought long and hard about staying in the poker hand.

In most of these stud poker situations, you should have folded. Your folding would have had nothing to do with having the proper number of live cards or overcards.

With two big bets, you would have to figure that you were probably drawing to the second best hand. It would have been quite easy to fall into that trap, especially with a flush draw.

A flush was a great hand in stud poker, but it would not have looked so great when your opponent turned over a full house at the deciding whether to proceed with your flush and straight draws, and should have asked yourself, ‘Am I just paying money to get the second-best poker hand?’

In Peter’s experience, he had found that, at the low limit poker games, people hadn’t re-raised too often at the fifth street.

The poker player with a monster hand would have slow played to keep in other hands; the poker player with the good but not great hand would have been content just to call a bet when it had come his way, particularly since it had now been the maximum bet for the limit.

But there would be times when someone would re-raise. Because it was relatively rare to find low-limit poker players bluffing, when you had held the drawing hand, a re-raise should have immediately set off warning bells in your head.

Most likely, a re-raise would have come from a tight-aggressive poker player who would have been holding a completed hand; at times, it would have come from a poker player holding trips.

A flush would have beat trips, but with two cards to come, his odds wouldn’t have been that much worse than your odds would have been to get your hand (for more details on odds, see the Appendix).

Before deciding whether you could call two big bets, you should have looked carefully around the table and tried to remember which cards had been dead.

If you had got a re-raise from a poker player who had a pair of jacks and an eight showing, you could have figured him for a trip of jacks or possibly a full house.

If you had looked around the board and seen that two or more of the cards he needed to improve his hand had been gone, and your hand had met the requirements to continue, you could have proceeded with the hand – the odds to complete the flush would have outweighed the odds to complete a full house.

However, even though you would have had good odds to complete your hand, you should have folded if you had seen that his cards had been live. It just wouldn’t have been worth spending that kind of money on a flush draw.

You may have noticed that Peter had not used straight draws in discussing what to do when you had faced two big bets when playing stud poker.

The reason was that if you had held four cards to a straight and there had been two big bets back to you, unless the re-raise had been from what appeared to be a weaker straight, your hand should have quickly been in the muck.

A straight would have lost to any better straight, any flush, or any full house. Your poker odds of completing your straight would have been the same as the odds of completing a flush, but with so many hands that could have beaten you, a re-raise would have signified someone drawing to a better hand than yours or someone who already had a better hand than you had. So you should have dumped the hand.

Quick Guide….
….To Pairs on Fifth Street :

CALL if you have live cards and a very narrow field (no more than two other players).

FOLD usually – unless you have a small field, a big pair, live cards and good over cards.


This had brought us to the end of the fifth street discussion. From here on, if you will be in, you will probably be in to the end. Before we should move on, we shall take a moment to review what we have covered.

By this point, Peter hopes that you will have learned that you would want to have stringent requirements before proceeding with a hand past the fifth street.

A great starting hand that would not have improved often would not be worth playing passively when you should believe it to be the best hand.

Your goal would be to win the pot – either by staying in cheaply while you would be on a drawing hand, or by playing weaker made hands (such as trips) hard so you could force out the opponents who would be trying to stay in cheaply.

You should not let the increased betting levels scare you – you should use them to your advantage to play a good hand hard.

If you were a casual poker player, you may have been thinking that the playing style being described so far was very tight.

Tight, yes. But it is aggressive, too. You should pick and choose your hands with care – particularly when you get to the fifth street, because the size of the betting will be increasing at this level.