The Basics of a Good 7 Card Stud Strategy

7 Card Stud is a less common, but just as entertaining variation of online poker. Many players aren't familiar with this variation, but if you're willing to learn how to do it, you can make a healthy profit. These tips will help you develop a good 7 Card Stud strategy that will give you an advantage over your opponents.

About the Game

This variation has several similarities to the more popular Hold'Em title, but there are also quite a few differences. Usually, no more than 8 people are seated at a single table and the game progresses in a clockwise direction based on the position of the dealer. There aren't any blind bets in this variation, but each individual must make a small ante before joining. This version is played with 7 cards, rather than 5, and there are 5 separate rounds of betting, not including the ante.

Getting Started

When a round begins, each person is dealt 2 face down cards, along with one that everyone can see, referred to as 3rd street. Four more are dealt face up for a total of 7 and there are betting rounds that take place after every one the individuals receive. Position doesn't really influence your strategy in this title like it does in other variations because the player who bets first is determined by who has the highest showing hand. Although you're playing with 7 cards, the object of the game is still to create the best hand from only five of these.

Recognizing Good Hands

The key to a good 7 Card Stud strategy is being able to distinguish between a good hand and those that have little potential so you can decide how to bet or when to fold. Starting the game with 3 of a kind is the best possible way to begin. A high pair, especially when both are face down, is another opportune starting hand that should definitely be continued. If your first three are the beginning of a straight or a flush, your potential to profit is still high. Even small pairs could lead to a win, although it may not be a good idea to raise the bet when you're just holding a pair of 2s.

Understanding the Betting Rounds

If your starting hand is worth it, you can put down the 3rd street bet to stay in the game. The player with the lowest value turned face up makes the first move in this round by placing at least the minimum bet. The opponent to the left goes next, either matching the bet or raising it by the same amount. Everyone gets a chance to raise, call, or fold before the 4th is dealt. The 4th street, 5th street, 6th street, and River bets all play out in the same way, except the person with the highest showing hand makes the first move in these rounds.

It takes some time to develop a good 7 Card Stud strategy, but if you practice poker online at a low limit table, you can learn the basics and improve your game without losing huge amounts of money.