Six Ways 7-Card Stud is Different From No-Limit Hold’em



  • Considering six important ways fixed-limit stud games play differently from no-limit hold’em.
  • Seven-card stud is very different from no-limit hold’em, and not just because stud is a limit game.
  • The World Series of Poker is now in full swing. With it comes a renewed interest in games other than no-limit hold’em. Those of us who fancy stud games like seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi-lo, and razz finally have a venue where these games are spread regularly as cash games, tournaments, or as part of mixed-game rotations like H.O.R.S.E.

    Poker has been dominated by no-limit hold’em for the past 15 years or so. Accordingly, some players view the shorter fields in the stud events and see an improved opportunity for cashing or winning a bracelet event. But since they themselves may not have played much or any stud, they might not have considered the strategic differences between the games.

    For those of you relatively new to stud, poker indonesia let me devote this column to some of the broader strategic differences between the no-limit hold’em game you’re familiar with and seven-card stud.

    1. Stud is played as a limit game

    Limit poker is very different from no-limit. The size of the bet is fixed in limit poker, typically an early round bet third and fourth streets being exactly half of a latter round bet fifth, sixth, and seventh streets. For example, in a hand played during the 100200 level of a stud tournament, the first two rounds of betting may only be in increments of 100, while the latter rounds are limited to increments of 200.

    This difference alters strategy in a few ways. Since no-limit games can have a bet that ranges from the size of the large blind to the size of your entire stack, the implied odds when calling an initial small bet in no-limit hold’em can be huge — much greater than in a limit stud game. In limit, with the size of the largest bet limited to no more than twice that of the initial bet, those implied odds are going to be considerably smaller than in the no-limit game. This means players are generally much tighter earlier in the betting in a limit game than in a no-limit game, lacking the implied odds for a loose call.

    Similarly, it means that players should be looser with their calls at the end i.e., on the river or seventh street in a limit game than in a no-limit game. This is because of the typically much greater pot odds on the river in a limit game versus a no-limit game. Most of the time in limit games, the size of the pot relative to that of the single limited bet is much larger than in a no-limit game where the single bet can equal or even exceed the size of the pot. In short, players typically get much better pot odds to make a final-round call in a limit game than in a no-limit game.


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