People Stupider Than You: Seven Card Stud Strategy
There is a saying in business that you should try to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. In poker, it is the opposite: you should seek to surround yourself with people stupider than you, who will gamble their money in your presence.
7 Card Stud poker can afford you an excellent opportunity to interact with people who are not on your level intellectually and you can take some money off them when you play poker with them.
Or maybe your personality is more suited to this game, for instance you are more patient. Many bad 7 Card Stud players are not so much stupid as they are impatient. The problem is, for the impatient person, that stupid and impatient are the exact same trait in 7 Card Stud poker.
Time Mag: Guy Who Invented Hold'em Doesn't Play Hold'em Anymore
If you haven't checked out Time magazine lately, do yourself a favor and pick one up, they have some great articles in that magazine. One terrific story was in Time recently about how online tournament playing young math nerds are dominating the Texas Hold'em scene.
In said article, find it here
, journalist Dan Kadlec notes that Doyle Brunson, the guy who brought Texas Hold'em to Texas, not singlehandedly but still, doesn't play Texas Hold'em anymore!
This is a sign of the apocalypse if there ever was one.
But when you really think about it, as Kadlec describes, it makes perfect sense that Brunson would have moved on from Hold'em because the game has changed. When you have millions of people playing a game, and they have computers that tell them what to do based on math, and then they just keep playing and playing and playing until math takes its toll…
Well, you don't have much of a poker game, now do you?
back to top of page
Seven Card Stud: Who's Your Granddaddy?
Seven card stud, by contrast, is a whole different ballgame as they say. As the name implies--i.e., it implies you have to be a complete stud to kick ass at this game--7 Card Stud is high on the poker hierarchy in terms of skill, strategy, and intelligence.
It is your granddaddy. You have to treat it with respect.
For example, not paying attention will mercilessly kill you in 7 Card Stud because if you are not monitoring the cards that get discarded when hands fold, and making sure that the cards you need to make your best hand are not already off the board, you cannot play well.
In 7 Card Stud, you have to always watching and plotting.
How many people do you know who can hold that level of awareness for multiple hours? Let alone when money, music, talking, and women are all around. Not too many!
This brings us to the point of one of the best strategies for playing Seven Card Stud: play with people who don't pay attention, or when they do pay attention, aren't that smart.
Maybe they don't know how to play poker, get panicked when they go short-stacked and start giving you pots. Maybe they are just out to have a good time, it is a home game and they don't play often. Or maybe they can't remember and calculate well enough to prosper.
As the case may be, they should be playing Texas Hold'em in a weak game, rather than sitting here and trying to compete with someone who is obviously smarter than them.
back to top of page
It's Not You, It's Them
The reason why guys like Brunson don't play Hold'em all day anymore is because less people are making mistakes in Hold'em, less often. Oh sure, it is still a great game and the tournament money is RIDICULOUS, but on a day to day basis, it has become somewhat computerized.
More and more information is out there about how to use math to play the game smartly.
Therefore, why not seek out a game that's less well-known, where very strong players exist, certainly, but a little off the beaten path? Think of a lion how it seeks to separate the antelope out from the pack and you get the idea of why old school poker pros are attracted to 7 Card Stud.
The best thing that can happen to you is not that you are so great at poker, but rather that the people you play with are bad at poker. That is, they make mistakes all the time, they're not paying attention, they're too tired, or they brought too much money for their skill level, so you can help them achieve lighter pockets. Playing with these people is great fun!
The best strategy in all of Seven Card Stud, then, is to seek out not that smart and/or impatient players and play with them and get their chips in your hands.
The main obstacle to implementing this strategy is the fact that to a stupid person, 7 Card Stud is usually not a fun game.
The game itself rather boring at heart (your granddaddy was, too), taking hours and hours to play and is full of stuff like old guys who look like reptiles chewing on cigars and staring at each other. What's more, suckers usually lose quickly, due to the more complex nature of the game.
Even people who aren't terribly astute know that losing money is not a smart idea.
This makes it challenging to find bad players who want to play 7 Card Stud. But when you do find such people, please do everyone a favor and take the time to educate them further.
back to top of page