Seven Card Stud is the 4th game that makes up HORSE. It is a limit poker game that plays exactly like Razz, except the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot, unlike razz where the best 5 card low hand wins the pot. At Stud tables, 8 players can play at once. All betting and card formation is the same as in Razz, so there are no community cards like in No Limit Hold Em and Omaha. Like Razz, in Stud players can see 4 of the cards which make up each players hands.
This means that one huge skill in Stud is to keep track of all cards that have been seen. For example, if a player has K-K-2, but he has also seen 2 kings folded, the value of his hands goes way down. Cards that have been folded are called dead cards. Like in Razz, bets double on 5th street, so players have to make their biggest decision on 5th street. The general standard strategy is if a player calls on 5th street, he must call down until the end of the hand. This of course is due to the fact that he will be getting great pot odds on 6th street and 7th street after he calls a 5th street bet.
How to play
The best starting hand in Seven Card Stud is A-A-A. Most pairs can be played in Stud, depending on the cards that are showing which are left to act. For example, calling with a hand like 9-9-J after an ace has raised, or in Stud, “completed”, is not good strategy. But completing with a 9 if nobody has completed is fine. Calling with 9-9-J is also good if a card lower than a 9 has raised, and even a 10 since he can draw to a J. Hands where the pair in concealed also adds a lot of value to a hand.
For example, a hand where the A-A is down with a 2 facing up is better than a hand where A-2 is down with one A up. So when a player raises with A-A-2, other players cannot assume he has a pair of aces and may call him with much worse hands. Good Stud strategy is to determine if the hand plays good heads up or in a multi-way pot. Hands like 8-9-10 play good multi way since they can make a straight and win a huge pot. Hands like Q-Q-10 play better heads up, since they will not improve much, if at all.