Completed Solid Hands (Straights or Better)

Considering that the average winning hand in stod poker is three 9s, a straght or better will frequently win you the pot.  But depending on what else is going on at the table, different situations call for different styles of play.  Most of the time, however, when you complete a hand you’re been drawing to, you want to play it as hard as you can.

Suppose that you hold a flush and are in middle position.  It’s one bet back to you.  Unless you are looking at trips on the board or a bigger four-flush yet to act, you’ll be raising the stakes to build up the pot or to try to force out a player who’s looking at big odds against his making his hand.

Don’t try for a check-raise here- either bet or raise.  Raising may not force out as many people as it would have at fifth street, but it will make them pay more to see their cards.  When you have a good hand that you believe will win, that’s what you want them to do – give you their chips.  Playing your hand hard can occasionally force out a player or two on that very marginal draw.  That’s also good, since even the biggest odds are occasionally overcome.


Aggressive play is the right decision most of the time, but there are a few times when calling is the right move.  One instance is if a player with very threatening cards on the board has bet.  When this happens, he won’t be raised all that often, since other players will be scared.  If you’ve seen a lot of cards to complete his hand fall, a raise might be in order – if it will get you heads up against that player.  This probably won’t happen since, as I’ve said, so many players are married to their hands and will be staying in.  So, if you face a bet from Poker Two Pair, trips, or a bigger four-flush or four-straight than you have, unless you believe Poker Player to be bluffing based on your knowledge of him or you’ve realized that many of the cards he needs are dead, just call.

Stay unless Second-Best

In the previous chapter, in the section on drawing hands, I noted that you have to think long and hard about staying in when it’s two big bets to you.  Here the decision is more straightforward – you’ve made your hand, and you want to stick around with a fulsh or better until the end, unless you get a strong feeling that it is the second best hand. This is a sense that will come only by having a good feel and knowledge of your opponents at the table.

With a straight, you can be more cautious.  You can even consider folding the hand with two big bets back to you more frequently than with the flush.  Early on, I mentioned that I didn’t care for straight draws.  I don’t even care for completed straights all that much, as they have cost me more money then I care to mention here.  So, if it’s two big bets to you and you hold a straight, call if you feel you have the best hand, but if you’re looking at a four flush or trips on the board, foold the straight.

Another indicator that will help you decide whether or not to stay in with a completed flush will be its size – is it a big flush or a small flush?  If you hold a 9-high flush, you certainly don’t want to raise a four-flush on the board that could be higher than yours.  As was the case on fifth street, a raise from a big bet is an indication that a player has made a very good hand – usually a flush or better.  If you get this kind of indication, proceed with caution.

It’s not likely that you’ll face two big bets until the shodown, but it you face them on sixth street; call only if you strongly feel that you have the best hand.  Of course, remembering dead cards will help you immensely.  If you hold a flush and face a raise from a four-flush that is higher, but you see a lot of dead cards that would have helped your obbonent, you can feel more comfortable calling.

Again, knowing your opponent is the best of all indicators when you’re faced with two big bets.  While bluffing is not all that common in the low limts, when it does occur, it will often be from a player who has a four-flush on the board.  He’ll raise, believing that everyone will figure him for the flush and fold.  If you know him to be the type of player that will do that, don’t hesitate to call.  But always evaluate your situation carefully when you face two big bets.  Ideally, you’ll be the one who makes other players yet to act face two big bets to stay in to the rivier, but when you have to deal with them, play your hand very carefully.


Yes, that’s right, there are times when raising with a hand such as a flush is the best decision, even when it’s two big bets to you.  For one thing, at sixth, a bet raised by another player could be an attempt to force you out.  The raiser may think that you haven’t made your hand when you already have.  If it looks like that’s the case, go ahead and re-raise or cap the pot.  Make him pay dearly for his decision.  If you feel that you have the best hand, don’t fear a raise – go ahead and re-raise it.

In most cases though, calling when you face two big bets on sixth street is the correct decision when you’re made a solid but not stellar hand.  You should rarely lay down a completed good hand unless you have a great knowledge of your opponents or your gut tells you that you have only the second-best hand.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind at sixth street that will help you determine how to bet – a online poker plyar must have a pair on the board in order to have a full house.  I’ve mentioned before that stud can be more challenging that hold’em, since you never know when you have “the nuts.”  At sixth street, you can at least know when your opponent has no chance of having the boat.  With a bet or even two bets but no pairs from either the bettor or the raiser, you can feel more confident in banging away with your hand  - unless it looks like one of your opponents has made a bigger flush or straight.

Most of the time you’ll be happy to have made a good hand at sixth street, so look for a reason not to play.  Generally, sixth street is just a stopping point on your way to the showdown.  Unless it looks very bleak, stick with your made flush or straight.  Call if you aren’t sure it’s the best, and bang away with confidence when it seems that it is.

Quick Guide….
….to Solid but not Stellar Hands on Sixth Street:

  • RAISE if you feel that you have the best hand.
  • CALL when you are not as confident about    your hand, and it looks like someone else might have your beat.
  • FOLD a flush or straight at sixth street rarely – only if you feel that your hand has become second best.