Choosing Starting Hands in Stud Poker Games

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Unlike flop games, when you play seven-card Stud poker you are on your own. The cards you get are the cards you’re stuck with throughout the hand, except in the unlikely event that everyone stays to the last card and the dealing program needs to turn up a common card in the middle of the table. Seven-card Stud also differs from Hold ’em and other flop games in that you have a lot more information about which cards are available and which cards aren’t. As an example, consider the hand in this figure:

You get a lot of information early in the hand in seven-card Stud
You get a lot of information early in the hand in seven-card Stud

In this eight-handed game, you know the identities of 10 cards that are no longer available for you to draw: the three cards in your hand and the upcards of each of your opponents. Unless you have the lowest upcard and post the bring-in, you have a very good sense of whether you should put any money into the pot. You have to keep track of dead cards in your head when you play in a brick-and-mortar casino, but you can use a software program to keep track of them when you play online. For example, you could use the Excel worksheet shown in Figure 8.9 to track which cards are out.

2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10

Tracking dead cards was never easier

Clicking a cell with a card value shades the cell, indicating the card is out. When you click the Reset button, a macro removes the shading from the cells so you can track cards during the next hand. You can download the workbook here.

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