Here I’m going to discuss a few basic strategies that you should try to use in Seven Card Stud.
What you’re showing is nearly as important as what you’re holding. If you have weak board cards (face-up), you look weak. This means that your opponents are more likely to be aggressive towards you. If you’ve got really good hole cards, though, this works in your favor. However, if you’re showing a king, this is perceived as strong. By betting aggressively with a king showing, you may get someone to fold a pair of queens, especially if there are no other kings showing on the board.
Continuing to River
One rule that’s served many great stud players is, if you decide to play on Fifth Street when the bets double, you should keep playing through until the river. But even this rule isn’t absolute. If your opponent manages to pair his doorcard, and that pair is higher than your top pair, you might want to give it up on Sixth Street. If you’ve been hoping for a diamond flush draw and Sixth Street gives everybody but you a diamond, you should consider giving up on your draw based on the slim odds. There are several other situations where you should just lay down your hand to cut your losses. Most of the time, however, following this rule will.
Keep an eye on your opponents. Some of them will play any ace or king as if they had a pair. With these more aggressive players, you can afford calling with a weaker pair. However, there’s always the risk that you’ll be caught when the player is actually holding a powerful pair. If you know that’s their playing style, though, more often than not you’ll be able to steal the pot from them.
Coming From Behind
In 7 Card Stud, coming up from behind is a more realistic goal. In flop games, especially Holdem, the flop can help too many players at once. The turn and river are much the same. Therefore, if the flop leaves you thinking that you’re behind in the hand, it’s very difficult to hope for winning cards on the turn and river. With Stud, each player gets his or her own personal, unique turn and river cards. Therefore, the chance that you both get a card that helps you in the same way is eliminated.
As you know, there are 13 cards to each suit. You need 5 cards of one suit to make a flush. So, if you’ve got a flush draw, be sure to look at what your opponents are showing. If you’re holding 3 hearts and there’s a total of 6 other hearts on the table, there’s only 4 left in the deck. Do this same thing if you’re trying to complete a straight; theres only four of each card in the deck that could help you make your straight. You don’t want to bet your money on a slim chance at drawing the last seven that may or may not be in the deck.
Patience is a Virtue
Another thing to remember is that 7 Card Stud greatly rewards patience. If you think your hand is behind, and you don’t have very good chances of getting a good card on a draw, don’t keep calling or betting. Your next hand may be much better. If a player’s board cards are better than your entire hand, it’s definitely not a good idea to keep limping along with that hand; just fold it and move on. If you have some kind of draw and think your chances are good then consider it. But always remember that 7 Card Stud strategy favors those who are patient and don’t try to win every pot with marginal hands or possible draws.
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