On playing Seven-card Stud Poker, what advice can usefully be given as to how this difficult game should be played?
Many Poker experts have studied carefully what the leading American authorities have to say.
However, the seven-card Stud games which they play are in several respects different from other places, and so only advice of a general character is relevant.
And again, they largely address themselves to betting techniques which are precluded by the cramping restrictions which the game normally played in the clubs imposes.
A noted Poker expert, on the other hand, has some useful observations on play in which he postulates a game very much like the game many have described.
He envisages a pot to which, before the deal, each player contributes ten chips, where the limit of raise before the last betting round is five chips, and where the limit of raise for the last betting round is ten chips.
This is a game which is not, on the whole, dissimilar to that which many have described.
Now, how does a Poker expert recommend one to play in such a game as this?
Here is a summary of the ‘rules for successful play’. They are not very difficult but they do require great powers of concentration to put them into practice successfully.
A player with a hand containing a pair in the first three cards should always bet the limits and should continue to do so until the last bet of all, unless either a)another player raises him, or b) another player has a better hand on the table.
Similarly, the limit should be bet where one’s first four cards are four to a flush, or four to a straight (unless the other cards exposed render one’s success unlikely).
If you have no pair among your first three cards, and someone else bets the limit, stay for one round. On the second round, you should stay, unless some player has a pair showing on the table.
In addition, even then you should normally stay a) if you have a pair; b) if you have three cards to a flush; c) if you have three cards to a straight; d) if two of your cards are higher than the pair which you can see.
On the third round you throw in, if the fifth card dealt to you hasn’t improved your hand.
But many have often seen seven-card Studs (particularly Misère Studs) have so often seen them played by gamblers who, in competition with one another, raise the pot to its permissible limit from the word go.
And, if one stays on what is probably the best hand, one may, in the final betting round, be sandwiched between two players who will go on raising one another until one can’t afford to stay in.
So the usual practice is to get out fast, losing only the initial chip, if the first three cards dealt don’t look promising, and to play this conservative game until (as should normally happen), one can stand up to the antics of gamblers with equanimity.