This article is something of a hodge podge. It is simply a collection of useful playing tips which did not necessarily fit in well in other sections, but are still valuable pieces of information to have at hand. Keep some of these in mind while playing your seven card stud poker games.
Seven Card Stud Tips – The Hodge Podge
• Never play tired. It can seriously hinder your ability to make decisions, and if you will remember back to the seven card stud premium hands article, you will recall that poker is a game of decisions. To make the best decisions possible, you need to have nothing fogging your mind. By the same token, do not play when you are hungry, depressed, angry, drunk, or if you’re just generally having an off day.
• Pay attention to everything. Watch your opponents, note their behaviors. If nothing else, pay attention to the cards on board. If you see a good chunk of your poker outs are already gone from the deck, maybe it’s time to think about how good your hand really is.
• Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is OK to not know the minimum bet size or particular house rules the first time you sit at a table. Do not habitually ask questions, either. The more experienced players in the game will have you pegged as a fish. You may as well have a target on your forehead.
• Your grandpa was right: do not draw to an inside straight. It is rarely profitable, as you have to be getting incredible odds in order to make it pay off. It is not always wrong, but it is rarely correct.
• Do not play scared or with money you cannot afford to lose. Play only at stakes with which you feel comfortable. Scared money does not make money.
• If you think your hand is only second or third best and you cannot get your opponents to fold their hands, fold yours. There is no consolation prize for almost winning.
• Bring your “A” game. Play to win every time. Do not take it easy on certain players or just play “not to lose.” Stud is a fun game, but it is also a game about money or even play chips. For you, it should be about other people’s money and how to make it yours. To do that, you have to play your best.
• Learn and understand concepts such as pot odds, implied pot odds, playing in position and fold equity. This will require additional reading on your part, but it will greatly aide your decision-making at the table.
• Know how to calculate your outs. It will be a simple and invaluable tool in your arsenal.
Know your limits. It you feel like you have played long enough, stand up. Cash in your chips and go do something else. A world exists beyond the poker table.
• Speaking of limits, be aware of your alcohol consumption. Some players play better with a few drinks, some play better after several, some play terribly after just one. Find out where you stand and stay there. Don’t play when drunk.
• Never assume you have mastered the game of seven card stud, or any other poker game for that matter. There are always holes to be patched, leaks to be mended. Being a profitable player does not mean you are a perfect player. Keep learning and improving always.
• Keep records. This will help you track your monetary wins and losses and also serves as a helpful self-evaluation tool.
• Read, read, read. These articles contain useful information, but they are by no means the definitive works on seven card stud. Entire books have been written on the subject, and it is recommended that you pick some of them up. A good place to start is Chip Reese’s section on seven card stud in Doyle Brunson’s poker book, Super System.