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How to Play 2 Out of 3 Stud Poker


2 OUT of 3 STUD POKER: Standard 7 card stud, but to win the pot a player must have at least 2 of the following 3 requirements:
1. The highest spade in the hole. (Ace plays as highest card.)
2. The lowest spade in the hole. (Deuce plays as lowest card.)
3. The best poker hand.
If no single player has at least 2 of the above qualifiers, the game is played again.

Summary of action:
Deal 2 hole cards and 1 up card to each player.
Deal 1 up card to each player ("4th street").
Deal 1 up card to each player ("5th street").
Deal 1 up card to each player ("6th street").
Deal 1 hole card to each player ("7th street").

Playing Tips for 2 Out of 3 Stud Poker


Strategy for 2 Out of 3 Stud Poker is similar to classic 7 card stud. The twist is that your hand must include at least 2 of the 3 requirements in order to win. Because of that condition, to stand any chance for winning this game you must have at least 1 spade in the hole. If you do not, winning is impossible. In an 8-handed game, on average there will be 4 spades among the 16 initial hole cards. Chances are only about 3 to 5 players will be able to continue beyond 3rd street.

Starting Hand Selection


As noted above, you must have a spade in the hole in order to have any chance at winning. If you are not dealt at least 1 spade as one of your original 2 hole cards you should fold. You should also fold if you are dealt only a middling spade such as 7, 8, 9 (probably 6 & 10, too) and don't also have a decent start for the high hand. While it may still be possible to pick up a winning spade as your last hole card, there are too many rounds of betting you will have to weather and too small a chance of doing so. In the very best case scenario - 7 players staying until the end and neither the ace nor deuce of spades appearing among the up cards - there is only about a 9% chance of you catching one of them as your final hole card.)

The absolute best starting hand you could get is ace of spades and deuce of spades as your 2 initial hole cards. You are now guaranteed to win and your only concern is to keep as many players in the game as possible and build the pot as high as you can. Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are about 1315:1. Having both high (K♠ or Q♠) and low (3♠ or 4♠) while not a lock, is certainly worth playing. Obviously, you'd love to see any higher or lower spades show in the up cards. Another excellent starting hand would be trip aces with the ace of spades a hole card. While not a lock yet, you have a great chance of making the best poker hand.

Having just either the ace or deuce is a much more achievable 12:1 chance and is certainly playable. Now you are hoping to develop the highest poker hand or catch another spade as your last hole card. Consider playing strong right away in an effort to eliminate players. Reducing your competition gives you a better chance of ending up with the highest hand.

It is about a 16:1 shot of both of your original 2 hole cards being spades. If they are both middle ranked and you have no other options it is usually best to get out right away. But, if you are starting with 3 to a flush or straight or a pair with a high kicker, it may be worthwhile to play and see another card or 2.

What About Ties?


The only possibility of a tied hand occurs with the high poker hand and so are very rare, but not impossible. A tied highest hand should be considered the same as a winning high hand. So, if 2 players tie for the high hand and only one of them also has the highest or lowest hole spade, that player wins the pot. If 2 players tie the high hand and one has the highest hole spade while the other has the lowest hole spade, those 2 players split the pot.

Hole Card Probabilities


Approximate chances of these hands being dealt to you as your first 2 hole cards

2 Hole Cards Percent ProbabilityOdds Probability
A♠3♠ or A♠4♠0.15%665:1
K♠2♠ or Q♠2♠0.15%665:1
K♠3♠ or K♠4♠ or Q♠3♠ or Q♠4♠0.3%332:1
Any other 2 spades5.2%18:1
Any 2 spades5.9%17:1
A♠ or 2♠7.7%12:1
K♠ or 3♠7.7%12:1
Q♠ or 4♠7.7%12:1
Any other (J♠ - 5♠) 1 spade27.2%2.7:1
Any 1 spade50%1:1