The Bear is a very conservative player who takes a chance only when he really has something in his hands. For this style of playing you can say that straights greatly affect player’s actions. On the 3rd street a tight player needs to make a simple choice. If he has a set, 3 cards to a flush or a straight, high pair (10s or better), or at least 2 high cards such as A and K, the player should place a bet. Otherwise, he’ll fold right away. On the 4th street only sets, 4 cards to a flush or straight, or 2 pairs can make this player place a bet. Otherwise, he’ll fold. Such a tight play is used in order to minimize the risk. The player does not risk at all. If there are too many raises during a betting round, he folds. If the cards are against him, he folds. If the time is over and he still does not have a strong hand, he folds.
The aggressive style of playing is almost the opposite. Of course, it is important what cards you have but it is also very important what other players think that you have. A player – Bull manipulates the expectations of his opponents and manages his own cards very well. This type of players “rock” the game and the other players are forced either to pay or to fold, following the policy “raise or fold”. The key to this type of playing is a thorough analysis of the cards. It is like asking yourself all the time what your opponent thinks about your cards, do you support his opinion with your actions and can you use his expectations in order to get more money from the pot. Do you think it looks interesting? That’s because it really is. Bull players turn stud poker into a roller coaster. It is them, who require more attention and observation, card analysis and psychological tricks.
This is the style of playing preferred by the professional players. By choosing the policy of “raise or fold”, they intend to get more money from the pot. And since this style is much less predictable, they are more flexible, they have more ways to attack, and more opportunities to use your expectations against you. The bull style and good skills can really make money.
But is it not better to choose the conservative style of playing and risk only when you have nuts? Or it is better to choose the aggressive style, to fold and raise, almost never to check and make other players to fold? Although a beginner may think that this is the best approach, in fact, that’s not the case. Because then you become predictable and when your opponents can predict your hands and your next moves, they already have a huge advantage and you are going to lose. So, it’s up to you to decide how to play and what to choose – the bear or the bull.