Seven Card Stud Poker Tips and Strategies

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Jeffrey | Poker Strategy

Before the arrival of Texas Hold’em, Stud Poker was the go-to game at most poker rooms. Today Seven Card Stud is considered a niche game and one that requires a lot more strategy and discipline compared to its more popular counterparts. It is clear that just like there are different kinds of racing, different kinds of betting and different types of skill or strategy games, there are also different kinds of poker, and each offers its own rewards. In this game, players are dealt two cards face down and a third face up. The player with the lowest ranking up-facing card starts the first round and betting proceeds clockwise around the table with players able to fold, call or raise.

After each round, an additional card is dealt face up and betting begins again with the player with the highest starting hand. This carries on until the final round where the 7th card is dealt face down. The player who achieves the best 5-card hand from the total 7 dealt wins. With Seven Card Stud, there are certain skills that should be brought to the table, including the ability to read your opponents, strict discipline, remembering your opponent’s up-cards and paying attention to hand selection.

The Differences Between Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em

One of the biggest mistakes most players make is comparing the game to Texas Hold’em, as it is a bit like comparing it to the roulette online Canada games on offer- they are very different! The truth is that there are fundamental differences between the two that makes Seven Card Stud completely unique. For starters, there are no community cards. The ante bet is used instead of blinds. The player with the best starting hand starts the betting on each round. There is no advantage before all the cards have been dealt and most importantly, there are five betting rounds instead of four.

Tips to Better Your Game

Now that you know a bit about how the game works, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your Seven Card Stud Game:
• Firstly, you need to be very selective of your starting hand. Choosing the right hand for each situation is a skill that is learnt over time and one that ultimately determines the end-game. Unless you have a strong hand in the first three rounds, it is better to fold. Never play second-best hands all the way.
• From the outset, start assessing the players. Find out which players fold quickly, who plays inferior hands, who backs off in the face of aggression and who calls bets with weak hands. It is also very important to find out who can be bluffed easily and who bluffs the most.
• As with most poker games, you should avoid calling at all costs. Unless you are trying to trap an opponent, either raise or get out of the game.
• Always look at your opponent’s up-cards and remember them all. It is vital that you know which hands are live in every round. This is a skill leaned over time, the more you play, the better you will get.
• Always raise on your strong draws. A pair in the hole is a powerful hand but only if the pair is not able to be beaten by the cards visible on the table. The betting action in each round should determine your decision to raise or fold in each case.

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