There are probably hundreds of Poker variations out there. Let me tell you about a variant called Asian Stud which has been around for quite some time and has garnered a lot of fans.
- This game uses a single deck of 52 cards plus one extra joker.
- Cards are valued by the standard rules of Baccarat. Aces counts as 1 point, 2 through 9 have their face value while tens and face cards are both worth 10. The sole joker is worth only 1 point. For the case of the bonus bet which I will explain later, other rules apply.
- The players start off the game by placing an ante wager which within the table limits.
- Now the dealer will deal himself and each of the players five cards. All of these cards will be dealt face down.
- After a player has examined his cards he can decide whether to raise or fold. If he chooses to raise he must place an additional wager equal to his original wager on the table and if he folds he will forfeit all of his cards and his initial wager.
- All of the remaining players will have to separate their five cards into one three-card hand and a two-card hand.
- In order to qualify for the next part of the game a player must have a total of 10, 20 or 30 points in the 3-hard hand. If he can’t form this qualifying hand then his 2-card hand won’t matter and the only chance he has left is the dealer not qualifying.
- If the player’s 3-card hand does qualify then the value of the 2-card hand will be based on the point total of both cards. The highest point total for these 2 cards is 10 or 20. If it does not fit these 2 numbers perfectly the value will be the terminal digit just like in Baccarat. For example a point total of 15 would have a value of 5.
- After the players have already set their hands the dealer will do the same process and separate his hand. If he does not qualify for the 3-card hand he will try to do so with his 2-card hand.
- If the dealer’s 3-card hand doesn’t qualify all players who didn’t fold will get even money on their ante bet and the raise will push.
- If both the 3-card hands of the player and the dealer qualify then the 2-card hand will determine the winner. The winnings at this stage can be subject to a 5% commission, depending on the house rules.
The accepted strategy for Asian Stud is to always raise even if you have a non-qualifying hand. Your expected loss if you raise will be pretty much the same as folding so you’re better off giving it a try.