7 Card Stud Poker
by Adel Awwad
Seven card stud poker is played on most online poker sites and is offered in most live casinos. The game is dealt as follows, two cards face down and one up to each player followed by a round of betting. Three more dealing rounds of an up card to each player followed by a round of betting after each dealt card. The final card is dealt face down to each player followed by a final round of betting. When the bets are called or folded to, the hands are exposed and the best poker hand wins the pot.
The starting hands that are considered worth continuing the play and calling the bets are as follows, three of a kind, a pair, three suited cards and three numerical running cards of any suit. The other players up card should also be considered when making this decision. Calling without a good starting hand is not wise as this makes it an uphill battle to end up with the winning hand. Good starting hands give that player a leg up on ending up with a better hand and winning the pot. Poker is a game of perceived edge both in fact and in the players mind. Without this edge, the player who calls bets may as well be playing straight show down poker where a bet is made at the beginning and no decisions are made during the play of the hand. That is pure gambling and not intelligent risk taking.
Whether to continue the play of the hand depends on what the other players are showing in their up cards and the size of the bet versus the size of the pot. The value of your hand if you hit the next cards dealt versus what you believe the other players may be betting on. If your prospective final hand is a likely winner, then you should consider calling the current bets.
Remember, bluffing is allowed and a strong showing hand may be a false front with nothing behind the bet. This is part of the game and should be used judiciously, but it should be an element of your play. Good players win pots all of the time with non-winning hands due to the way they bet the hand. Playing good starting hands will allow a player of betting better hands and not having to bluff. This is the real advantage of making it part of your play to be selective in the starting hands your will consider for play.
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