Poker advice and news from Dave Colcough of Bet365 Poker
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Seven Card Stud
Written by: Dave Colclough (2005-01-07 01:42:49)
Just for a change, here are a few notes on one of the other variations of poker.
Nowadays, Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular game, but 7 Card Stud used to
hold that title in the not so distant past. When I started to play poker
competitions in the casinos of England almost 20 years ago, there would be
twice as many 7 Card competitions as opposed to Hold'em competitions. Although
it has steadily declined over the years, it is still often played, and I find it
a very enjoyable change. So if you fancy having a bash on the 7 Card tables on
bet365poker.com here are a few pointers.
Whilst trying to get everyone up to a reasonable level at Hold 'em, I have
laboured on about starting hands. The reason for this is because most
beginners at poker want to play every hand. When you are starting out,
discipline is the most difficult attribute to master. Unfortunately, 7
Card Stud is similar. You really don't want to go to war without some decent armoury.
Again just like Hold'em the type of staring hands
you can play varies considerably depending on the amount of players at the table.
If you are playing 8 handed then I would suggest you need:
- a high pair of Kings or Aces
- a medium pair with an ace kicker
- three cards of the same suit including the ace
- If you were playing 4 handed then I would suggest
- any pair is playable
- any three cards to a suit (providing they are 'live')
- any three high running cards (providing they are 'live')
- AK or AQ with any other card
And obviously if you are playing 5, 6 or 7 handed
then you have to find a balance between the two examples. The importance
of the ace kicker in the first example, and the ace within your flushing
cards, is obviously that you may hit an Ace. A pair of Aces, or Aces up is
very strong in 7 Card Stud. (When you are playing 8 handed, you have to be
very careful with Kings, and Queens are very dangerous.) Often in 7 card you
may start trying to make a flush or straight, but end up winning the pot with
two pair. The chances of this happening depend on how 'live' your cards are:
7 Card has an interesting additional factor. You can
see everyone's open card. This is valuable information concerning your hand as well.
If you can see that two of your opponents have an Ace
showing, and you have one hidden, you know it's unlikely that either of them
have a pair of Aces. More importantly though, there is much less of a chance
of you pairing your ace. It is not 'live'.
If you have been dealt three spades, but you can see
three of your opponents were dealt an open spade as well, the chances of you
making a flush is greatly diminished. I don't play flush draws if I can see
two others from the same suit dealt to my opponents.
Should you be dealt 10,J,Q, you may be trying to make a
straight, but if you can't see any 10s,Js or Qs then you have a very 'live'
hand, and could just as easily make a winning two pair or full house.
7 Card also has the same positional similarities to
Hold'em. If you have been dealt a pair of Kings, but two of your opponents
behind who haven't acted yet, are showing an open Ace, then you have to tread
very carefully indeed. As your opponents have been dealt three cards as
opposed to two cards to start, the chances of someone having Aces are far
greater in 7 Card than Hold'em.
Where 7 Card becomes interesting though, is when the
game progresses through the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th cards. As the cards are
dealt, you are constantly being fed information. The odds on your opponent
having improved are there right in front of you. And of course the odds on
your hand improving are changing depending on what cards you can see.
A typical starting hand may be J,J, Ace showing. You
suspect your opponent may have a pair of Aces, but there are no open Jacks.
It would be really nice to be dealt a Jack to match your hidden cards. There
is no way your opponent can read you for three Jacks, and you will probably
get paid all the way. It may well be correct to call on third and fourth
street because you cant see any Jacks. But often you will then see one or
both the remaining Jacks pop out being dealt to opponents on your right and
left. Very frustrating, but it now makes your hand an easy pass. The chances
of you making a winning hand have now shrunk enormously.
Likewise with your flush and straight draws. If your
first four cards are 8,9,10,J but you can see two 7s and two Qs out, then you
will be lucky to make your straight. Conversely, if you can't see any 7s or Qs,
then you have to fancy your chances, and it is probably worth gambling against
Have a go, 7 Card Stud is fun.
See you next week,