Targeted poker quiz 27: 7-stud (advanced)


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: advanced)

  1. If you want to create a lively gambling image at seven-card stud, you can do so with minimal loss of direct profit by…

    (a) playing low cards when you don’t see any ranks surrounding you that are helpful;

    (b) entering the pot in a late position with low-ranking cards against only a single opponent;

    (c) raising a single opponent without looking at your hole cards when you have a higher rank showing;

    (d) all of the above.

  2. Here are two seven-card stud hands you might play. Imagine that they are not being matched against each other, but against random opposing hands of unknown ranks and suits. Making no assumptions about the cards an opponent might be holding, which statement is true about them, with just the river card to come:
    (A) Hidden — 8-6, exposed — 7-5-10-3; and
    (B) hidden — 4-5, exposed — 6-7-9-10?

    (a) Hand A has better chances of making a straight;

    (b) Hand B is 3-to-2 more likely to make a straight, but hand A is more likely to win by pairing;

    (c) Each hand has the same chance of making a straight, but hand A figures to make more money on the river if it connects;

    (d) Hand B has better chances of making a straight and of winning with a pair.

  3. The often-cited concept that if an opponent starts with a pair, two out of three times it will be of the rank exposed is false in actual play, because…

    (a) opponents who come into pots with a low card exposed are proportionately more likely to have a bigger pair hidden, if they have a pair at all;

    (b) the “bunching factor” dictates that pairs are more likely to occur with both cards hidden, due to the dealing procedures currently in place in most casinos;

    (c) the actual math shows that half the time, the pair will be completely hidden;

    (d) three-of-a-kind occurs more frequently than a buried pair.

  4. Against some overly studious opponents, you should continue to bet aggressively in seven-card stud, even when you don’t think you hold the best hand, because…

    (a) as an example, if an opponent folds one out of three times when faced with a bet, there’s a good chance he will miscalculate and throw his hand away on some betting round – if not this one;

    (b) they’ll study you to death and won’t be able to concentrate on other opponents;

    (c) you need to consistently gamble to get others to gamble with you;

    (d) betting is almost always profitable in seven-card stud when you’re first to act, no matter what you hold.

  5. In seven-card stud, if you have four cards to a flush, you’re more likely to connect than if you have an open-end straight…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  6. On the first round of betting, you should raise a greater percentage of the time with K-K-K than with 3-3-3.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  7. Without consideration to what opponents hold, if you have 8-8-J-J after four cards, what are the odds against finishing a seven-card stud hand with four-of-a-kind, assuming the action gets to the river?

    (a) 587 to 1;

    (b) 187 to 1;

    (c) 6,303 to 1;

    (d) exactly 1,000 to 1.

  8. Without consideration to what opponents hold, if you have Jd Jh Qh Kh 10s after five cards, what are the odds against finishing a seven-card stud hand with three-of-a- kind, assuming the action gets to the river?

    (a) 4 to 1;

    (b) 40 to 1;

    (c) 18 to 1;

    (d) 64 to 1.

  9. If you’re against a single opponent showing no pair exposed in seven-card stud, you hold a pair of deuces, and that opponent bets, you should usually…

    (a) fold;

    (b) call;

    (c) raise;

    (d) none of the above.

  10. In seven-card stud, the odds against being dealt exactly one pair to start with are…

    (a) 4.9 to 1;

    (b) 19 to 1;

    (c) 2.7 to 1;

    (d) 8.6 to 1.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Strategy – Seven-card stud (level: advanced)

  1. If you want to create a lively gambling image at seven-card stud, you can do so with minimal loss of direct profit by…

    (a) playing low cards when you don’t see any ranks surrounding you that are helpful;

    (b) entering the pot in a late position with low-ranking cards against only a single opponent;

    (c) raising a single opponent without looking at your hole cards when you have a higher rank showing;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (d). All of these advanced methods can help build a lively gambling image in seven-card stud: Playing low cards when you don’t see any ranks surrounding you that are helpful; entering pots in late position with low-ranking cards against only a single opponent; and raising a single opponent without looking at your hole cards when you have a higher rank showing. None of these plays is directly profitable, but the average expected loss is minimal, and – against the right opponents – these plays can be worth the price by winning extra calls in the future.

  2. Here are two seven-card stud hands you might play. Imagine that they are not being matched against each other, but against random opposing hands of unknown ranks and suits. Making no assumptions about the cards an opponent might be holding, which statement is true about them, with just the river card to come:
    (A) Hidden — 8-6, exposed — 7-5-10-3; and
    (B) hidden — 4-5, exposed — 6-7-9-10?

    (a) Hand A has better chances of making a straight;

    (b) Hand B is 3-to-2 more likely to make a straight, but hand A is more likely to win by pairing;

    (c) Each hand has the same chance of making a straight, but hand A figures to make more money on the river if it connects;

    (d) Hand B has better chances of making a straight and of winning with a pair.

    Answer: (c). When you compare these two seven-card stud hands…

    (A) Hidden — 8-6, exposed — 7-5-10-3; and
    (B) hidden — 4-5, exposed — 6-7-9-10…

    both have the same chance of making a straight on the river, but hand A figures to make more money if it connects, because it’s exposed possibilities are less threatening.

  3. The often-cited concept that if an opponent starts with a pair, two out of three times it will be of the rank exposed is false in actual play, because…

    (a) opponents who come into pots with a low card exposed are proportionately more likely to have a bigger pair hidden, if they have a pair at all;

    (b) the “bunching factor” dictates that pairs are more likely to occur with both cards hidden, due to the dealing procedures currently in place in most casinos;

    (c) the actual math shows that half the time, the pair will be completely hidden;

    (d) three-of-a-kind occurs more frequently than a buried pair.

    Answer: (a). The concept that if an opponent starts with a pair in seven-card stud, two out of three times it will be of the rank exposed is false in actual play, because opponents who enter pots with low exposed cards are more likely, on average, to have a bigger pair hidden, if they have a pair at all.

  4. Against some overly studious opponents, you should continue to bet aggressively in seven-card stud, even when you don’t think you hold the best hand, because…

    (a) as an example, if an opponent folds one out of three times when faced with a bet, there’s a good chance he will miscalculate and throw his hand away on some betting round – if not this one;

    (b) they’ll study you to death and won’t be able to concentrate on other opponents;

    (c) you need to consistently gamble to get others to gamble with you;

    (d) betting is almost always profitable in seven-card stud when you’re first to act, no matter what you hold.

    Answer: (a). Against some overly studious opponents, you should continue to bet aggressively in seven-card stud, even when you don’t think you hold the best hand, because (by way of example) if an opponent folds one out of three times when faced with a bet, there’s a good chance he will miscalculate and throw his hand away of some betting round – if not this one.

  5. In seven-card stud, if you have four cards to a flush, you’re more likely to connect than if you have an open-end straight…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that in seven-card stud you’re more likely to connect if you have four cards to a flush than if you have an open end straight.

  6. On the first round of betting, you should raise a greater percentage of the time with K-K-K than with 3-3-3.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). Although you need to play the situation whenever you start a seven-card stud hand with three-of-a-kind, you should raise a greater percent of the time with K-K-K than with 3-3-3, because opponents are more likely to suspect something especially powerful when you take the lead with a three showing. Often the best way to make money with 3-3-3 and other low-ranking trips is to let others do the betting for you. A raise from a king showing is more routine and less likely to get players to suspect three of a kind. Additionally, in order to build a pot, you often must wager aggressively with a king showing, because smaller cards are less likely to do your betting for you.

  7. Without consideration to what opponents hold, if you have 8-8-J-J after four cards, what are the odds against finishing a seven-card stud hand with four-of-a-kind, assuming the action gets to the river?

    (a) 587 to 1;

    (b) 187 to 1;

    (c) 6,303 to 1;

    (d) exactly 1,000 to 1.

    Answer: (b). If you hold 8-8-J-J in seven-card stud, with three cards to come, it’s 187-to-1 against making four-of-a-kind (assuming cards are dealt through the river).

  8. Without consideration to what opponents hold, if you have Jd Jh Qh Kh 10s after five cards, what are the odds against finishing a seven-card stud hand with three-of-a- kind, assuming the action gets to the river?

    (a) 4 to 1;

    (b) 40 to 1;

    (c) 18 to 1;

    (d) 64 to 1.

    Answer: (c). If you don’t consider what cards opponents hold and you have Jd Jh Qh Kh 10s, it’s 18-to-1 against finishing the hand with exactly three-of-a-kind after seeing the final two cards.

  9. If you’re against a single opponent showing no pair exposed in seven-card stud, you hold a pair of deuces, and that opponent bets, you should usually…

    (a) fold;

    (b) call;

    (c) raise;

    (d) none of the above.

    Answer: (b). If you’re against a single opponent showing no pair exposed in seven-card stud, you hold a pair of deuces, and that opponent bets, you should usually call. There are, of course, exceptions. Often you should fold, instead, especially if your kickers aren’t high enough to rival your opponents exposed ranks. This advice to call applies to bets on the second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds of betting. The pot is usually too large and your chances of either having the better hand or improving to win are too great to surrender routinely against a single foe. However, against very conservative players, you should usually fold. And the higher the opposing ranks relative to yours, the more likely you should be to fold.

  10. In seven-card stud, the odds against being dealt exactly one pair to start with are…

    (a) 4.9 to 1;

    (b) 19 to 1;

    (c) 2.7 to 1;

    (d) 8.6 to 1.

    Answer: (a). In seven-card stud, it’s 4.9-to-1 against beginning with a pair.


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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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