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Asian Stud Casino
Asian Stud is a relatively new casino game that's been around since the early 2000s. It originated in the north-east United States, and it's functionally a bit of a blend between Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and various table poker games. While it does require a bit of strategy, some of the strategic decisions are very straightforward for correct play, and that makes it a bit less exciting than what it could be if the odds were adjusted a bit.
While there are limited options to play Asian Stud online, it's still spreading in popularity and will likely be a standard table game offering for many software providers in the near future.
Asian Stud rules use a regular 53-card deck with a single joker. This joker is not completely wild, however, and can only be used to complete a straight or flush. Otherwise, it's always considered an ace (or worth one point). Number-valued cards 2-9 in this game are worth their face value and aces are always worth one point. Tens, jacks, queens, and kings are effectively worth zero points or ten points; it doesn't matter which because it doesn't affect the outcome of the game.
To learn to play Asian Stud, you first have to learn the card values and the fact that hand values are determined by the 'ones' digit after you add up all of the values of the cards. For example, if you had a hand that added up to 27 points, that would be worth seven since that's the 'ones' digit of 27. Along these lines, totals of 8, 18 and 28 would all be worth the same value (just 8). Players who are familiar with Baccarat will recognize that the same scoring system is used in that game as well.
Finally, all winning bets for the player are hit with a five percent commission on either the ante, the raise or both. The most favourable Asian Stud rules will only call for a commission on the ante, but since it's hard enough to find this game at times, sometimes you'll have to take what you can get in terms of which bets the commission applies to.
The next thing to know when it comes to learning how to play Asian Stud is that players are dealt a five-card hand after posting an ante bet. At this point, players have to determine if they want to fold or raise. Folding means you give up your hand, your ante and any chances of winning. If you raise, then you put out an additional raise bet that's the same size as the ante, and play continues. We'll look more at the decision to fold or raise further down when we discuss Asian Stud strategy.
If you decide to raise, then the next part of the game involves setting your hand. To qualify, you need to create a three-card hand that gives you a point total of 0. This means that the three cards you choose can add up to 10, 20 or 30 total. The key influence you have if you want to know how to win Asian Stud hands is to learn to set these hands correctly, and we'll cover that later as we talk about strategy as well.
The dealer will also set his or her hand. Regardless of whether or not you qualify, if the dealer doesn't qualify, then you win even money on your ante, the raise bet is given back to you, and you go on to the next hand. However, if the dealer does qualify and you do not, then you lose both of your bets.
Finally, if both the player and the dealer qualify in any given Asian Stud hand, then the remaining two cards are added together to determine a winner. The highest score for that two-card hand (using the "ones" digit criterion described above) wins. If the player wins, then the difference in the number of points between the player and the dealer determines the player's payout on the raise (though the ante always pays even money). Here is how the win is determined:
- Difference of 1 to 3 points: Paid at even money
- Difference of 4 to 6 points: Win double your raise
- Difference of 7 to 9 points: Win triple your raise
Some players might not see how you can win by nine points, but this happens if your two-card hand is worth nine and the dealer's two-card hand is worth zero.
Asian Stud Strategy
Now we're going to get down to what exactly you need to learn how to do to be able to maximize your chances of taking down winning sessions. Learning how to play Asian Stud well comes down to two key parts of the game:
- Learning when to raise and when to fold
- Learning how to set your hand
Fortunately for many players, the first point here is very simple, and we'll get into that next. The second point, however, takes a bit of practice and leaves individuals up to making big mistakes from time to time.
Deciding When to Raise and Fold
No matter whether the game you're playing has a five percent commission on the ante, the raise or both, the decision to raise or fold is extremely simple.
You should always raise in this game, regardless of whether or not you can qualify.
The reason for this is that the dealer's chances of not qualifying create a situation where it's always slightly better (about one percent better with the worst commission available) to raise, and that's tricky for people who learn to play Asian Stud to accept. Every single time you fold for any reason, you're giving the casino a bigger advantage. While that makes strategy a bit easier, it does take away from some of the depth that the game could have.
Setting Your Hand
Now we get to the real meat and potatoes of how to win Asian Stud hands. If you play Asian Stud online, you should practice this as much as you can before you play real money games because it takes a bit of work and can be very tricky to learn how to do. You have a process that you need to follow here, and though it's easier said than done, we're going to offer practical advice on how to set Asian Stud hands in a way that will maximize your chances of winning. Here is the process:
- Decide if you can arrange your hand in some way that qualifies (e.g. if you have three cards that add up to zero points).
- If you can qualify, check to see if there are multiple ways you can qualify.
- If there are multiple ways to qualify, then pick the method that gives you the highest total in your two-card hand.
This process might seem straight-forward, but it's a lot different when you're at the table trying to remember how to win Asian Stud games and feel the pressure of trying not to make a mistake.
Since we've covered the Asian Stud rules and the basic processes you need to follow for solid Asian Stud strategy, we want to walk you through an instructive hand that will help you to see how this process works and why you have more influence over the outcome of your hand than you might think you do.
Suppose you have a hand like 99244. Immediately, some players will see that you can qualify with 992 in your three-card hand since that adds up to 20, which is worth zero points. That will leave 44 in your two-card hand for a score of eight. However, you have to resist the temptation just to stop right there. Instead, search out any other options that you might have. In this case, you can play with 244 as well, and that puts 18 in the two-card hand for a score of eight. In this example, you see that there are multiple ways to play your hand.
The Side Bet
There is also a side bet available that's scored aside from regular Asian Stud gameplay. It's based on the best regular five-card poker hand that can be made with the five cards you're initially dealt. The pay table itself can vary from site to site, especially when playing Asian Stud online, but there's a bit benefit in the fact that you aren't hit with the commission on winnings for the side bet.
Unfortunately, the side bet typically has a very large house advantage, so it should be avoided. Typical pay tables put the house edge at around the 15 percent mark, and that's huge compared to the house advantage for virtually any other wager in a casino. It's definitely a sucker bet.
Asian Stud is a good example of innovation in the table game arena, an area that doesn't see many new games being released all that often. However, it doesn't have as much strategic depth as some of the other poker-based table games out there, and that largely comes down to the mathematics of why you should always raise. If the commission or payout rates were adjusted so that this wasn't the case, then the game would immediately become much more challenging to play and much more interesting to the players who are into that kind of thing.