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How to play Stud

Stud poker is an old form of poker, and prior to the popularity of Texas Hold’em, was the most popular card game, although it’s still popular today due to its familiar blind structure and the same poker hand rankings to the ones in traditional poker games. It manages to attract a lot of following at online poker rooms.

If you want to make a profit at the game of Stud poker, especially Seven Card Stud Poker, which is the most popular stud poker game by far, then you need to be confident in your stud game.

When it comes to online poker games, seven card stud would have to be the third most-popular poker game, after No-Limit Holdem and Omaha Hi-Lo, and because it’s no as popular, it could be suggested there aren’t as many players who have mastered this game, so theoretically there should be more money to make.

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Similar to other forms of poker, the player with the best five-card hand would take down the pot. However, unlike Holdem and Omaha, each player gets seven cards but no open community cards. Generally in Stud Poker games the hand that is necessary to take down the pot is usually going to be a weaker hand than what you might be accustomed to in different poker games.  When you have a strong hand the end goal is to narrow down the field as quickly as you can.

One of the things you want to familiarize yourself with is starting hand selection in 7 Card Stud Poker games. Ideally you want your cards to be pretty high since the likelihood is that your hand will not improve that drastically from here to 7th street.

The key part of a solid Stud Poker Strategy is that potential flushes are much better when you can fall back on two pair or maybe even a set type hands. Straight draws are better if they are of the open-ended type as usual, because they’re easier to complete. Having the potential to fallback on a draw to a flush or the alternative to win with two high pairs is a good thing to have. Trips are strong hands but they had better improve to a full house by the sixth street, when there are flush and straight draws on the table.

So what should you do with your strong starting hand?

 If you have trips from Tens to Aces then be aggressive with these hands. Although with lower trips it’s better to be slow playing. Your Stud Poker strategy doesn’t change with high pairs. Try and be aggressive to knock out some of the players.

Flush and straight draws are ones you should be slow-playing in an attempt to hit a big hand, and of course if you have a junk hand just fold and get away from the hand because your chances of winning are slim. You don't want to be imitating one of those online poker fish that do a great job of spewing chips at the table.

At the end of the day, you want to know your opponents so you can have a good idea of who you are up against and their likely abilities. Don’t be scared to mix things up especially as lots of players have bowed out during the hand.

Stud poker is different to Texas Holdem and Omaha online poker games in that you need to play tight aggressive if you expect to win a lot of money. Get the money in with the best of it and know when you are beat. Failure to follow this basic strategy will mean you have big leaks in your game that is likely costing you a lot of money, hence seven card stud poker players adhere to a winning Seven Card Stud Strategy.