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How to Play 7 Card Stud Poker

There’s more to poker than just No Limit Hold ‘Em. That’s why Pokerrrr is excited to launch one of the most classic poker variants of all time: 7 card stud. If you’re ready to get in on the action, keep reading to learn the rules of how to play as well as some basic tips on how this game’s strategy differs from NLHE.

A Quick Primer

The game starts with everyone receiving two cards face down (in the hole) and one card face up (the door card). Everyone puts in the same ante, and the action starts with the person who has the lowest door card. In the case of a tie, we sort by suit: clubs is lowest, then diamonds, hearts, and finally spades—it’s alphabetical.

Whoever starts also has to make a blind bet called “the bring in” to start the game, and it can be anywhere between half the minimum bet or up to the whole minimum bet. Rather than pre-flop, this is called “3rd street”.

Once the pot is right, the players get a second door card on “4th street”. Another round of betting follows, then another door card on 5th street. The same is true for 6th street. Finally, the river is face down, and, when it’s all said and done, whoever has the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

Keep in mind that position changes throughout the hand. Whoever has the strongest hand showing gets to act first. Another key difference is that 7 card stud has bet limits. Each game has a “small bet” (the minimum bet) and a “big bet” (the maximum we can raise by).

So if the game starts at 10/20, for instance, then we can bet 10 chips at a time for 3rd and 4th street. Once we hit 5th street, then that number goes to 20. Keep in mind that, since it’s not No Limit, we can’t go all in unless our entire stack is less than or equal to the maximum bet.

Basic Strategy

Since there’s no shared cards in 7 card stud, it’s even more important that you pay attention to what other people are dealt and remember those cards even after they fold. For instance, if you have a hearts flush draw, but you see that there are three or four hearts already out on other players’ boards, then your outs to making your draw are substantially lower.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hands like AA and KK aren’t nearly as good in 7 card stud. High pairs don’t beat low pairs as often. For instance, in NLHE, AA vs KK is 82 to 18, while AA with a 6 door and KK with a 6 door in 7 card stud is 66 to 33. Between these odds and the fact that the game is limit, you can chase more often.

Overcard kickers also matter a lot more. KK with a 5 against QQ with an A is 58 to 42.

Lastly, flushes are great in stud. If you hold 3 to a flush to start, you can aggressively play the hand, try to steal the antes, and have plenty of equity if you do get called. Then when your flush card comes on 4th street, you have an awesome hand that you can play aggressively, since you’re going to hit your flush over 50% of the time.

Now get out there and crush some stud!

Oct 16, 2021


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