Scandinavian Stud Guide

Scandinavian Stud, or “Sökö” as it is actually known in Scandinavia, is a traditional form of stud poker. Scandinavian Stud is played exactly like Five Card Stud, except Sökö is usually pot limit and it has two added hands: four card straight and four card flush, which rank between pair and two pair.

Thanks to the rise of online poker this traditional game can now be played online. Here is a brief guide to action packed world of online sökö.

Contents
1.0 SCANDINAVIAN STUD TABLES
2.0 LOCATION
3.0 TIME FOR INTERNET SÖKÖ
4.0 MONEY MATTERS
5.0 PLAYING STYLES
6.0 SÖKÖ MATHEMATICS
7.0 PROPABILITIES
8.0 BLUFFING
9.0 TILTED!
10.0 SELF CONFIDENCE
11.0 PATIENCE
12.0 PEOPLE SKILLS
13.0 PHYSICAL FITNESS
14.0 STUDPOKER.FI HINTS

1. SCANDINAVIAN STUD TABLES
Choosing the table in sökö is as important as in any other poker game. In online games you have more tables to choose from. If there is several suitable tables, it is advisable to observe the game for a while to be sure it is perfect for you. You could also just join the table and test it by playing, but this usually is quite expensive.

If the people playing at the table are not known to you it is even more advisable to study their style and habits. Make sure that antes and bets are right for you. Bet structure has a significant role weather you will be a winning player.

Many say that choosing the right table is most important variable in determining will you be a winning player. This is because in poker most of the income is from less skilled players than you. Pay attention in choosing the table carefully, it makes a difference!

Online sökö can be found from poker sites of Entraction and Boss poker networks.

2.0 LOCATION
To be added later.

3.0 TIME FOR INTERNET SÖKÖ
At morning and before noon there are only few tables open, but you can start playing at around eleven. Tables with larger pots are not open then yet. Usually they are small ante tables. If you like to play cautious and peaceful stud poker, then best time is just before noon. During the day the tables tend to be empty and players change rapidly. Hit and runs are also usual during the day. Most players make just short visits at the tables and their skill level is widely variable.

Big games start at evening 18-24. Large ante games are open and all tables are active. Peak hours are at evening and it diminishes towards the night and morning. Most professionals play only during evening and night. Good games usually continue until the next morning.

4.0 MONEY MATTERS
Often in poker players encounter a situation where another player is played out by mere power of money. a Player should bring more money to the table than is planned to use. Money should not be considered as money while playing. It is better to think of them as chips, tokens. If a player starts to count and compring stacks to things it is most likely that this player starts to loose. If you find yours self doing this you are either in the wrong table or you should not play cards for money.

5.0 PLAYING STYLES OF SÖKÖ/SCANDINAVIAN STUD
In poker players can be divided into four categories solids, rocks, maniacs and calling stations.
Maniac

These are real freaks at the sökö table. These players bet on any cards. It is uncomfortable to play against these players and you might be forced to take unwanted risks, but they tend to distribute easy money. It is advisable to seek tables with maniacs, because their style makes pots larger. One should have some weapons against those maniacs, in example check raise trap.

Strenghts:

+ Enjoys gambling and is not afraid of high raises

+Hard to know when they have a strong hand

Weaknesses:

– Probabilities have no meaning in their playing

-They bluff a lot

– Loose choosing of starting cards, even two card flushes and straights are accepted. On tight tables they can take pots with passed bluffs.

-This kind of player plays lots of hands and rises often. On loose tables bluffs wont work, because someone will call them.

Solid

Tight and aggressive style. With this kind of player opponents tend to get into trouble. Solid players usually leave the table as winners. On the long runs the winnings can be substantial.

Strenghts:

+They have overall control over the game.

+ Knows which hands are playable.

+ Knows the meaning of positions

+ Betting can mean either a strong hand or semi bluff

+ Knows some tricks as check-raise or free cards and is able to use them in right situations

+ Plays a strong hand well.

Weaknesses:

– Plays sometimes oversighted.

– Machine like playing.

Rock

Tight and aggressive. Advantage on those that do not know poker odds and probabilites. Ability to read opponents is weak.

Strengths:

+ Knows good starting hands

+ Chooses tighly which cards to play with

+ From this player it is hard to win lots of money because of the tight style.

Weaknesses:

– Has a high confidence on cards and playing through them.

– When this player bets others can predict a strong hand.

-Good players can read this style easily.

Calling station

Name teels it all, calling station.Loose and passive. Ideal opponent in sökö.
Their motto is that any two cards can win. Betting only enlarges the pot they wont fold. Do not bluff.

Strenghts:

+ Unpredictable lucky hands

+Impossible to bluff

Weaknesses:

+ Raise from this player is a sure warning of a strong hand.
+ Plays almost every hand.
+ They stay in the pot to the end even with a slight chance on winning.

6.0 MATHEMATICS OF SÖKÖ
As above was mentioned it is possible to calculate more in sökö than in other poker games, because there are more visible cards. Ability to calculate fast is an advantage as in poker games generally. In sökö this is emphasised due to the amount of visible cards. Also there is more time to calculate as the cards are dealt one at the time.

In sökö one can calculate outs, pot odds and implied odds. Most important are pot odds and the number of outs. Number of outs is related to the probability to have a hand in a deal. You count what you see and divide it with the number of cards left in deck.

For example in two hand game your opponent has 9g 6s 4d and a hole card. You have 11h 6h 7c and as hole card 12h the number of your outs is 9. Prbability to complete the hand as a flush of four is 9/45, 20% in odds 4:1. Youll succeeed once and fail four times.

Pot odd calculation is easy. If pot has 100 euros and you have to bet 10 euros, then pot odd is 10:1. Then pot odd is smaller than odds, so you can bet.

So on this example you should bet because you estimate that your hands go better often than 10:1

The meaning of probabilities and odds is greater when pot sizes grow or the amount of players becom larger.

7.0 PROPABILITIES OF SÖKÖ
Hand variations 2 598 960.

Table of for Scandinavian stud by Brian Alspach when cards are dealt 2 598 960 times.
HAND HAND AMOUNT
Straight flush 40
Four of a kind 624
Full house 3,744
Flush 5,108
Straight 10,200
Three of a kind 54,912
Straight of four 97,476
Flush of four 105,672
Two pairs 123,552
Pair 1,047,552
High card 1,150,080
8.0 BLUFFING

How often should a player bluff? Usually bluffing is less used than is thought generally. Good bluff fits only in to certain situations and these you should learn to notice. Bluffing is advisable to prevent others to read your hands. With out this you cannot get the pot to grow with a strong hand. On the long run just bluffing does not carry you far. You will be loosing player at the end.

If you are not a experienced bluffer, do it as less as possible. Do not try too large bluffs. Paractice with smaller pots. Bluffing has to be learned through doing. Some theory is possible to study from the book, The Theory of Poker.

As a basic rule could be said; a reluctant caller is easy to bluff. If a player stays in to the end it is more difficult to bluff.
Bluff can be called if pot odd recommends it. 10 € pot and your call is 6 €, then the odd is 1:6 and you have to decide on calling. If you know your opponent well and you think that he or she bluffs more that one time out of seven, you can call the bluff.

9.0 TILTED!
When you have lost it is more difficult to maintain proper touch to the game. Then people tend to make disastrous mistakes and they cost even more money. The term tilt is also known from pinball machines. When a player lifts the machine in other words tilts it, it goes in to a state that it is not possible to continue playing for a while. A Player becomes tilted usually after loosing a big pot or several smaller pots. Tilted player plays loose and tries to win the lost money back fast. Many start to lean on luck when tilted. It could be described as hell being tilted. When you spot a player that has tilted you’ll have a good chance to make some money. After loosing g some pots it is important to maintain your calm and just keep playing normally or try to chance your style in to more suitable for the situation. Lost money is just as valuable as won money.

10.0 SELF CONFIDENCE
Strong self confidence is as important as for professional athlete. When a Sökö player has all right mentally style is relaxed and just enough aggressive. Self confidence can be gained from won pots. Strengthening self confidence is opposite phenomenon than tilting. You are very strong and opponents have hard time beating even with better cards. When self confidence is at a high standard you tend to win a lot. It is advisable not to become too arrogant, every deal is a new situation. In stud poker situations vary rapidly. In studpoker no one is invincible.

11.0 PATIENCE
Patience is a virtue that also good players forget. Sometimes you get not so strong hands and waiting can become stressful. Finally some players try to gamble with mid string hands and as result they can end up with vast losses. It is hard to just wait for cards, but playing with poor hands is expensive and dumb. Stay calm and wait for the strike. While waiting you still has to play so, that opponents won’t be able to read your hand.

12.0 PEOPLE SKILLS
Poker player needs people skills. Rules, tricks and poker face is not enough, you need to be able to read your opponents. Tells are eye and hand movements and other body language that can be interpreted. These “tells” can give you certainty on your own suspicions. Also it is good to change your style, so your own style is kept hidden.

13.0 PHYSICAL FITNESS
On effect of physical fitness on performance in poker have two viewpoints. On the other hand it has no effect what so ever, but on the other hand it has a great effect. Trough physical fitness you’ll have nerves of steel and you’ll withstand better the psychosomatic stress created by psychological load.
Studpoker.fi hints for sökö/scandinavia stud and Canadian stud

1. Old saying: It is better to play against players instead of cards.

2. When you are loosing cut losses to the minimum.

3. When you are on a winning stream win as much as possible.

4. On the long run luck is the same for everyone.

5. Read poker literature.

6. Make notes of everything.

7. Learn pot odds and counting the odds.

And finally: DO NOT PLAY DRUNK!