Strategy: Hand Selection in Five-O Poker

by Davida Mintz    Nov 24, 2013

Poker players learn to consider their opponents, as well as their cards, before deciding how to play a hand. It’s a strategy that crosses over to Five-O-Poker, where certain hands work better against one type of opponent, while others have better odds against a different type. Knowing which hands your opponent favors allows you to not only play your own hand, but also play back at his.

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Playing One Row at a Time

As you construct your hand, pay attention to what’s in your opponent’s hand in the opposite row. Because Five-O Poker scores by row, the only thing that matters is how your hand stacks up against your opponent’s in the comparable row, not how good it is. For example, if you can see that he has nothing in the first row, you’re ahead with a hand as weak as 3-3. Watch to be sure he doesn’t improve, but relax a bit on your end. When you’re clearly ahead in the row, or have your opponent crushed, forget about it so you can focus on the other four.

five-o

Coming From Behind

What happens when you look across the Five-O Poker room and you’re not ahead? When your opponent has you beat, and there’s no way to improve, give up on the row, and use it for your unwanted cards. When it’s still a competition, that row could make the difference between winning and losing the Five-O Poker match. Let’s say your opponent has J-J and you have T-T (a pair of tens). He’s ahead now, but several things, including another ten or a second pair will give you the lead. Hold out for the winning card as long as possible, by discarding everything else to the rows that are already winners or losers.

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Hand Selection

In Five-O Poker, determining the types of hands that will dominate your opponent is as important as the specific hands themselves. When you’re playing with someone who favors big hands, adjust by aiming for ones that are more likely to hit. The probability of being dealt a pair is much higher than it is for a straight or flush. Hit your pair, and every time your opponent misses, the row goes to you. When your opponents the one playing it safe, this strategy applies to a limited extent. Always try for some big draws in the beginning, but don’t pass up opportunities to pair your high cards.

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Final Thoughts

See Five-O Poker as a game of five individual rows and you’ll always know where you stand. It won’t always be possible to keep track of your opponents rows and your own, but use the time given to play your hand to catch up. When you’ve decided where to place your card, don’t be in a rush to put it on the board and move on with the game. There is usually time left on the clock, so use it to examine what your opponent has in his hand. Get comfortable with this strategy, and it will give you an edge on players who only pay attention to their own cards.

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