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7 Card Stud Poker Hands

Trips
The Three of a Kind, also known as Trips, is said to be the best opening hand in a 7-Card Stud and the higher the rank of the cards the better. The higher-ranking cards can often win you the initial round without improvement. It can also provide you great flexibility in your betting and positioning in the coming streets.

It is witnessed that if a player at the table knew you held Trips right from the beginning, they'd almost certainly Fold . It is recommended that you take it slow and hide what you've got. If you bet outrageously other players will understand your strength and might fold resulting in less money in the pot. You should ideally bet modestly, Check or Call as necessary, until you're in the high streets (5-7th) where you can drag more money into the pot and eventually win it.

If you start from an advantageous position you would want to keep as many players in and as long as possible because you are, in all probability, going to beat them. This is often referred to as the slow play and is designed only to maximize the pot.

If by any chance you hold a set of scare cards i.e. Aces or Kings, or highest door card, everyone expects that you will Raise. If you don't raise other players will invariably wonder what's up. You don't need to worry if you have anything other than the scare cards.

You should continue to play modestly and at the turn i.e. the fourth street, keeping the other players in.

At the fifth street you should make others players pay for staying. If players are holding till the fifth, the chances are that they would want to see the river i.e. the seventh street and won't be scared off by the steeper action you provide.

Don't forget at any point of time to watch the opponent's cards watching for anything that could potentially threaten your potential win.

High Pairs
A High Pair, 10s and higher ranked cards, is the second best starting hand you could hope for, after Trips. It is considered even better for you if the paired cards are in the hole, face down. The open cards are less advantageous since others can see and understand what you've got. A High Pair is told to a solid position for an opening Bet or Raise or even a re-Raise if you hold highest door, J or better.

If somebody is betting strongly in third and fourth streets, don't be afraid because you want to eliminate as many players as possible when it's cheap to do so. Ideally, you would still need to improve on your hand so you don't want anyone to pull cards for free.

If on the table there are better door cards it would be good leave it at a single Raise. For instance, you've got holed Queens and there's a King and Ace on the table, it is in all probability wise to leave it at a single Raise. A more amiable situation would be if it is two Aces, for example, on the table then don't hesitate.

An ideal situation would arise if you door card is reasonable, a 10 or a Jack, and the High Pair is still buried. Your Raise will seems to other players like you're moving on the Paired 10s, for example, and they will respond accordingly. You would be in an excellent position to pull them deeper in the later streets.

By Fifth Street , the remaining hands that do not have an obvious strong position, non-paired opens, are probably draw hands. Remember to Raise in order to knock them all out.

At the sixth and seventh, raise if the open cards do not beat you and you've improved on the Pair. Otherwise, you need to consider Folding, or at least Check along if there have been no Raises to match and nothing in particular on the table seems threatening.

Three to a Flush Hand
Three cards to a Flush is a drawing hand. To make anything worthwhile you would need cards. Remember it's worth a Raise and your door card determines as to how much money you can put behind it without giving yourself away.

If your door card is Aces or Faces (A, K, Q, J), then other players will think that by Raising you're simply backing a high Pair. Following a Raise with a re-Raise will probably pass without being suspected, if your door leads.

The head cards, highest of the held cards, also affect how you play the hand. If you don't have High door as stated above, you would want a J or better in the Flush to justify the betting. By doing this you're actually drawing to both the Flush and a High Pair to balance the expense.

If you've got no High cards or a weak door, get to the Fourth Street as cheaply as possible. There are 5 to 1 odds against completing your hand. If any of the cards you need are dead, in another player's hand, consider mucking.

If you get a fourth card for the Flush at the Fourth Street , you're still facing 1.5 to 1 against completing, which is a good odd at this point and worth a Raise. If two or more of the cards you need are dead, in another player's hand, or if you've got no High Pair possibilities as an out, mucking would be an ideal strategy.

By the Fifth Street , in order to justify further betting, you must have the fourth card required to the Flush. If you get it, and luckily if there's a High Pair out, consider raising. The odds you're still facing are 2 to 1 against completing but it reasonable that you'll complete.

The odds are swinging against you at 4 to 1 to complete, by the Sixth Street . You should muck but can stay only if you can justify that it's cheap and there's still some chance of an out.

Three to a Straight Hand
This starting hand is extremely difficult to complete than the 3-Card Flush. This is also a draw hand. You've got a chance at a High Pair as an out only if you've got two or three High cards. Three to a Straight hand sustains a Raise or even a re-Raise if it's an Outside Straight, can be completed from either end. Don't allow A-K-Q to fool you. It is actually an Inside Straight, which is open only at one end and is better played for it's pairing possibilities.

You should regularly study cards of other players for anything that could kill your Straight. If any player renders any one of the cards you could have used as dead, it seriously harms your completion chances.

At Fourth Street you would want another, consecutive, card in your Straight. It is recommended that if you don't get it, Fold unless all of your cards beat the up-cards. You would be facing 1.4 to 1 odds against completing your hand if you've still got an Outside Straight but this is worth continuing to play. If you draw a fourth card for the Straight leaving you with an Inside Straight, we suggest that you fold unless you're holding the two highest up cards.

You would be facing 2 to 1 odds against completing at the Fifth Street . We suggest that it is worth to Check or Call to continue to the sixth if you still have two of the highest up cards otherwise it is wise to fold. Though Four to a Straight is tempting to chase, but it's not nearly as good a bet as it looks.

By Sixth Street you would be facing 5 to 1 odds against completing the hand and there's no justification to continue unless all necessary cards are still live , in play, and not dead. It's worth a Raise if your open cards still lead but if you're facing a double Raise, consider muck.

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