Stud 8 or Better tournaments are a breed of event that is becoming harder to find in live casinos. However, these tournaments are still relatively healthy online on larger online poker sites such as PokerStars and 888poker.
Here are a few tips to improve your Stud 8 or Better tournament results.
Don’t Get Overly Involved Early
Unlike Texas Hold’em tournaments you want to keep off the gas pedal early in most Stud 8 tournaments. The antes are usually very low in the early rounds and there usually isn’t much value in making steal attempts.
You are looking to stick with your playable hands only in the early levels and do not get too cute with hands that fail to develop early.
Remember that in a couple of levels one hand can make back anything you might lose in the early levels, so don’t sweat the early levels without solid hands.
Get Heads-Up As Much as Possible in Middle Levels
In the middle levels you want to avoid playing too many multi-way pots unless you have a strong, scoop-capable hand.
If you decide to come in with a hand like a pair of aces you want to really get the hand heads-up with just one opponent. This gives you the best chance to scoop.
If you have a strong scoop potential hand then you will welcome multiple players as you want to try and develop a big pot.
Put Pressure on Weaker Low Draws
Many players drawing to the low will sit on their chips until they hit their low. The problem with letting them do this is that you're giving them a chance improve their hand and maybe back into a scoop capable hand
When it is clear that you have the best potential low draw, you want to put pressure on the weaker draws
This is especially true for weaker draws that have the potential to improve. For example, lets say you started with 3-4-7 and your opponent called with a 2. You pick up a 5 and he has a now picked up an eight.
This is a good time to bet to try and force him out. You don’t want him catching another card under eight and give him a chance to outdraw your low on a later street.
Play Your Strong Low Boards Fast
While this sounds like a Razz tip as opposed to a Stud 8 tip, you need to play your strong low boards fast, especially against hands that are looking to go high.
If your board looks like it may be straightening or flushing, you very well may pick off hands that have just a single pair and sometimes better hands.
The above tips will help you pick up more pots during the course of the game until you get in a spot where you can build some chips for a final table run.
Good luck at the tables!