Fifth Street : A Summary

This brings us to the end of fifth street discussion.  From here on, if you’re in, you’ll probably be in to the end.  Before we move on, let’s take a moment to review what we’ve covered.

By this point, I hope you’ve learned that you want to have stringent requirements before proceeding with a hand past fifth street.  A great starting hand that hasn’t improved often isn’t worth playing passively when you believe it to be the best hand.  Your goal is to win the pot – either by staying in cheaply while on a drawing hand, or by playing weaker made hands (such as trips) hard to force out the occonents who are trying to stay in cheaply.  Don’t let the increased betting levels scare you – use them to your advantage to play a good hand hard.

If you are a casual player, you may be thinking that Poker Playing style described so far is very tight.  Tight, yes.  But aggressive, too.  You have to pick and choose your hands carefully – especially when you get to fifth street, because the size of the betting increases at this level.

Quick Quiz: Fifth Street

Take the following quick quiz for review, and then let’s move on to learn how to play your hand at sixth street.


  1. You hold Poker Two Pair – queens and 7s – and are in middle position.  One 7 is dead, and on the board are a pair of 5s and a pair of 9s.  The holder of the 9s bet four dollars.  There were two callers, and now the action is to you.  Do you raise or call?
  2. You have a small Poker Two Pair, 5s and deuces.  Just one deuce is dead.  You are in early position, second to bet after a pair of kings.  Poker Player with the kings bet four dollars.  Of Poker players yet to act, the most threatening hands are a pair of 7s and a three to a flush.  Do you call or fold?
  3. You have four-to-a-flush, and you’ve seen four of your needed suit fall.  You are in late position, and when a pair of 9s bet, several players called but none raised.  Do you fld, call or raise?
  4. You are in early postion, and you hold four-to-a-straight.  A pair of aces bets, and you call.  A pair of 10s raises it, and the other players promptly fold.  The aces then re-raise, and it is now two more bets to you.  Do you call or fold?
  5. You hold trip 7s, two of which are hidden as your hole cards.  The remaining 7 is live, and only two of the cards that would pair your kickers and fill you up are dead.  You’re in late position.  A pair of 10s has bet four dollars, and four people before you have called.  Do you call or raise?
  6. You’re in middle position.  You hold a four-straight, but you’ve seen three of your needed cards fall.  A player with a pair of kings bets, and he’s called by a three-flush.  The next two players fold, and the action comes to you.  When you look to see who is yet to act, you notice a small pair.  Do you fold or call?
  7. You have a pair and pocket aces that haven’t improved.  To make matters worse, you’ve been dealt mediocre cards on the board, and one of your aces is dead.  A pair of 9s bets, and the action is to you.  A player with three diamonds showing and another smaller pair has yet to act.  Do you call, fold or raise?
  8. You’ve made a powerful full huse – kings full.  On the board, there is a pair of 10s and a pair of deuces.  Two of your kings are showing, so you are Poker Pleyer to start the action.  Bet or check?
  9. You’ve made a full house, but this time it’s small –4s full.  A pair of aces has bet, and you are second to act.  You notice that there are a pair of 10s and a pair of 6s yet to act.  Do you call or raise?
  10. You have completed a straight.  On the board, a pair of 6s was the high hand, and its owner has bet.  Two other players called, and now the action is to you.  You notice a three-flush and a three-straight on the board; both are bigger than yours and are yet to act.  Do you call or raise?


  1. Raise.  You have a good Poker Two Pair here, so protect it.  There is no higher pair on the board, so drive out the drawing hands and narrow the field as much as possible to reduce your competition.
  1. Fold.  Here the decision is very simple, and you can fold without a second thought.  Sure, you may have live cards, but with a small Poker Two Pair, you are going up against two bigger pairs on the board.  If they have Poker Two Pair or better and you don’t fill up, you lose.  If you do fill up, but they do as well, you still lose.  So don’t chase this hand – fold and be done with it.
  2. Call.  Calling is the best move here because you are hoping to stay in cheaply.  Some people would even advise you to raise here (a semi-blluff), since you are even money to get the fuslh, and raising will force out other players and gain you a free card on sixth street.  That’s stretch.  Wait until you make your hand before raising.  Certainly don’t fold.  With only four of your cards dead, there are still five left in the deck that can help you.
  3. Fold.  It may be tempting to call here, since you think of it as your money in the pot.  But you can’t think that way.  Such heavy action here indicates that Poker Player’s have made good hands.  Perhaps they’ve even filled up, and at the least they have trips.  You haven’t made a straiht yet, and it’s not worth the money to draw to what may very well be the second best hand.
  4. Raise.  It’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be passive here – you have that good but not great hand.  If you had Poker Two Pair of 7s up, you’d want to fold, but with trips, even though there is a higher pair on the board, a raise is the best move.  It will send a warning sign to other players.  Some will stay in, but you still want to play aggressively and hope at least one will drop.  Those trips and big Poker Two Pairs have to protected.
  5. Fold.  Those straight-draws can be death traps, and this is a prime example.  You are looking at a big pair and a possible flush. And on top of that, three of your cards needed to improve are gone, so you should be, too.  The only time you can consider calling is if you have a big pair to go with your straight draw (such as if your hand were T J Q A A).
  6. Fold.  Yes, it’s painful – you had those beautiful pocket aces, and now you have to fold them.  If you were playing hold’em, you’d be playing them hard, but there are no cammunity cards in stud, and your aces that once were strong are now weak.  One is dead, and a pair on the board has bet.  On top of that, you could be looking at a player on a good flush draw or another player who has made Poker Two Pair or trips.  So, fold and wait until you have a better hand down the line.
  7. Check.  You’d do best to play this hand slowly.  It’s a monster, and the odds of its being are very slim.  If someone bets into your open pair of cowboys, just call unless he has an ace showing.  If he does, raise him.  Sure, you could check-raise, but why not set a trap?  You’re full, and he obviously doesn’t know that.  Playing this hand slowly will keep other players in the game and win you a good pot.
  8. Raise.  Before, when you had a big full house, calling and checking until sixth street was the right move.  A smaller full house is still a great hand, but it is beatable.  It therefore needs to be protected, especially when there are bigger pairs on the board.  Make the aces all your raise.  The remaining players will have to call two big bets to stay in.

Many of them may fold, and your pot may not be as huge, but that’s okay.  Too many players make the mistake here of just calling, and few things are as frustrating as having a player trn over a larger full house than yours smile, and say, “The river was good to me.” Don’t let him even get to the raver.

  1. Raise.  You can’t let fear run your betting.  Calling will let your opponents stay in cheaply when they are on probable draws.  You want to play aggressively, making those yet to act pay two big bets to play, and making the 6s call your raise to stick around.  Like trips, a straight here is quite good.  Often times it’s not good enough, though, so, unless there are compelling reasons not to (such as a raising war between players with two big pairs on the board), protect your hand.