Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players,
21st Century Edition
Authors David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, and Ray Zee
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Synposis of Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players
Seven-card stud is an extremely complex game. Deciding exactly what the right strategy should be in any particular situation can be very difficult. Perhaps this is why very few authors have attempted to analyze this game even though it is widely played. In 1989, the first edition of this text appeared. Many ideas, which were only known to a small select group of players were now made available to anyone who was striving to achieve expert status, and a major gap in the poker literature was closed. It is now a new century, and the authors have again moved the state of the art forward by adding over 100 pages of new material, including an extensive section on "loose games." Anyone who studies this text, is well disciplined, and gets the proper experience should become a significant winner.
Some of the other ideas discussed in this 21st century edition include the cards that are out, the number of players in the pot, ante stealing, playing big pairs, playing little and medium pairs, playing three-flushes, playing three-straights, randomizing your play, fourth street, pairing your door card on fourth street, fifth street, sixth street, seventh street, defending against the possible ante steal, playing against a paired door card, scare card strategy, buying the free card on fourth street, playing in tightly structured games, and much more. (326 pages; ISBN #1-880685-23-X...$29.95)
Excerpt from the book Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players: Playing Weak Hands
You must realize that a lot of players get out of line on third street. Suppose you start with
an ace raises, a king calls, and now you calls. You should have folded!
Assuming that you incorrectly called, suppose that on fourth street the ace catches a jack, the king catches a ten, and you catch a seven. It is again wrong to call. You have caught only enough to "suck you in." Your hand has not improved enough to make it profitable to continue playing in this spot. But notice that your error on third street has caused you to make an additional compounding error on fourth street that can become very expensive once the hand is over.
You need to keep in mind is that only the very best players can get away with getting slightly out of line on third street, especially for a full bet. Most players compound the error later on.
If, however, the third street bet is only the bring-in and it is unlikely that you will be raised, things are a little different. In fact, many good players probably play a little too tight in this spot. There are a lot of hands that you can play if it's cheap, if your hand is live, and if it has the potential to make something big.
(If you do play a weak hand for the bring-in and are raised, you usually should now fold and save the rest of the bet. There are two reasons for this.
- It is costing you money.
- The fact that the pot has been raised has diminished the value of your hand. Conversely, i fyou encounter tough players who are apt to make their fold, you should raise them more often.)
- So, if you are in a game where people frequently limp in (for the bring-in), you often should limp in behind them, especially if the players are weak. What you are usually hoping is to catch a perfect card on fourth street and thus you must be prepared to fold if you don't catch what you want. (Remember, you need to avoid making any compounding errors.)
Here's an example. If you are holding
and the queens and tens are live, you should call the bring-in. Also consider the kings, jacks, and nines.
If you should catch a king or jack, that's great. If however, you catch a queen or ten on fourth street (giving you a gut shot) your decision is not automatic. How long you stay with the hand will depend on whether you have seen any of your other straight cards, as well as the other kings,jacks, and nines; how much money is in the pot; what you think you must beat; and how you think the hand will be played.
(By the way, how the hand will be played is a hidden factor and is extremely important. It gives you an idea of how much you can win if you make your hand and what it will cost you if you don't. This is a concept that usually is considered only by very advanced players.)
Calling for the bring-in allows you to punish people who don't raise enough. For example, if two or three people are in and you have a hand like
you should call if your cards are live.
This is an especially good play against a player who will pay you off all the way if you make your hand. However, notice that in the examples above you had a two-flush. If this was not the case you probably wouldn't want to play against three players (including the bring-in).
As already mentioned, you must take into account whether your hand has the potential to improve enough that it would be a mistake for your opponent to pay off all the way. Here's an example. Suppose you start with:
If you catch a nine, your opponent probably is correct to call all the way with just one pair because you are holding a hand that can be easily beaten. Thus, this hand is barely worth a call, even for a bring-in against easy opposition. However, against players who will pay you off all the way if you make open fives, then it becomes a worthwhile call.
Finally, remember that these ideas apply mainly to only calling the bring-in. If it is a full bet, it wouldn't hurt to abstain from calling with weak hands. (The exception is when you were forced in with the low card. See "Part Three: Miscellaneous Topics" -- "Defending Against the Possible Ante Steal" on page 101.)
Other Books Written by David Sklansky
- Getting the Best of It
- Hold 'em Poker
- Sklansky on Poker
- Sklansky Talks Blackjack
- The Theory of Poker
- Tournament Poker for Advanced Players