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Intermediate 7 Card Stud Strategy

Most of the discussion in this intermediate course on seven card stud will focus on playing through the middle streets and learning how to figure out what the cards in play and that have left play will tell you. True mastery of seven card stud can take a long time and these intermediate skills are of critical importance, because without them you will find it hard to learn the more subtle advanced techniques that really hold a lot of profit potential.

Live Hands, Dead Hands, and Drawing

One of the most important things to learn in stud is how to figure out when your hand is good, or has a chance of becoming good. Often times in seven card stud new players will chase hands to high heaven simply to have their hopes and dreams shattered on the river. You can avoid this by keeping the following in mind when drawing:

  • Drawing is generally a bad idea do it only when the conditions are excellent
  • If the card you need does not come on fourth street, most likely it is best to fold. The times when you miss on fourth street and should continue are few and far between.
  • If you are chasing a flush and more than three of the suit you need are on the board, give up on the draw. Same thing goes for a straight. If three or more of the cards you need are already in play or have been folded then you are drawing dead. Fold the hand!
  • Keep a special eye on cards that you are looking to pair. Even if one of the cards you need is out your odds of improving are significantly reduced.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that you want to draw when conditions are optimal. This means most of your cards are live, the pot will pay you off if you win and you get the cards you need right away, as in on fourth street!

Playing your Hand from Third Street On

Like Texas hold’em it is generally a good idea to come out aggressively from the beginning. While there are some exceptions to this, you are generally looking to limit the field when you have strong pairs and you are looking to keep a few players interested when you have incredibly strong hands like trips. Let’s take a look at some pointers:

  • If your upcard is an ace this puts you in a strong position. While you don’t want to be betting aggressively every time you have an ace, simply because players will know that you can’t have a pair all the time, you generally want to be aggressive with this and limit the field as much as possible. Now, if you do have a pair of aces, then by all means be aggressive until you have a reason to act otherwise.
  • Kings and other high pairs need to be protected and bet on just as much as aces but you have to be careful when people with higher up cards are playing back at you. Can you improve? Can you beat what they already have showing? These are all things to keep in mind.
  • While it is best to come in cheap with strong drawing hands like three high cards to a flush, make sure from time to time you come in with a bet or a raise to keep your opponents guessing. You could quickly get pinned down if the only time you bet and raise is when you already have a pair. Don’t let your opponents gauge you this easily, raise with different, yet playable hands to confuse them.

Game Specific Strategy