Similar to Texas holdem but unlike draw poker, in 7 card stud players have up cards that are used to make your best five card poker hand. But the disadvantage is that your opponents get to see those up cards as well. This can very much be a double edged sword, players showing very strong up cards early will win, but not very much since they scare everyone off. On the other hand players with strong up cards may get dragged into several rounds of betting because they think other players should respect the strength of their up cards … only to their demise the other player has even stronger down cards.
Like any casino game, picking the game with the right betting limits for your bankroll is key. You can expect to play anywhere between 10-20 hands per hour, it’s often a good rule of thumb to see if you fold every single hand in an hour’s time, what will you be left with? If the answer is not very much in comparison to your starting bankroll then move to a lower limit table, otherwise you’ll find yourself being forced to enter games with mediocre hands just to stay in the game.
More so in seven card stud than in any other version of poker card memory is of utmost importance. In Texas holdem there are only 5 community cards, meaning in a game of say 6 people only 17 cards will be in play (2 per person plus 5 community cards). This makes calculating odds of getting certain cards much more difficult. In 7 card stud each player is dealt their face up cards individually, meaning that if you have a game of 6 people, 18 cards are dealt before anyone gets a chance to bet. If 3 or more people stay in the game until the final card, at minimum 30 of 52 cards will be in play. Knowing what’s been dealt and deciphering how other players are playing based on what they’re showing for up cards, and what you have in your hand is a crucial strategy in this game. Poker is a game of odds, if you have a rough idea of what your odds are in winning a particular hand your getting a particular card to complete a great hand, then you’ve mastered 50% of the game, the other 50% is luck!
Reading Other Players
This strategy is useful in all games of poker, but because each player in 7 card stud gets their own up cards it’s sometimes easier to tell what they might have. Clearly when you’re playing online you don’t have direct eye contact that you would at a table game, so the dynamics are different. But there can still be ways to gain this type of information, whether it’s through the chat box or the time they take to make a decision.
Depending on the Round, know what you’ve got
After the first three cards are dealt (2 down and 1 up) it’s important to know how you sit in comparison to the table. For example if your two down cards and one up card are all higher than any up card on the table then you know you’re in pretty good shape and should likely stay in. Keep in mind though that there are still plenty of cards to come, so just because you may have the best starting hand, be prepared to get out when someone else is showing strong up cards … loss prevention is a key lesson when playing all types of poker.