Seven Card Stud Tips
Seven card stud was the most popular form of poker for decades and to this day remains a staple in card rooms worldwide. It has since been surpassed in popularity by no-limit Holdem, but the influx of new Texas Holdem players has resulted in some spill-over to the seven-card stud tables.
This new breed of casual poker player is usually new to the stud game and easily exploited by more knowledgeable players. Using these tips you will be able to familiarize yourself with the game in short order.
If you’re unfamiliar with seven-card stud then you can find the rules of the game here. This guide is primarily for newer players looking to transition into the stud arena.
Top 5 Seven Card Stud Tips
1. Start with a Strong Hand
Choosing your starting hands correctly is an important part of a solid beginner’s strategy to 7 card stud. You want to limit yourself to hands with potential. Three of a kind, also known as rolled-up trips, is the strongest starting hand you can have. Other solid starting hands in stud include:
Medium to high pairs. Split pairs are slightly weaker.
3-Cards to a straight. Higher straight draws are better because if you miss your straight by pairing up, at least you will have a strong pair. Suited cards improve your hand slightly.
3-Cards to a flush. This is a strong hand. The higher your cards are the stronger the hand.
When you are first learning to play stud you should adopt a conservative approach to starting hand selection. Play tight so that you can get a feel for the game without hemorrhaging money.
2. Learn to Play Position and the Strength of Your Door Card
If most everyone folds and there are only a couple of players remaining to act behind you, consider attempting to steal the pot. The visible cards, or door cards, should be factored carefully into your decision at this point. If you have the highest door card still showing then you are obviously in the best position to attempt a raise.
However, you may be able to suggest that your hand is quite strong if you attempt to steal the pot when one of the players remaining is showing an Ace and you are showing a weak card. You are representing at least a pair and if they have nothing then you should be able to get away with stealing the pot.
Keep in mind however that a tight overall strategy is usually warranted when approaching 7 card stud for the first time. So keep your image in mind and don’t steal too often.
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3. Track the Dead Cards
Tracking the cards that are folded can be difficult, but if you can master this skill then you will have a much better idea of what yours and your opponent’s odds are in the hand. If you are better at keeping track of the dead cards than the other players, then you will know who has the advantage even when your opponents are lost.
Learning to do this takes practice and effort. You can attempt it by rote memorization or you can learn to employ memory techniques. One simple trick that you can use is to arrange the numbered cards into phone numbers in your head and attack the face cards to people you know.
4. Tight is Right
Fixed limit games in general require a tight opening hand strategy and a conservative approach throughout most hands (at least in low and micro-stakes games). Your opponent’s are usually able to justify calling if they have a hand they feel can withstand any amount of pressure.
The best way to exploit your opponents is to select your hands more carefully and play more patiently post flop than they do.
There are times when bluffing makes sense. For instance, if you miss your hand entirely, or you suspect your opponent has missed his hand but may still have some showdown value; a bluff may be in order.
5. Practice Frequently and Review Your Sessions!
7 card stud and stud-based games require practice and determination in order to see results. These games are grindy and require a great deal of patience, but if you put in the effort and keep these tips in mind you will surely see improvement in your game!
Make sure you take the time to review your sessions! Go through your hand histories and review hands that you felt like were close decisions. A good way to get excellent advice is to post interesting hands on a forum website like twoplustwo and get feedback from veteran players. Keep practicing your 7 card stud!