7 Card Stud Tournament Strategy



7 Card Stud Tournament Strategy:

If you have some experience playing 7 card stud cash games, but you want to start playing tournaments, you need to learn an entire new strategy in order to have a shot at success. In most online poker tournaments you start with 1500 - 3000 chips with the antes starting out at 5-10. You start out with a deep stack, but after the 1st 30 minutes of a tournament you'll be extremely short-stacked if you haven't already won a big hand.

In the beginning levels of a 7 card stud tournament you want to try and play a wide range of hand. Your starting hand selection should include pairs, suited cards and connectors. When the antes are low you want to try and play lots of your drawing hands in case you manage to hit your draw. The majority of your opposition will be playing loose, as they're looking to build up their stack as well, which often means you end up getting paid off when you hit your draws.

Since 7 card stud is played using fixed limit stakes you don't need to worry about opponents going all-in on the preflop after you limp into the pot. When the antes start going up and reach the 25-chip level you need to play fewer hands and start playing only the premium starting hands. You can check out a list of the best starting hands in 7 card stud on our hand selection page. During the middle of the tournament a lot of the small stacks will try doubling up by raising pots to the max preflop. If you have a starting hand with a flush draw and straight draw you may want to try calling and hitting the draw.

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The majority of short stacks go all-in with a pair or connecting high cards such as A-K-Q. Since nobody knows what the flop will bring, even if your opponent has a premium hand like the one mentioned above, they'll only be a small favourite against basically any hand you'd call with. I like stacking off against the short stacks in online 7 card stud tournaments and it's proven to work out for me in the long run although you will run into some tournaments where you can't seem to win, even when you have the best hand when the chips go into the middle of the pot.

Once you make it past the middle stage of a 7 card stud tournament you'll be close to the money bubble typically. The action tends to slow right down when the bubble is close because nobody wants to be knocked out right before the money. This is a great time to try raising some pots preflop and taking the antes if you can. The antes are usually a sizable amount at this stage in the tourney and if you can pick up a few hands without any resistance it could be the difference between making the money or busting on the bubble.

When you make the money in a 7 card stud tournament your strategy shouldn't change that much. A lot of players will start playing loose, but don't worry about it. If you have enough chips to handle the antes than you can sit back patiently and wait for some big hands to come to you. Since everyone is generally playing loose at this point in the tournament it shouldn't be hard to win some big hands if you can hit your draws.