Top Ten Tips for Seven Card Stud

Top Ten Seven Stud TipsSeven Card Stud strategy is complex but there are certain rules that all winning stud strategies employ. These top 10 tips for Seven Card Stud will help you become a more consistent winning poker player. Remember also that there is no magic recipe for success in Seven Card Stud or any poker variant; it requires diligence and a willingness to learn to become a successful poker player.

Tip #1 - Prioritize/Organize Your Info

There is a lot of information to take in during a round of Seven Card Stud. Learn how to prioritize and organize the information you receive during each hand. Few people can memorize every up-card on the table and also remember the betting patterns of each player in the hand.

Instead of trying to overwhelm your short term memory bank, understand which information is the most important. Note suited cards, big cards, and matching cards. By doing so, you’ll be able to judge the likelihood of you and your opponents catching pairs, flushes, and other draws.

You can’t be expected to memorize every card you see on the table. Just focus on noting the important cards. You will miss things here and there but if you consistently focus on what appear to be the most important pieces of information, you will come out ahead in the long run.

Tip #2 - Play Big Pairs Fast

Big pairs are strong hands in Seven Card Stud, but they are vulnerable to draws. Any time you begin with a big pair, come out betting and raising from the beginning. You will accomplish two objectives at the same time: getting money in the middle with a strong hand and charging people to draw to stronger hands.

Tip #3 - Be Selective with Your Starting Hands

The simplest way to turn your game around and become a winning player is to tighten up your hand-playing requirements. The most common mistake new players make is to play too many starting hands. The best starting hands are ones that contain any of the following:

  • Three of a kind
  • A pair of 10s or better
  • Three to a high flush
  • Three to a high straight

If your hand doesn't match up with the list above, maybe you should reconsider playing the hand.

Tip #4 - Have a Reason to Stay In

You should have a strong reason to play and continue far with any hand. If you don’t have a good reason to play the hand, save yourself the money and fold. Seven Card Stud is a game of patience because you don’t catch strong hands very often. Don’t play unless you have a strong made hand or a draw to a strong made hand.

Tip #5 - Fifth Street is Decision Time

When play enters Fifth Street, you have seen the majority of your cards and the bets double. This is time for you to either continue with a strong hand or get out. Don’t call bets unless you have a clear purpose with the hand.

Tip #6 - Don’t Play with Reduced Odds

There are thirteen cards of each suit and four cards of each rank. Every time you see a card you need on one of your opponent’s boards, it means your odds are reduced. For example, it doesn’t make sense to chase a flush of diamonds if you can see five diamonds out there.

Tip #7 - Don’t Draw to Second-Best Hands

If your entire hand can’t beat the opponent’s board, don’t try to outdraw his hand. You will often end up drawing to a second-best hand. That’s a great way to lose a lot of money. You lose if you miss your draw and you lose even more if you make it!

Tip #8 - Observe Every Hand

You should consider yourself at work the entire time you are at the table. Even when you’re not involved in hands, you should observe the table. Watch how your opponents play their cards, note their betting cards and note what they show down with. You’ll gain a lot of useful information and get great practice at reading your opponents.

Tip #9 - Bluff Occasionally

The occasional bluff will prevent you from becoming a predictable, exploitable opponents. You don’t need to bluff very often to do so. When you do bluff, make sure your bets make sense and that your board backs up the story you’re trying to tell. Learn more about Seven Stud bluffing.

Tip #10 - Practice Bankroll Management

Every player goes through bankroll fluctuations regardless of skill. No matter how good you are, it is vital that you only play in games for which you have a large bankroll. Note that I am talking about all the money you have set aside for poker; not the amount you buy in with for any single session.

Many poker sites say that a bankroll of 40 times the big bet is sufficient but that’s ridiculously small. A proper bankroll should be equal to at least 300 times the big bet, and more if you want extra security. Seven Card Stud is a swingy form of poker and you’ll be glad you keep a large bankroll.

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