For a long time, 7 Card Stud Poker was the number one poker game among gamblers. It is a bit overshadowed by Texas Hold’em now, but both professional and casual players enjoy it a lot. If you care to become a well-rounded poker player, you should learn how to play 7 Card Stud Poker.
You may have heard that people mention streets in this game, so here’s an explanation and how you should act in relation to them.
The Term “street” in 7 Card Stud Poker
Stud poker games do not have community cards. Each player receives a certain number of individual cards. In 7 Card Stud, every participant receives 7 unique cards.
The cards are not distributed at once, but in multiple instances over the course of the dealing/betting cycle.
In the early stage of the game, in the first dealing, the players receive two hole cards facing down and one card facing up, which is called the third street. This is the entrance into the first betting round.
Each card that is dealt next is referred to as 4th street, 5th street, 6th street and 7th street respectively. Once they are placed alongside other cards in front of each player, a new round of betting begins.
Third Street Tips
The third street betting round (the first betting round) is very important. Players must act on their starting hand. At this point you need to understand what constitutes a good starting hand. The options are to call, raise, fold or go all-in.
You shouldn’t fold if you have a solid starting hand, for example if you have three cards that can be turned into Straights. For instance, combinations like A-K-Q, 10-J-9 or K-Q-J.
It’s also good to play 3 cards that would lead into a Flush. Arguably, any suited cards are considered playable. However, it is better to have at least one face card in the combination. It lowers the chances of losing to a higher Flush.
Furthermore, it makes sense to raise if you are the only player at the table showing Ace as your third street card. A general rule would be that if you have a hand that is worth playing, it is normally worth raising.
Fourth Street Tips
Once you reach the 4th street, you have seen more than half the cards you will receive by the end of the game. It is at this point where you should be able to recognize whether your hand is turning into something worthwhile or is it falling apart. If you see that your hand isn’t going anywhere, check and fold.
If your hand is strong but not great, there are several possibilities and routs you could take. For example, if you have a high Pair or a decent Two Pair, it’s not as easy to indicate proper play.
Your decision should depend on the action on the table and your opponents’ upcards. If you have a Three of Kind or a Four of Kind, you certainly wish to continue.
Fifth Street Tips
When the fifth card arrives, your hand ought to be well defined. From here onward, all bets and raises must be equal to the high-end stakes. So, you need to be careful, as your actions can be either twice as valuable or twice as expensive.
If you have anything less than a big Pair and a Two Pair, it doesn’t make much sense to continue. With an already made hand (Flush, Straight or a Full House), you should certainly go on and try to make the best of it.
Sixth Street Tips
The sixth street is the last card that the dealer places face-up. Usually, this is merely a continuation of your play following the fifth street. Your final hand is shaping and your idea of the outcome is clear.
Nonetheless, you may find yourself in situations where your action isn’t as clear as expected. Here, it becomes attractive to chase draws.
Even though some players would advise not to fold on the sixth street, there are arguments to the contrary. If your hand is not the strongest at the table, it is your only chance to fold now and save what can be saved.
Observe the state of the table and bet aggressively if your conclusion suggests that your hand is the best.
Seventh Street Tips
At this stage, you know exactly where your hand stands. The key at this point is knowing how to play medium-strength hands. With a strong hand, bet and raise.
If your hand has decent value and you are brave enough, you can call. When considering folding, consider the decision once more. Your hand needs to be very weak to not place a single bet on the river.