Targeted poker quiz 14: 7-stud (intermediate)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Strategy – Seven-card stud (level: intermediate)

  1. If you begin with a small or medium pair, seeing just one card of your pair’s rank among the face-up cards of opposing players means…

    (a) your hand is probably unprofitable and you should usually fold;

    (b) your chances of making three of a kind is slightly impaired, but the hand is still profitable, regardless of the rank of your unpaired, third card;

    (c) such a hand will only win about once in 175 tries, if you decided to play it;

    (d) such a hand will only win about once in 80 tries, if you decide to play it.

  2. Compare these first-four cards of two seven-card stud hands. Hand A: 9-8-7-6. Hand B: A-K-Q-J. Which of the following statements is true?

    (a) Hand A is more likely to become a straight;

    (b) Hand B is more likely to win with a pair or two pair;

    (c) Hand A is usually more profitable against a larger number of active opponents, while Hand B is usually more profitable against fewer active opponents;

    (d) all of the above.

  3. In seven-card stud, you should often fold two small pair, such as 4-8-8-J-4 if an opponent has a larger pair exposed, such as ?-?- (downcards) 7-9-9.

    (a) True

    (b) False.

  4. After all the cards are dealt, if an opponent’s four exposed cards are of all the same suit, and you’re sure he began with a buried pair, about how likely is it that he holds a flush? (This question is meant to test you instincts more than precise mathematical ability.)

    (a) about 40 percent likely;

    (b) about 25 percent likely;

    (c) about 75 percent likely;

    (d) about 10 percent likely.

  5. If you begin with three suited cards and see two of your suit among the exposed cards around you…

    (a) you should always fold;

    (b) you should consider the rank of the opposing cards in relation to your own ranks, before deciding whether to continue playing;

    (c) always call a single raise, but never a reraise;

    (d) take the initiative by raising to thin the field of opponents.

  6. With 10-10-10 dealt to you as a starting hand, you should

    (a) always raise or reraise;

    (b) always just call, hoping to set a trap;

    (c) fold;

    (d) tend to raise if most opposing cards shown are lower than a 10, otherwise just call.

  7. 4-3-2-K after the first four cards has less chance of forming a straight than 6‑5‑4‑Q

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  8. If, on your first three starting cards, you begin with a pair, which statement is true?

    (a) It’s equally likely that your pair will be fully concealed (in the hole) as that one of the rank will be exposed;

    (b) It’s impossible to make a flush before the river card is dealt;

    (c) It’s impossible to make a straight before the river card is dealt;

    (d) It’s twice as likely that a member of your pair will be exposed as that the pair will be buried.

  9. What are the odds against beginning with three cards of the same suit?

    (a) 18-to-1 against;

    (b) 30-to-1 against;

    (c) 5-to-1 against;

    (d) 10-to-1 against.

  10. The fewer players in the pot…

    (a) the more likely it is that a big pair will win the pot;

    (b) the less profitable it is to pursue a small flush attempt;

    (c) the less profitable it is to pursue a small straight attempt;

    (d) all of the above.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Strategy – Seven-card stud (level: intermediate)

  1. If you begin with a small or medium pair, seeing just one card of your pair’s rank among the face-up cards of opposing players means…

    (a) your hand is probably unprofitable and you should usually fold;

    (b) your chances of making three of a kind is slightly impaired, but the hand is still profitable, regardless of the rank of your unpaired, third card;

    (c) such a hand will only win about once in 175 tries, if you decided to play it;

    (d) such a hand will only win about once in 80 tries, if you decide to play it.

    Answer: (a). If you begin with a small or medium pair in seven-card stud and see just one of your pair’s rank showing face up in an opponent’s hand, you should usually fold.

  2. Compare these first-four cards of two seven-card stud hands. Hand A: 9-8-7-6. Hand B: A-K-Q-J. Which of the following statements is true?

    (a) Hand A is more likely to become a straight;

    (b) Hand B is more likely to win with a pair or two pair;

    (c) Hand A is usually more profitable against a larger number of active opponents, while Hand B is usually more profitable against fewer active opponents;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (d). All the statements were true about the merits of 9-8-7-6 (Hand A) versus A-K-Q-J (Hand B): Hand A is more likely to become a straight, Hand B is more likely to win with a pair or two pair, and Hand A usually plays more profitably against many opponents, while Hand B usually plays more profitably against just a few.

  3. In seven-card stud, you should often fold two small pair, such as 4-8-8-J-4 if an opponent has a larger pair exposed, such as ?-?- (downcards) 7-9-9.

    (a) True

    (b) False.

    Answer: (a). True, you should usually fold two small pair when a single, larger exposed pair bets into you.

  4. After all the cards are dealt, if an opponent’s four exposed cards are of all the same suit, and you’re sure he began with a buried pair, about how likely is it that he holds a flush? (This question is meant to test you instincts more than precise mathematical ability.)

    (a) about 40 percent likely;

    (b) about 25 percent likely;

    (c) about 75 percent likely;

    (d) about 10 percent likely.

    Answer: (a). Well, I’ll give you credit for this one, no matter what. The choices should have been 60, 25, 75, and 10 percent. Suppose that after all the cards are dealt an opponent who began with a buried pair has four of a suit exposed. What are the chances he has a flush? The closest answer was 60 percent. If this seems higher than the 52.5 percent you might have calculated, you probably didn’t pay attention to “… meant to test your instincts more than precise mathematical ability” part. Opponents who reach the showdown are more likely, on average, to have a flush made or a flush possible early. Often, especially, with small pairs, players won’t even stick around without a flush possibility. So, when they reach the river, a flush is often more likely than it seems. A small compensating factor is that if they had three-of-a-kind going into the river, then they couldn’t possibly have had a flush made already. But 60 percent was the closest answer (had it been given as a choice).

  5. If you begin with three suited cards and see two of your suit among the exposed cards around you…

    (a) you should always fold;

    (b) you should consider the rank of the opposing cards in relation to your own ranks, before deciding whether to continue playing;

    (c) always call a single raise, but never a reraise;

    (d) take the initiative by raising to thin the field of opponents.

    Answer: (b). If you begin with three suited cards and see two cards of you suit face up in opposing hands, carefully consider how high your ranks are relative to the cards opponents have exposed before deciding whether to play.

  6. With 10-10-10 dealt to you as a starting hand, you should

    (a) always raise or reraise;

    (b) always just call, hoping to set a trap;

    (c) fold;

    (d) tend to raise if most opposing cards shown are lower than a 10, otherwise just call.

    Answer: (d). If you begin with 10-10-10, you should tend to raise if most opposing cards are lower than a 10, otherwise just call. If you raise or re-raise many higher ranks, opponents may suspect three-of-a-kind. When your 10 is among the highest exposed ranks, your raise will seem natural and opponents are less likely to suspect three-of-a-kind.

  7. 4-3-2-K after the first four cards has less chance of forming a straight than 6‑5‑4‑Q

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that 4-3-2-K has less chance of forming a straight than 6-5-4-Q. The lowest and highest sequential cards leave less room to connect for a straight. The 6-5-4 can make a straight with two lower cards. But 4-3-2 cannot.

  8. If, on your first three starting cards, you begin with a pair, which statement is true?

    (a) It’s equally likely that your pair will be fully concealed (in the hole) as that one of the rank will be exposed;

    (b) It’s impossible to make a flush before the river card is dealt;

    (c) It’s impossible to make a straight before the river card is dealt;

    (d) It’s twice as likely that a member of your pair will be exposed as that the pair will be buried.

    Answer: (d). If you begin with a pair, it’s twice as likely that one of the pair’s rank will be exposed as that the pair will be completely buried.

  9. What are the odds against beginning with three cards of the same suit?

    (a) 18-to-1 against;

    (b) 30-to-1 against;

    (c) 5-to-1 against;

    (d) 10-to-1 against.

    Answer: (a). It’s 18-to-1 against starting with three cards of the same suit.

  10. The fewer players in the pot…

    (a) the more likely it is that a big pair will win the pot;

    (b) the less profitable it is to pursue a small flush attempt;

    (c) the less profitable it is to pursue a small straight attempt;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (d). All of the first three statements were true about having fewer players in the pot: It was more likely a big pair would win, the less profitable it was to pursue a flush, and the less profitable it was to pursue a straight.


Next MCU Targeted Poker Quiz in this series

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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  1. Typo in the answer to #6. The last sentence is missing “not” or “less” (which is clearly intended).

    1. Great catch, Steve!

      The answer has been fixed. Thanks for making your first post at the new Poker1.

      We very much appreciate the assistance. In fact, we invite anyone in our Poker1 “family” to report typos and other mistakes.

      See “Please tell us about Poker1.com glitches” — http://www.poker1.com/archives/1757.

      Thanks for letting us know.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

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