Seven-Card Stud Starting Hands (Part 2)
This guide is designed to help you make good decisions based on your starting hand. In part one of the Seven-Card Stud Starting Hands article, we looked at Trips, Premium Pairs, Medium and Low Pairs, and Three to a Straight Flush. Now we explore three more starting hands and how they should be played. That’s seven starting hands for seven card stud… spooky!
The more of your flush cards that you see exposed in your opponents’ hands, the less of a chance you have to make your flush. If two or less cards of your suit are exposed, you may play a flush draw barring any significant action before you. If three cards are exposed, you should only play flush draws that also have significant high pair value- [Kh-Th]Ah, for example. The idea here is that the high pair value offsets the decreased chances of making your flush. If however you see many of your flushcards exposed, and you hold only low cards, it is best to fold to any bet.
It is generally a good idea to try and play your flush draws in multi-way pots. Every bet (not raise) an opponent puts into the pot increases your odds to draw.
A straight draw is dangerous in Seven-Card Stud- most players tend to overvalue the hand and end up losing more bets than they should chasing their draw. Avoid chasing at all costs, and only play straight draws under the best of conditions.
Play a straight draw only if most of your cards are live, and your pair value is greater than your opponents’ exposed card pair value. It is generally a bad idea to raise straight draws on third street, and it’s an even worse idea to call more than one bet to draw. Folding is profitable facing lots of action, and as a matter of fact, will often be the preferred play even without action.
You may play a high-card hand only if it is made up of broadways, and if most of your cards are live. The only reason to ever play an overcard hand is for big pair value, which in reality isn’t even worth all that much. Take table factors into consideration, such as opponent aggression and exposed cards. Playing any overcard hand facing a raise on third street is a bad idea. Generally, you will want to fold any overcard hand you are dealt. If you decide to play a hand of this type, play very conservatively.