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Boston 5 Stud Poker

Yet even another poker-based table game has arrived, called Boston 5 Stud Poker. With poker's recent popularity surge, new poker-based casino games are cropping up everywhere like autumn corn in Iowa. B5SP is actually two games in one combining Three Card Poker with Stud Poker (five cards without any draws).

To begin, an Ante and a First Wager are placed. The First Wager must be exactly twice the Ante. And like Three Card Poker, the player has the option to place a Bonus bet on the first three cards with payouts similar to 3CP (see table below). The Bonus bet can be any amount above the stated minimum; it has nothing to do with the Ante part of the game. Unlike 3CP, the Bonus bet cannot be made alone.

Each player receives three cards and if they consist of a pair or better, they must reveal their cards to show the dealer. This is where the Three Card Poker segment comes into play with a payout table that is paid only if the Bonus bet was made:

  • (3-card) Straight Flush: 40 to 1
  • Three of a Kind: 30 to 1
  • Straight: 6 to 1
  • Flush 3 to 1
  • Pair: 1 to 1

Be sure to reveal any winning hands; I once observed a Newbie receive a deuce, three, and four of clubs and he turned them face down. Luckily, I was behind him and screamed out to the dealer that he had a Straight Flush. The player's face became flush when the pit boss bestowed him a mulligan.

The player now decides if he wants to continue or fold, which results in forfeiting the Ante and First Wager (the Bonus bet has already been decided). If he feels good enough about combating the dealer's hand, he must place a Second Wager, equal to the First Wager. The players continuing will now receive two more cards. You are allowed to look at these, but I prefer to play “mini-blind” and just await the outcome when the dealer exposes the hand.

One by one, the hands are compared to the dealer's and the best five-card poker hand wins. If the dealer has the stronger hand, the player loses all three bets (Ante, First Wager and Second Wager). If the player's hand is stronger, he wins even money on the First and Second Wagers and the Ante pushes. If both the player's and the dealer's hands are exactly equal (not likely to happen, which surprises me that there isn't a tie bet available), all three bets push.

Wait, all is not lost. We now have a Video Poker-like segment where the strength of the hand can provide a payout no matter if the hand lost or won. This is called the Ante (and only the Ante) Bonus payout and uses the following pay table:

  • Royal Flush: 500 to 1
  • Straight Flush: 200 to 1
  • Four Of A Kind: 100 to 1
  • Full House: 25 to 1
  • Flush: 15 to 1
  • Straight: 8 to 1
  • Three of a Kind: 5 to 1
  • Two Pair: 2 to 1
Note: If the player loses the hand to the dealer, but receives an Ante-eligible payout, he will lose the Ante bet. For example, a player wages $4 on the Ante and gets three fives, but the dealer gets a straight. The player receives only $20 (5 x Ante) after losing the Ante. If his three of a kind, however, had beaten the dealer's hand, he would have received $30 (the bonus payout plus the Ante).

There is only one strategy: RAISE ON EVERYTHING. Just play the game all the way through. If you fold, you lose two bets right away, but if you continue, only one more bet is made, win or lose. It is wiser to take the risk of losing the three bets as opposed to losing the original two (sans the three card bonus) and watching the dealer get absolutely nothing that you could have beaten by continuing.

Boston 5 Stud Poker is a fun and exciting game to play, but can be very volatile with many swings going for and against the player. Keep in mind that receiving a strong poker hand on five initial cards is very rare. So, be careful.