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Ace in the hole: understanding 7-card stud poker

Ace in the hole: understanding 7-card stud poker

Having an ‘ace in the hole’ is a popular expression which means to hold a hidden advantage or secret weapon. It comes from the game of stud poker, a version in which a mix of face-up and face-down cards is dealt at the beginning of a series of betting rounds. The face-down cards are called ‘hole’ cards, and any valuable card that lurks there is called an ‘ace in the hole’.

A variant of stud poker that vies for popularity with the ubiquitous Texas hold’em is 7-card stud. Becoming an expert in this game takes a lot of practice and experience so as to master the strategies and have an idea what to do in a wide variety of game situations. Naturally, there are people out there who will happily take your money to show you how to play 7-card stud. But if you pay attention and learn well, you should be able to recoup the investment many times over at the table.

Thepokeracademy.com offer a specialist course in seven-card stud for those who want to really get to grips with it. The aim of the course is to provide a complete understanding of the dynamics of 7-card stud, including solid play in the opening and middle stages and strategies to survive the potential complexity of the later stages.

The course consists of four sessions, each comprising five video lessons delivered by expert players. Each session can be purchased separately or the whole set can be bought at a discount. Session 1 covers the fundamental concepts of 7-card stud including antes and bring-in, common hand matchups, understanding your outs and observing your opponents. Session 2, Playing Third Street, delves into winning hand types, obvious, medium and weak starters, calling versus raising and how to play in multi-way pots.

Session 3 covers Fourth Street and Beyond, with topics like how actions affect perception, responding to aggressive actions, and proper bluffing strategies and opportunities. The final session, Fourth Street and Beyond, deals (excuse the pun) with selection bias, understanding hand equities, adjustments when you meet resistance, and the math of betting and calling.

With all this under your belt and plenty of practice, you will be well on your way to mastering the math, psychology and strategy of this fascinating (and potentially lucrative!) card game.