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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-Terminology/Poker Glossary-

This list of terms applies to the game of seven card stud. The same words may mean differently for other types of poker. For the online poker acronyms used in chat, please click here.

Action The amount of calling and raising going on at the table to creating a large pot.
Ante A type of  buy-in at the table to be dealt a starting hand.
All-In When a player has reached the end of their chip stack and wants to continue playing their current hand they are announced at the table as being "all in".
Bad Beat When a favored hand is beaten by an underdog. (e.g. Your ace-high flush is beaten by a full house that was caught on the river.)
Belly Buster A series of cards that can make an inside straight, at least two different ways. (e.g. 34679 - either a 5 or 8 will complete the inside of this straight draw.) See also: inside straight and re-draw.
Bet Placing a stake on the current hand.
Bettor While in a hand, the first person to act by placing a bet is referred to as the bettor.
Bettering If your hand is getting better with each turn of cards for succeeding streets. Also "improvement".
Bicycle When your hand reads A2345.
Boat Another term for "full house".
Bring-In A forced initial bet that is made by the player showing the lowest up-card at the table on third street. (starting hand)
Burn Card A card taken off of the top of the deck between each round of dealing. This card will not be used in play.
Buy-In The minimum amount of chips you need to buy to sit at a particular table.
Call Matching the amount of chips that a person betting has made in order to see the next street of cards.
Cap Reaching the maximum allowable amount of betting at a table (usually from raising or re-raising.)
Catch Receiving a card that betters/improves a hand.
Check Not betting. Passing the option to the next player to see if they want to bet their hand, leaving the option to call, raise or fold, depending on their decision.
Check-Raise Passing the option of betting to another player in the hopes that they will make a bet so that you can raise their bet.
Connector Series of at least 2 consecutive cards that could potentially make a straight hand. (QJ, 34, 89)
Combinations Used to determine whether the starting hand is playable, based on the number of outs possible from just the three cards.
Dead Having a card or cards in your hand that are no longer available to better your hand because they are all in play or you have seen that they were folded. (e.g. You have a pair of 4's and across the table you see your other two 4's in other players' hands.) 4's are "dead".
Door Card The first card dealt facing up in seven card stud. (The card which is dealt third).
Double-Bet A bet that is double the minimum allowable bet at the table on fourth street only. Made by the player in first position. The player can only make this bet if they are showing a pair.
Draw Staying in the hand in the hopes to catch a card that will better your hand. (e.g. having four cards of a flush, you have a 'flush-draw'. You may stay in the hand to draw to your flush.
First Position The player who is in position to begin the betting for that round. Position is determined by having the highest ranking up-showing cards for each round.
Fold Laying down your cards to forfeit play for succeeding rounds.
Heads-Up Playing against one other player.
Hole The first two cards dealt to you which are facing down.
Inside Straight A series of cards that can make a straight if you are dealt a specific middle card to complete it. (e.g. A2356 - you will need a 4 to complete the hand. The 4 is the 'inside straight' drawing card necessary to accomplish this hand.)
Kicker The next highest card used to determine the winner between similar hands. (e.g. a flush that has AK742 vs. a flush that has AK965, the 7 and the 9 between both hands is the kicker).
Knock 1) see 'check'.  2) Used to describe busting a player off of the table; knock a player out.
Live Cards Cards that are available from the deck that are not in play and  the odds are that the card will show up to possibly better your hand. (e.g. with your pair of 5's you have a chance to catch another 5 if it has not shown up anywhere on the board. The card is still 'live'.)
Mis-Deal When the dealer has dealt out of proper order, or a down-faced deal card was dealt facing up.
Muck Folding a hand without having to show. The 'muck pile' is the pile of already-folded hands and burn cards.
Multi-Way Having more than two players calling bets.  "A multi-way pot."
Off-Suit Having cards that are not of the same suit. Also see 'rainbow'.
Outs Different combinations that are possible for you to make a hand in later rounds.
Over-cards A card or cards that are higher than the cards in your hand or someone else's. (e.g., your pair of 8's is playing against another hand showing K9J. All of the cards are over yours.)
Pocket See 'hole'.
Pocket Pair Having a pair of cards in the hole of the starting hand. see 'hole'. Also known as "two in the hole".
Pot The amount of money available to win.
Pot Split see 'push'.
Pot Stealing A raising strategy used to take the money in the pot when there are few or no callers after the starting hand is dealt.
Push Splitting or dividing the the pot between players at the end of a hand. Normally seen in hi-low games.
Rainbow Having none of the same suit in your starting hand, or in later rounds where a flush is not possible.
Raise Doubling a player's bet. (Different than a double-bet).
Raise Out Raising or re-raising to get another player out of the pot.
Re-Draw Drawing a card that improves your hand in such away that you have gained outs to make a hand of more than one type. (e.g. Kh Qh Jh is your starting hand and you draw a 9h. Depending on the game, the Th you drew gives you outs to a flush, straight, straight flush. )
Re-raise Doubling a player's raise.
River The last dealt card.
Rolled-Up Having three of the same number card in the starting hand. (e.g. 333, KKK)
Set Having a pocket pair of 2 of the same card and a third card of the same kind is turned on fourth street or later.
Short-Handed Playing at a table that has 5 or less players. "A Short-handed table".
Show-down Showing the down-dealt cards to face up after the river card for comparison of the best hand.
Split see 'push'.
Split Pair A pair of cards in a starting hand (three cards) that are not in the hole. One of the cards that makes a pair is facing up.
Split Pot see 'push'.
Street Each round of dealt cards. Each street has a number beginning from the fourth-dealt card. (e.g., fourth street, fifth street, sixth street).
Suit Suits are labeled as spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
Three-Flush Three of the same suit of cards in a starting hand. (e.g., A92 all of hearts)
Trip(s) Three of a kind.
Turn Cards dealt from fourth to sixth street.
Wheel see 'bicycle'.
Wired see 'pocket pair'.


Online Poker Chat Acronyms

bb "Big Blind" -In Hold 'em or Omaha poker, an acronym used to describe the big blind.

"Bad Beat" -An acronym used to describe a hand that ended with a bad beat.


"Full House"  -Acronym used to describe a hand consisting of a full house. Also an acronym used with an expletive to express displeasure of a hand.

fl "Flush" -Acronym used to describe a flush hand.
g1 "Good One" -Favorable expression of congratulations to another player on a good hand.
gc "Good Call", "Good Catch", "Good Cards" -Expressions of admiration to a player for calling, for their hand, or for a card that was caught at the perfect time.
gg "Good Game" -A cordial exchange of well-wishing to a player, usually said when a player has busted off of the table.
gh "Good Hand"  -An expression of admiration for a hand that is shown.
gl/glall "Good Luck" -A cordial exchange of well wishing to players normally spoken at the beginning of a session, tournament or heads-up play. Also "Good luck to all".
gl2u "Good Luck To You" -A cordial exchange of well wishing to players normally spoken at the beginning of a session, tournament or heads-up play.
n1 "Nice One" -Favorable expression of congratulations to another player on a nice hand.
nb "Nice Boat"  -Acronym used to express a player's feelings about a hand showing a full house.

"Nice Bet" -Usually used in pot limit or no limit poker games, an expression used to tell a player that the bet amount that was made was a well placed bet. (Usually a bet big enough where it is tempting to call, however the loss would be detrimental.

nc "Nice Catch", "Njce Card"  -An either favorable or facetious expression used by an opponent playing a competitive hand who either had to fold down, or lost the hand because of a card that turned to another persons advantage.

"Nice Call" -An either favorable or facetious expression used by someone who was caught attempting to bluff or had to make a difficult decision to call a bet against another player.


"Nice Full House" -Acronym used to express a player's feelings about a hand showing a full house. 

"Nice F Hand" -An expression used in frustration with an expletive to describe a hand. This is usually a tell that a player is or has become tilted.

nfl "Nice Flush" -Acronym used to express a player's feelings about a hand showing a full house. 
nh/nhs "Nice Hand(s)"  -An expression of admiration for a hand or hands shown to one player or to all players when revealing their cards at the showdown.

"Nice River"  -A facetious expression used normally by an oppponent who was most likely winning the hand until the other player has caught exactly the card that they needed on the river to win the hand.

nfr "Nice F River"  -Same definition as "nice river", only with an added expletive. This is usually a tell that a player is/has become tilted.
o/os "Off Suit" -Used to describe a part of a hand that included cards that were off-suit. (e.g. Ace of hearts and King of spades = AKo or AKos)
pp "Pocket Pair" -Used to describe a particular hand that included a pair of cards in the pocket.
sb "Small Blind" -In Hold 'em or Omaha poker, an acronym used to describe the small blind.
s/std "Suited" -Used to describe a part of a hand that included suited cards. (e.g. Ace, King and Queen of clubs = AKQs or AKQstd)
st/ str8 "Straight" -Acronym used to describe a hand consisting of a straight.
utg "Under the Gun" -A phrase used to describe a process of decision-making for calling a bet or folding the hand under pressure. In hold 'em this term is used to describe a position of play in the first round; the first player to act immediately after the big blind.
vn "Very Nice" -An expression of admiration for a hand that is shown. Usually to a player's surprise.
vnh "Very Nice Hand"  -An expression of high admiration for a hand that is shown.
vvn "Very Very Nice" -An expression of high admiration for a hand that is shown.
wtg "Way to Go" -An expression of congratulations.
zzz A remark made by a player who is displeased with the speed of the game. Usually directed at a specific player who is holding the game up for any number of reasons. The zzz represents a sound effect related to snoring.


Card Streets and Betting Rounds

These are the names given for each round of cards dealt to a player in seven card stud. In the first round, two cards are dealt facing down, and one card facing up.  Succeeding rounds are dealt facing up except for the last card, which is dealt face-down. There are five betting rounds.

|----------Round 1----------| 2 3 4 5

Pocket/Hole Door Card Fourth Street Fifth Street Sixth Street River


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