When learning Stud 8 or Better, many beginners will focus on making a hand before aggressively betting. While understandable, employing that type of strategy puts you at a disadvantage in some hands and leaves bets on the table in others.
One spot where you should consider ramping up your aggression is Fourth Street. The situations where you start with a three-card low hand and then improve to a four-card low are excellent spots to put in a bet. Today we cover 5 reasons you should be betting your four-card low draws in Stud 8.
To Chase Out Big Pair (When You Have an Ace)
A common move in Stud and Stud 8 is for a player with an ace to complete the bet on Third Street. In regular Stud, you’re representing at least split aces. In Stud 8, you might have aces and you might have a solid three-card low hand with an ace.
If a player with a high door card, such as a queen comes along, you can assume they have a split pair of that door card. When you improve to a four-card low on Fourth Street and bet, your opponent has to then decide whether you’re betting a low or if you’re aggressively betting your aces.
Some players will take the mindset, “They know I have queens, so they must have aces if they can bet.” This isn’t going to always be the case, but this bet will work enough of the time to where it is a profitable play.
To Chase Out Weaker Low Draws
Fourth Street is the point you want to try to push out the other low draws. This works best when you’re showing a better draw than they are. For example, you start with the 2c and an 8d comes along with the Js. On Fourth, you pick up a 7d and the 8d gets a 7c.
At this point, they are drawing to an 8-7 while you look to be drawing to a seven. Unless they have a straight developing, they may dump that draw to a bet on fourth.
The “smarter” players are the ones that this move works best on. After a while, you should be able to pick up on which players will get out of the way of better draws and which will keep chasing, even if behind.
To Chase Out Passive Players
Betting your four-card low on Fourth Street may also help chase out certain passive players. This not only includes those with weak low draws, but also players that may be coming along with a low pair, three card non-low starters and similar holdings.
Some passive Stud 8 players will only continue in the hand if they improve in some meaningful way on Fourth. For example, someone with 2-7-2 that catches a 9 on fourth may dump the hand to a bet. Ks-Js-9s may also dump when picking up a 2d.
The same may hold true if you get heads-up with the player on Third Street. If they brick on Fourth, they may fold to a bet rather than chase down to the river to “split the antes.” It doesn’t matter that your draw still has to get there. They are assuming it will and don’t want to put forth the bets to find out.
To Build a Pot
If you’re in a multi-way pot, betting your four-card low draw on Fourth Street is a way to build the pot, especially if it is evident that you have the best low draw or are drawing to a scoop. While you’re still drawing, you still have good odds to at least win low.
In pots where the player chasing high isn’t playing timidly, they will at least call since you’re still drawing. Many amateur players will call along with an inferior low draw hoping that you will brick out or that they can outdraw you.
To Take Control of the Hand
When you bet out on Fourth Street with what appears to be a low hand, you’re putting the table on notice that you have a strong hand. Let’s say you started with a 6 and picked up a 5. When you bet out, you’re representing that you have a strong six-low draw, and a likely scoop-capable hand.
At this point, weaker draws are going to check to you and the high hand will likely do the same if you show any improvement. You will often take control of the betting until either you start bricking or someone else improves to challenge you.