With the fast and furious spread of Texas Hold ‘Em poker, you might not find many Seven Card Stud tables in the Valley, but it’s a good game.
Learning to play helps with reading opponents and possible hands.
Those skills translate well to Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha.
Seven Card Stud is played with a standard English deck.
There are no community cards, and nothing is wild, but the action, which has a lot to do with having five betting rounds.
In a typical $4-8 limit game, each player antes 50 cents.
Like Hold ‘Em, you get two cards down but then receive a third card face-up.
The lowest card showing (starting with the deuce of clubs) is forced to bring it in for $2.
Players may then call for $2 or raise to the full bet of $4. Or, they can be sissies and fold for free.
Starting Hands for Seven Card Stud
If you aren’t the player forced to bring it in, you get to see your first three cards and the up card of each player before deciding to call or raise.
Starting with three of a kind rolled-up is best, followed by a big pair in the hole like Aces or face cards.
Next best is a pair of those with one in the hole and one showing.
Other hands you’ll want to consider playing are three to a straight or three flush cards, especially with big cards.
However, since you can see each player’s door card, you might have to dump a pair that can’t improve.
If you have two is in the hole but see another 8 showing, you don’t have much chance of catching the case 8 to make trips.
Often a player with an Ace or King up will raise.
They may be bluffing and trying to steal the antes and the bring-in.
If you don’t have much, go ahead and let them.
Lots of Bets
For the Seven Card Stud, $4 bets continue when the next card is dealt face up (fourth street), and then the wagers go to $8 after the fifth, sixth, and seventh cards.
That’s a lot of betting rounds, and plenty of chances to punish poor play when you’ve made your hand early.
Those extra cards are a tantalizing enticement to your opponents to stay in and draw-out on you.
With that in mind, you’ve got to bet or raise your good hands to make it as expensive as possible for anyone to keep calling.
If you check or call with good early hands, you are just asking to get beat on the river.
The fifth and sixth cards are delivered face-up, with the final card down and dirty.
With three hidden cards, you can surprise opponents, but with four up-cards, they can surprise you too.
So, you better learn how to read what hands are likely in a showdown!
You can do that by memorizing which cards have been folded by players out of the action.
That’ll give you an advantage when it comes to guessing what’s out there.
If your opponents were trying to catch cards that have been folded, they are less likely to show you a full house.
Likewise, you can use all the cards you’ve seen to decide whether to fold your hand or go to the river to make a winning hand.