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Seven Card Stud is a high card game, which means the winning hand is decided by the person holding the highest pair of two pair, or the highest pair over a flush, straight, or other large hands. For instance, if you had a straight or flush draw, there should be a minimum of two high cards or one high card, which would be higher than any other cards on the table. To justify continuing play, the draw hands and low pair in a starting hand would need to be improved on, or you would need to be dealt a high pair quickly.

Whenever you have a high hand beaten on the table, you should fold. However, you would not fold if you believe you still have the best draw hand. The key is to fast play your early high cards, which could be a winning hand, even without improvement. What happens is that some of your competition should be eliminated. On the other hand, if you want to keep the competition in the game, then slow play your draw hands, which will help increase the size of the pot odds should you decide to hit.

To help you with the decisions mentioned above, here are some definitions:

High cards – 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace
Low cards – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Fast play – Bet, raise, and re-raise to get as much of the competition out of the game as possible
Slow play – Check and call to help keep the competition in the game as well as increase the odds of the pot
High pair – 10/10, Jack/Jack, Queen/Queen, King/King, Ace/Ace – This helps narrow the competition until a threat is made by a higher hand
Low pair – 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9 – This helps keep the competition in the game
High trips – Ace/Ace/Ace down to 10/10/10 - These are your fast play cards
Low trips – 9/9/9 down to 2/2/2 - Until the fifth bet, these would be your slow played cards, which help to keep the competition wondering what you have in your hand

To win in the game of Seven Card Stud, you need to consider several strategies. First, watch for important cards that could lower the chances of making a good hand. Additionally, watch for hands held by your competition that appear dangerous. If at any time you believe the cards are turning against you, then you want to fold.

Watch out for the paired door card. In this scenario, if another player has a pair in a starting hand and then pairs the door card seen in the first up card, the chance of that player having the pair of the door card has increased. When in this situation, you should feel confident that player has a strong set of trips.

If your draw hand is not strong and if other players’ up card beats your complete hand on the table, fold. Other things to watch for include a dead card in the denomination that you need for your hand, as well as two or three dead cards in the same suit to which you are drawing.

Additionally, keep your eyes open for strong competition developing toward a winning hand. The important thing is to watch other players when you are not playing. For example, study the other players’ expressions, body language, how often and when they bluff, anything else that might be associated with a good or bad hand. Keep in mind that unless you play a strong draw hand, you should fold if the other players’ up cards beat your complete hand.

If you enjoy a game that is easy to learn and exciting to play, this would be an excellent choice.