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Last Updated: January 29, 2002

Asian Stud

Introduction

At the time of this writing in 2002, Asian Stud is new table game currently found only in the Seattle area casinos. The owners of the game employed my services to analyze the game. It is with their permission that I indicate the following results of my analysis.

Rules

  1. The game is played with a single deck of cards. The deck consists of the standard 52 cards plus one joker.
  2. All cards are valued as in baccarat: aces are 1 point, 2 through 9 have face value, and tens and face cards are worth 10. The joker is also 1 point. For purposes of the bonus bet, which is explained later, different rules apply.
  3. Play begins with the players making an ante wager subject to table limits.
  4. The dealer shall deal each player and himself five cards. All cards should be dealt face down. Players may examine their own cards but sharing information should be discouraged.
  5. After examining his cards the player has the option to either raise or fold. If the player decides to raise then he must place an additional wager equal to his original wager in a designated area on the table. If the player decides to fold he must forfeit both his cards and his original wager.
  6. Each remaining player should then separate his five cards into a three-card hand and a two-card hand.
  7. To have a qualifying hand the player must have a total of 10, 20, or 30 points in the 3-card hand. If the player can not form a qualifying 3-card hand then his 2-card hand shall not matter and his only chance to win is if the dealer does not qualify.
  8. If the 3-card hand qualifies then the value of the 2-card hand shall be based on the total points of the two cards. The highest possible 2-card hand is a point total of 10 or 20, and shall have a value of 10. Otherwise the value of the 2-card hand is the terminal digit in the total number of points (as in baccarat). For example a 6 and 9 would have total point of 15, and a value of 5.
  9. After the players have set their hands the dealer shall arrange his cards into a 3-card hand and 2-card hand in the same manner as the players. The dealer must try to qualify with a 10, 20, or 30 point total in the 3-card hand. If the dealer does qualify his 2-card hand shall be valued in the same manner as the player's 2-card hand.
  10. If the dealer's 3-card hand does not qualify then all players who did not fold shall win even money on the ante, less a possible 5% commission, and the raise shall push.
  11. If the player's 3-card hand does not qualify and the dealer's does then the player shall lose both ante and raise.
  12. If both the player's and the dealer's 3-card hands qualify then the value of the two-card hands shall determine the winner. If the dealer's two-card hand outscores the player's then the player shall lose both ante and raise. In the event of a tie both ante and raise shall push. If the player's two-card hand outscores the dealer's then the player shall win even money on the ante and the raise shall pay according to the difference in the point values as follows:

    1 - 3 points: 1 to 1
    4 - 6 points: 2 to 1
    7 - 9 points: 3 to 1

    Winnings are also subject to a possible 5% commission, depending on the specific house rules. For example, if the player's 2-card hand has 7 points and the dealer's has 2 points then the player outscores the dealer by 5 points and the raise shall pay 2 to 1, less the 5% commission.

  13. A side wager is also available based on the poker value of the combined five-card hand. For purposes of the side wager, all cards are valued as in poker. The joker is partially wild and may be used to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush, and is otherwise counted as an ace. Note that this is the same usage as in pai gow poker. The player does not have to pay the 5% commission on side wager winnings. Casino management may choose from various pay tables for the side wager.

Strategy

Regardless of whether the ante, raise, or both are subject to the 5% commission, the correct strategy in Asian Stud is to always raise. Even with a non-qualifying hand the expected loss by raising is about 0.99 units, which is less than the one unit loss by folding.

House Edge

The following table shows the house edge according to the house rule on the commission.

House Edge in Asian Stud

5% Commission Payable on House Edge
Ante only 0.99%
Raise only 1.70%
Both ante and raise 3.09%

Statistics

The following table shows all possible outcomes, the probability of each one, the payoff odds, and contribution to the total return. This table is appropriate only for the version where the 5% commission is payable on the ante and raise.

Probabilities in Asian Stud

Outcome Probability Pays Return
Tie 4.38% 0 0%
Player Wins by 1 3.89% 1.9 7.39%
Player Wins by 2 3.48% 1.9 6.61%
Player Wins by 3 3.05% 1.9 5.8%
Player Wins by 4 2.64% 2.85 7.51%
Player Wins by 5 2.2% 2.85 6.26%
Player Wins by 6 1.76% 2.85 5.02%
Player Wins by 7 1.34% 3.8 5.08%
Player Wins by 8 0.92% 3.8 3.48%
Player Wins by 9 0.5% 3.8 1.9%
Dealer Qualifies, Player Doesn't 22.34% -2 -44.68%
Player Folds 0% 0 0%
Player Qualifies, Dealer Doesn't 22.33% 0.95 21.22%
Neither Qualifies 11.42% 0.95 10.85%
Dealer Beats Player 19.77% -2 -39.53%
Total 100% 0 -3.09%

Side Bet

The following return table shows how the house edge for the side bet was calculated. The table shows the number of ways to form each hand, the probability, payoff odds, and contribution to the return. There are other pay tables available but as far as I know this is the only one actually being used.

Asian Stud Side Bet

Hand Combinations Probability Pays Return
Five of a kind 1 0.00000035 3000 0.001045
Natural royal 4 0.00000139 2000 0.002788
Wild royal 20 0.00000697 1000 0.006969
Natural straight flush 36 0.00001254 750 0.009409
Wild straight flush 144 0.00005018 500 0.02509
Four of a kind 828 0.00028853 100 0.028853
Full house 4368 0.00152212 60 0.091327
Flush 7804 0.00271946 25 0.067987
Straight 20532 0.00715479 10 0.071548
Three of a kind 63360 0.02207908 4 0.088316
Two pair 138600 0.04829798 2 0.096596
Pair of aces 137904 0.04805545 1 0.048055
Pair of J-K 269280 0.09383608 1 0.093836
Other pair 807840 0.28150825 -1 -0.281508
Nothing 1418964 0.49446681 -1 -0.494467
Total 2869685 1 -0.144155

The lower right cell shows the house edge to be 14.42%.
Written by: Michael Shackleford

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