Seven Card Stud Starting Hand Selection:
When you start playing seven card stud you should only play a select list of hands while you learn more about playing the game and the strategies involved in being successful. Once you become a better stud player you can try mixing it up by playing more hands, but for now you should follow the starting hands selection guide below.
- Let's start with trips and pairs. If you're ever dealt trips you should always play them strongly from the beginning to ensure that you make any draws pay to stay in the hand. Pairs are generally good starting hands although small pairs may not be if you're up against a 3-bet. If you have a pair with another card that gives you a draw such as a straight or flush then it helps your odds slightly.
- Every time you're dealt a 3-card straight or flush draw as a starting hand you need to play. It isn't often that you'll be dealt such a hand, but when you do you need to play the hand strongly. This type of hand should be raised before 4th street since you want to weed out any weak hands that could potentially outdraw you.
- As mentioned above, being dealt a 3-card straight or flush isn't that common. It's a lot more common to be dealt a suited connector or two cards of the same suit. If you have 2 unsuited connecting cards you should probably just fold since you'd need a miracle to make your straight and you don't have many other outs. If you have two cards of the same suit or suited connectors you should play the hand as long as it isn't being raised excessively.
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- Regardless of what your two face down cards are, you should always raise the hand when you're the only player that was dealt a face up ace. This is especially important when the rest of the players on the table don't even have a face card for their door card.
You don't really want to play any other starting hands right now because they'll only cost you money. If you feel like you're on a weaker table you can try playing a few other hands with the intentions of bluffing at the pot, but make sure you're always being careful. If you stick to the seven card stud starting hand selection guide above you'll have a lot of success and won't find yourself losing many chips that you shouldn't be losing.
One thing you should watch out for is when you're playing lower suited connectors and such hands. You may hit your flush, but if it's a low flush you need to lookout for higher flushes. You'll be able to tell if anyone has a flush draw by the time you reach 6th street since 4 of their cards will be exposed by this point. Many seven card stud players are extremely patient players and you need to be as well if you expect to make money playing this poker game.