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Introduction
Development
Introducing Poker
Ranking Hands
Chips
The sequence of play
Shuffling
Dealing
Betting Interval
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Table stakes
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
Strategy-1
Strategy-2
Seven-Card Stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Poker Sense
Slow Playing
Other Gambling Card Game
Blackjack
Brag
Seven-card Brag
Gin Rummy
Glossary

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Strategy

The first decision you must make in Seven-card Stud is probably the most important.  It comes when you have to decide whether to stay in or not at the first betting interval, when you have two hole-cards and an up-card.  You should visualize the sort of hand you are looking for and look at the other players’ up-cards to see if any of the cards you might need are already dealt.  It is necessary, of course, to have chances of a good hand two moderate pairs are unlikely to be good enough to take the pot at Seven-card Stud.  Staying in with no clear possibilities in mind, hoping that you’ll get a card that might suggest a hand developing, is a sure way to contribute to a pot you’ll eventually drop from.

            So what constitutes a promising hand?  Basically, you can consider five combinations:

  1. Three of a kind.  This is obviously the best possible combination, with chances of a full house or even four of a kind.  Stay in, but while the betting keeps going, don’t raise.  Keep your secret as long as possible.  Start raising later on.
  2. A pair with an odd card.  This should be either a big pair, say picture cards or above, or if it’s smaller the odd card should be high, say Ace or King.  It is important to keep track of any matching cards that get dealt to other players and spoil your chances of improving.  Rarely continue beyond the fifth card without at least two pairs, and if a pair is showing higher than your best, beware.
  3. Three of the same suit.  You are aiming at a flush.  If the fourth or fifth cards don’t help, fold.  Needing two of a suit from two is a long shot, even if not so many of the suit are showing.
  4. Three to a straight.  But if after two rounds you haven’t got four consecutive cards go no farther.  Beware possible straights with gaps.  They are dangerous to keep, as the chances of filling them are low.
  5. Two or three high cards, such as Ace, Queen, Jack or Ace, King, 6.  But if the next cad fails to provide a pair, fold.  Four unrelated cards are unlikely to improve to anything.

The above are good rules of thumb, but keep track of other hands and combinations of cards you might hold that can be helped in more than one direction.  For example, if you hold ♥ A, ♥ 4 in the hole, and your face-up cards are ♣ A, ♥ 5, ♥ 6, you hold only a pair of Aces, but you also hold chances of flush, straight, full house or even a straight flush.  It’s worth staying to see your next card.

Betting strategy

When it comes to betting, if both your hole-cards are active in providing you with a winning hand, bet moderately at first you want to keep the other players in and so shouldn’t give away that your hole-cards are promising.
            If your strength is showing (say a pair of up-card Aces) you could raise as if they completed three of a kind for you and scare off players who might if they stayed get a small triple themselves and beat you, or players who look as if they’re developing a straight.
            Always keep watch on opponents’ up-cards and try to figure out their strengths.  And however attractive your chances might look, if you are sure another player has a better hand, it’s best to fold and cut your losses.

Seven-card Stud, High-Low

Seven-card Stud, High-Low is one of the best poker games, guaranteed to inspire plenty of action and betting.  It is played as straightforward Seven-card Stud, as outlined above, but the seven cards provide a player who contests high and low to use different hands for each call, made up from his seven cards.  The hands for both high and low rank as for Draw Poker High-Low and at the showdown online poker players make their calls for high or low, or for both, in the same way, with different colored chips.

EXAMPLE SEVEN-CARD STUD, HIGH-LOW HAND

Betting limits are two chips to bet or raise to the fifth card, five chips for the last two rounds.

First betting interval

  1. Player 3 shows the highest card and bets two chips (he also has a pair in the hole).
  2. With his odd collection player 4 folds.
  3. With a pair in the hole, Player 5 calls.
  4. With a possible flush and an Ace in the hole, Player 1 calls.
  5. With a possible straight, player 2 calls.  There are eight chips in the pot.  All the players still in, except player 3, who is only thinking high, are thinking both high and low at the moment.


1ST BETTING INTERVAL  Players 1, 2,3 and 5 are happy to play poker on, but player 4 does not feel that his hand is worth pursuing.

Second betting interval

  1. Player 3 is still high, and bets two chips.
  2. Player 5, with the idea of a possible low, calls.
  3. Player 1 nearly has a flush already and calls.
  4. Player 2’s straight is progressing, and he calls.  There are 16 chips in the pot.


2ND BETTING INTERVAL  The four players still in are encouraged by their hands but not so much that they bet heavily.

Third betting interval

  1. Player 1 is now high with a pair of 10s.  His hand is going quite well, and he bets two chips.
  2. Player 2 likes what he sees.  He could already compete for low with a complete hand at only 9 high, and with four hearts he is in line for a flush.  He calls.
  3. Player 3 decides his two 4s have taken him for enough and folds.
  4. Player 5 seriously considers folding, but it’s  friendly card game and he’s loose player, so he stays in, hoping something develops a sure recipe for disaster.  There are now 22 chips at stake.


3RD BETTING INTEVAL   At this point player 5 has to decide whether to play on.

 

Fourth betting interval

  1. Player 1 is high still, and with his chance of a flush and his two pairs, he bets five chips.  He hopes to get rid of at least one opponent.
  2. Player 2 quite likes his ♣ 3, and is now only 8 high for low, while a 5 or a 10 will still complete a straight, and a heart a flush.  He calls five and raises five.
  3. Player 5 has paid for his indecisiveness.  He now folds.
  4. Player 1 thinks player 2 is probably going for low, and calls his raise.  There are 42 chips in the pot when the last draw cards of the two remaining players are dealt face down.


4TH BETTING INTERVAL  Players 5 now has to accept the inevitable and fold, while players 1 and 2 remain.

Final deal

Player 1 gets the 2.  It doesn’t help him much.  It gives him 10,6 for low, but he doesn’t think this will win.  It’s a pity one of his 3s wasn’t a 4 he’d have 6,4 for low, almost unbeatable.  Unless player 2 has a straight or a flush player 1 is pretty sure his own two pairs will be high, and he expects player 2 to go for low.  He is going to call high.
            Player 2 is delighted with events.  His final card is ♥ A, and he has filled an Ace flush for high and his hand for low is improved to 7 high.  He decides to see what player 1 does.

Fifth betting interval

  1. Player 1 checks.
  2. Player 2 decides to bet five chips and go for high-low.
  3. Player 1 calls.

To win the pot for high-low, Player 2 can provide two hands.  Player 1’s high hands is ♠ 10, ♣ 10, ♠ 3, and 3, ♠ A.  Player 2 beats this with his Ace flush, and 7,6,4,3,A takes low.  He pockets 52 chips.

5TH BETTING INTERVAL  Player 2 takes the whole pot high-low, but just one card
falling differently would have given the pot to player 1.