Go for the Low Hoping to Luck Out and Win Both Ways

In general, the pros like to start with three low cards that can draw to a straight or a flush for high while making a l ow hand as well. Hands like 3-4-5 or 2-3-4 or 2-4-5 are considered pretty good starting hands, e specially when they are suited, s ince t hey can in due course win both high and low. I love a situation in which I'm free-rolling to win the whole pot! Free-rolling means that you have one side of the pot already locked up (usually the low side) and some draws with a reasonable chance to win the other half of the pot

A hand like (2-3) 4-A-7 with two cards to come against a hand of ( K-9) K-7-8 is free-rolling. The first hand already has a low hand the other player c an't beat ( 7-4-3-2-A), and it c an also hit a five for a straight, an ace for a pair of aces, or some combination of two pair ( 3-4) or trip cards ( 7-7) to win the whole pot with the l ast two cards. So the first hand is free-rolling for the high side of the pot, and the opponent holding the pair of kings can win only half the pot.

I'll next list the best possible starting hands in Stud 8/b and explain what makes t hem powerful. Then I'll t alk about how to play hands i n Stud 8/b on the first round of betting, a nd whether or not you should trap your opponents.

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