The classic poker favorite known as 7 card stud offers good pot odds. However, just like with a Texas Holdem strategy, a winning 7-card stud strategy is essential and it all begins with mastering the rules of the game. In this article, we’ll get back to the basics and teach you how to turn the fundamental rules of seven card stud into a winning hand.
As with Texas Holdem, it is important to remember that you get 7 cards to pick from to make your final 5 card hand, and you don’t have to use any specific ones of the 7 that are dealt, just whichever 5 will give you the highest hand. Once all the players ante up, the dealer deals each player two cards down, and one face up. These are called the pocket cards. Everyone looks at their hole cards and the player with the lowest card showing has to put in a small bet called a “bring in.” Then betting continues to that low-card player’s left. Each player can call, raise or fold their cards.
After the betting is completed, another card is dealt to each player face-up. This card is also known as “fourth street” or “the turn.” The process of betting and laying down more streets or rivers continues until there the seventh and final card is dealt. This card will be face down. This is when it gets really exciting! After placing the final bets, the players show their hands at the showdown. The player who can make the best five-card hand from the seven dealt, wins.
Bluffing is a big part of poker, but save this strategy for precisely the right moment. Semi bluffing in 7 card stud is usually best done in the early streets of the game. By betting and raising aggressively, you can knock out the more timid players. As the round carries on and the pot gets bigger, the other players will become less likely to fold. Semi bluffing can also be a sound strategy when you pick up a small pocket pair as your starting hand. An aggressive strategy here can convince your opponents that you have a monster hand.
Good observation skills are a definite advantage in 7 card stud. Anything that gives away an opponent’s feelings or intentions is called a “tell,” and learning to spot a tell is a key part of playing poker. An experienced player can read an opponent’s expressions, body language and habits, although you must remember that the other players are also keeping an eye on you and trying to read your tells. That being said, try to capitalize on the information you gather from watching your opponents and the cards on the table. If you can do that successfully, you’ll be able to come out on top even when the chips are down.