Everything Beginners Need to Know about Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud was once the most popular variant of poker, but today its place has been taken by Texas Hold’em.
Although players still play Seven Card Stud, a huge majority of poker players prefer playing Texas Hold’em. Players who have played HORSE will definitely be familiar with Seven Card Stud because the “S” in HORSE stands for Seven Card Stud.
Seven Card Stud players receive a hand of seven cards instead of the customary five; however, the rest of its rules bear a striking similarity to other variants of poker. Players have to use their seven-card hand to create the best five-card poker hand. The player who displays the strongest hand at showdown will win the pot. Seven Card Stud includes several rounds with bets and raises, as a result of which the winner gets quite a lot of money.
Players can play Seven Card Stud either at land-based card rooms or at online poker rooms. In spite of the popularity of Texas Hold’em, the game has a large number of followers, who cannot live without playing a game of Seven Card Stud.
Before a beginner tries to play Seven Card Stud Poker, he/she must learn the rules well and play a few games in the free money mode. The rules of Seven Card Stud are quite easy to understand. To put it in a nutshell, players are dealt two face-down cards and one face-up card, after which there are several betting rounds, during which players call, raise, or check, depending on the strength of their hands and the situation at the gaming table.
Whenever a card is dealt, followed by a betting round, it is called a “street.” The seventh card is the last card dealt to players and it is followed by the last round of betting. The seventh card is dealt face-down, and by the time it is dealt, most of the players would have folded and quit the game. Now it is time for showdown and the player who has created the best five-card poker hand wins the jackpot. In case of a tie, the jackpot is shared equally between the two winners.
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Best Seven Card Stud Poker Starting Hands
Needless to say, players should choose their starting hands well before actually playing them. Before playing a starting hand, players should take into consideration factors such as:
- Live cards
- Cards on the table
- What they intend to do with their hand
Here is a brief list of excellent Seven Card Stud starting hands:
- Three cards of a kind
- High-value pairs such as Ace pairs or Jack pairs
- Cards that are simultaneously suited and connected such as a King, a Queen, and a Jack of Spades
- Medium-value pairs such as tens, nines, and eights
- Medium-value cards that are both suited and connected such as an eight, a nine, and a ten of spades
- Pairs – It is great to have a pair in one’s starting hand, but not all pairs can help players win the pot. Players should check the value of the other cards in their hand if they find a pair.
- High value cards – Having high value cards such as kings, queens, jacks, tens, aces, and others is highly beneficial as this starting hand can be converted into strong poker hands such as flushes and straights.
- Three Card Straight – A starting hand with a three card straight is definitely playable, but players must first determine if the cards they require to make this starting hand better are live or not. If the required cards have already been dealt on the table, it is better to fold this hand.
Tips and Strategies
Seven Card Stud is a poker variant meant for serious poker players because it requires a lot of patience and focus. The best gaming method to employ is a tight method – play the cards only if they good, otherwise fold them and quit the game. In case of Seven Card Stud, one cannot just stick to studying one’s own hand. Players must study not only their own hands, but also their opponents’ hands, and keep track of the live cards. Players must understand that the most important thing about Seven Card Stud Poker is the live cards.