If you enjoy watching the pros play Texas Holdem on television and want to try your hand at playing poker, then playing seven card stud is a good training ground. Your Texas Holdem strategy will transfer well to stud. As a bonus, the pot odds are much higher in stud. Not only are the fundamentals of building a winning hand the same, there are great techniques that can help you in any game you choose to play. In this article, we’ll show you how to rake in the chips.
The first four cards are the key to winning at seven card stud. If a starting hand develops according to plan, you can be a strong favorite to win. If it doesn’t, then you can get out early and keep your losses to a minimum. The best starting hands include high and low sets (3 of a kind), high and low pairs, high over cards, a high 3 card flush, high three card straights, and any three cards to a straight flush. Fold if four or more of your key straight and flush cards are dead. Slow play and check-fold if you don’t make any four cards to a straight or a four card flush. Good four card hands that are carefully played don’t always win but they win a lot more than the others.
Unless you are playing with a strong starting hand, it’s usually best to fold if your complete hand is beaten on the board by an opponent’s up cards. To minimize potential losses, look for reasons to fold your starting hand and those that develop on the later streets. Look for a dead card in the denomination that you need and for two or three dead cards in the suit that you are drawing to. Look for too much strong competition developing for the winning hand. When you can’t find reasons to fold, then you can then proceed aggressively. Keep an eye out for multiple “check-around” plays on the seventh street. Straight and flush draws often hit on the last card and there is usually so little in the pot that your last card pair is not a very good bet.
Bluffing is one of the most popular and effective tools used by poker players. If you become a really good bluffer, players will never know what to expect. If you are going to bluff, make sure that it will work to your benefit. Semi bluffing in stud is usually best done in the early streets of the game. By betting and raising aggressively, you can eliminate the more timid players. In a pure bluff, you’ll convince other players that you have a great hand even when you have nothing.
Common sense is as important to winning in seven card stud as luck and skill. No matter how much in-depth knowledge you have of the game, patience is the key. Play wisely by never chasing a hand. While you may get lucky sometimes, crossing your fingers is never a good strategy! You should also be vigilant about watching visible cards. They’ll always tell you whether to hold ’em or to fold ’em.
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