Identifying the Best Starting Hands for Seven Card Stud Poker
One of the top 7 Card Stud Poker strategies is to determine which starting hand can be played and which ought to be folded to cut further losses.
Players can do this by first finding out if the cards needed to create the desired hand are live or not. A card is termed as “live” when it is still in play. To put it quite simply, players cannot create a desired hand with their starting hand if the required cards are not live, and in this case, it is better to fold the hand and quit the game.
For example, a player has a Ten of Clubs, an Eight of Diamonds, and a Nine of Spades. The player can play his/her starting hand if the seven cards are still live.
Therefore, live cards are very important in Seven Card Stud, and before playing their starting hand, players must determine if the cards they require to create a winning hand are still live.
For starters, here is a brief list of excellent starting hands for Seven Card Stud Poker:
- Three of a kind
- Large pairs such as a pair of Jacks or a pair of Aces. If the staring hand contains a hidden pair, it is very difficult for opponents to play against it. Players must understand that the kicker also has an important role to play. For example, a pair of Jacks with an Ace is a much better starting hand than a pair of Jacks with a deuce.
- Large suited connectors such as a King of Spades and a Queen of Spades with a Jack of Spades
- Medium pairs such as eight pairs and ten pairs as well as medium suited connectors such as Ten of Spades, Nine of Spades, and Eight to Spades
- Large suited semi-connectors like Ace of Spades, King of Spades, and Ten of Spades
Study the basic rules of 7 Card Stud Poker by watching this video
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The starting hands for Seven Card Stud Poker can be placed in the following categories:
Rolled Up Hands
Rolled up hands are hands in which there are three cards of a kind. This is a very good starting hand and can be played to the end of the game as it could end in a full house and help players win.
While having a pair in one’s starting hand is good, not all pairs are valuable in case of Seven Card Stud. The starting hand is playable if it contains a pair of nines or a pair of eights or better along with an Ace.
A starting hand with three high-value cards is usually playable as it could lead to a flush. However, the hand might not lead to a flush if it contains more than two suited cards. Usually, Stud players play to a flush with a starting hand containing low-value cards that are either semi-connected or connected.
Three High Value Cards
Players can play a starting hand with three high value cards such as Ace, King, Queen or King, Queen, Ten or Ace, King, Jack provided at least two of these cards belong to the same suit. This starting hand can be improved to straights, flushes, and pairs.
Three Card Straight
If the starting hand contains three connectors such as four, five, and six, the hand is playable provided the cards required to make it a better hand are live. If there are plenty of threes, deuces, eights, and sevens on board, it is better to fold the hand and quit the game. However, if the cards are still live, this is a great hand to play as the potential to create a winning hand is great.
Patience is the Key
Seven Card Stud is a game for players with a lot of patience. Players need to employ a tight and aggressive style of play, and they should not hesitate to fold all cards that simply cannot be transformed into better hands. The top 7 Card Stud strategy is to choose one’s starting hand wisely, taking into consideration the value of the cards in one hands, the cards on board, and the live cards. As previously mentioned, the strength of the starting hand depends on the live cards.
In a nutshell, players can play high-value cards, high pairs, three of a kind, or low pairs, depending on the gaming situation