7 Card Stud Strategy

The Basics
Preparing To Play
How To Play
Betting Rules
Hand Rankings
Strategy Guide
Key Points
7 Card Stud - Hi
7 Card Stud Hi - Low

Tips & Tricks

Strategy Elements
Win Percentage
Hand Value
Counting Cards
Using Position
Strategy Notes



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Seven card stud poker is probably one of the most complicated forms of poker to play. Learn the basic rules of play, which hands are the best hands, what the terminology of the game is, and how the card suits rank.

Knowing the basics of the game will increase your odds of success when you sit at a table for the first time. Looking like you don't know what you're doing when you do, can be quite the ploy and leave another player broke. However, if you look like you don't know what you're doing and you really don't,  you'll walk away calling it an expensive day of entertainment. (If you'd even consider that entertainment!)

Click any of the 'diamond' links under The Basics category in the navigation to the left to learn more about seven card stud.

If you've already been playing for a while, check out the section to be sure you are clear on how the bring-in and bet rules work (especially double-bet rules), and when particular rules apply.

Quick do's and don'ts about where your head should be at when playing for profit:

  • Play when you are well rested.

  • Play when the game and all of the cards have your full attention. (no distractions!)

  • Buy-in with the correct amount for the stakes you are playing. (If you buy-in with the minimum and lose four hands in a row, don't hold the table up with constant re-buys).

  • Don't play frustrated over previous lost hands and bad beats. Get over it, or sit out until you do. And yes...you can also choose to leave.

  • Mix it up. When you're playing solid and the table is folding down to you often on early streets, change your strategy.

  • Don't be afraid to change seats or tables if the current one isn't working.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions about bet minimums or pot size. Just don't make it a habit. If you are constantly lost, it is best not to play until you regain focus.

  • Don't play with a bad attitude. If your attitude stinks, so will your cards. That's just the way poker karma works.  An exception to that is if someone's attitude is worse than your own.

  • Play to win. Do not play with the attitude where you are playing not to lose. If you find yourself on the defensive too often, sit out until you regain your confidence and composure.

  • Don't think the game is about luck.  It is about playing live cards with multiple outs. There is nothing lucky about calling to the river when  opponents bet and call with  live cards out. When you find yourself constantly shaking your head over other players' "luck", your strategy doesn't fit the table. Re-evaluate your starting hand combinations and your fold percentages and adjust. I'm sure you'll find something there.

  • Congratulate other players on nice hands. Especially if they've out-played a hand of yours. You will learn from it.

  • Hold the dealer capable of knowing what they are doing.  Do correct the protocol if you see something is out of order.

  • Smile, converse, laugh, and maintain your poker-face at the same time.



Best of success, and enjoy the game!