Seven-Card Stud Poker Fourth Street

In Stud Poker  (high only), much more information is available to a player, and decisions may be made based on dead cards. Remember, because no cards are shared, any card an opponent has is by definition not going to be in your hand. As in Omaha, the impact of a hand containing four cards working together, versus only three, can be dramatic. Let’s look at some percentages.


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In this hand, there are four players: three known hands and a random hand. We ask that you suspend disbelief and assume it contains no cards impacting the three known hands’ draws because, believe us, you’ll find some hands that seem to have been truly played randomly. The table below lists the hands and the percentages of total money won.

Seven-Card Stud Sample Fourth Street

Hand Percentage of Money Won
A-A-8-10 46.1%
J-9-10-4 15.2%
6-6-K-J♥ 23.5%
Random 15.2%

Because two hands with no cards in common will catch a third card of their pair, a second pair, make a straight, and catch three suited cards in a row to complete a flush in equal amounts over time, the pair of Aces is approximately a 2:1 favorite over the pair of Sixes. The most likely ways for J♣9♣T♥4♠ to win are to catch two cards to make a straight (three of which, the 8♦, the K♠, and the J♥, are dead), to make trips, a better or the only two pair, or preferably to make a club flush. It’s still possible to make four of a kind or a full house, but that’s even more unlikely than the hands described above. Let’s look at what happens, though, if a single card is changed in the second hand (see The table below).

Seven-Card Stud Sample Fourth Street

Hand Percentage of Money Won (Q Replaces 4)
A-A-8-10 33.7%
J-9-10-Q 36.8%
6-6-K-J♥ 17.8%
Random 11.8%

The massive difference between the synergy of three cards and four cards working together is obvious when comparing The 2 previous tables. With three cards to go, four cards to a straight with a unique flush draw (only this hand is able to make a club flush) is now a slight favorite over the pair of Aces. In this particular example, the straight draw now has three chances to catch a King or an Eight. It could also win by making two pair, if no other known hand does (Aces-up and Kings-up defi nitely win against this hand) or by catching three consecutive spades. The guy letting his cat play on the random hand still wins about 1/8 to 1/9 of the time, though.

TIP: If you are playing a drawing hand, each type of hand it is “working,” that is, a four-card straight and two or three to a flush, makes it stronger. Beware the big pocket pair!


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