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Pot Limit & No Limit Poker : Play Poker

SEVEN-CARD STUD

“The overlay is of paramount importance”

    A lot has been written about this game when played with a limit structure. I have assumed that you are familiar with that form of game.

    In seven-stud pot-limit hold’em poker, the high card usually starts the ball rolling. The reason for this is to prevent the pot getting too large too soon. At this stage, there is seldom a double-raise as most poker players play conservatively on third street. Therefore, the pot size grows gradually. There may be betting at the river even in small games.

    I played the following hand against Jack about 20 years ago. Card four I held (7 7) K 7 against (? ?) 8♣ 4♣. The pot was $3 and I bet $2, which he called. Now the pot size is $7.

    Card five I had (7 7) K 7 9 and Jack (? ?) 8♣ 4♣ K♣. I was impatient as I was the first to speak. Overlooking the fact that my nine made me high, the rival poker player might have bet out of turn. At that time the rules were very strict in England; he was barred from betting or raising on that card since he bet out of turn.

    I was asked by the dealer whether I had checked or not. I replied to him that I didn’t know. My dealer queried “What do you mean, you don’t know?” I condoned the bet and called. The dealer was mollified, play continued, and now the pot stood at $15.

    Card six (7 7) K 7 9 7 and Jack (? ?) 8♣ 4♣ K♣ 2♦. I checked and he bet $15, which I called. Now the pot was $45.

    I squeezed my last card on the river. However, as I hadn’t improved, I checked. Now there was a total of $405 in the pot. Did you notice the effect of that $4 bet? The pot would have been only $189 without it. Jack lost $108 more as there had been no bet card five.

    When I told a soft, tight poker player this anecdote he said that a check would have suited me down to the ground on fifth street. I think he got his calculations wrong. More than the actual small sum under consideration, my potential win from the $4 investment was far greater.

    Since then, we have seen at least eight-fold inflation in Britain. However, the poker is still played by much the same players with the same stakes as before. It is unfortunate that the poker game is played too small nowadays to attract me.

    I used to win regularly in earlier days and for some years my hourly rate was $9. Even if I lost a session, I could go home and feel satisfied that after playing five hours I won $45. this was proven to be more-or-less correct at the year’s end.

    Majority of the poker players cannot bring themselves to play in a smaller game. This is “macho” principle. Somewhere down the line, it reflects on their manliness to drop a notch. You can easily notice that some of the best Vegas poker players don’t have this hang-up especially when they have been running bad. I used to play small games and wait for the big hand. Thus, I am shielded from the blackjack table where at the best I break even. Where I  know that you can win only small, I am a bit hesitant to expend energy on that game.

    Seven-card stud is a perfect game for winning. If your rival poker player is not an extremely good poker player and you can understand the playing strength of your rival poker player, regardless of the cards you have been dealt with, you can come out ahead over a period of time. I believe that I can virtually give a card start to certain tight, soft poker players. ( I would never say this against a wild, loose poker player.)

    These wild poker players will often win money from me and are much more dangerous. However, they might be the bigger losers than poker players of the first profile in the long run. Often it is necessary to play much closer to standard trick-free poker against very weak or very strong rival poker players. The strong poker player might pick up on what you are doing whereas the weak poker players might have your intricate maneuvers go over their head.

HOW TO PLAY CARD THREE

(1) Play only with trips, a pair, three to a flush or three to an up-and-down straight which is similar to limit poker. Last in hand against only the forced bet, a call with a live ace in the hole or such as 10 9 7 with all J 8 6 live can be considered. Obviously, you might raise on any holding you like. A call must be with a genuine hand; a bet or raise can be made with any cards in poker.

(2) A bluff consists of raising with three to a flush or straight. This action does not look well calculated. If your hand is fully live, three to a flush is nearly about 3-1 against making a four-flush. Even though, the pairing possibilities make even money to improve. The pot is probably getting too big for the amount of money left to win if you are reraised and call. Usually you want several poker players in the pot if you do make a four-flush.

(3) More than split, a concealed pair is more valuable. Thus, (3 3) 7 is better than (7 3) 3. This is partly because it is easier to hit a 7 than a 3 and partly because of the explosive nature of mystery trips. You might secure the pot on fourth street if you do so. This is often the best result with two small pair.

(4) Secondary holdings with the pair are less important than in limit hold’em poker. The starting poker hands 8♣  8♠ 9♣ or 6 6 A have a special resonance. However, you might be all-in before they become relevant in pot-limit hold’em poker.

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