7 Card Stud Poker: Avoiding the 2nd Best Hand
Playing the second best hand is always a poor Poker strategy, and even more in 7 Card Stud. As the following instances will show, the chances of winning with this hand are very slim and playing it will cost you a lot of money.
One of the most common, and most costly mistakes is that of trying to play a straight draw against a flush draw. This is a poor 7-Card Stud strategy because if you both complete the hand, you will still end up the loser. Even more so, if the up cards show a lot of the hands that you need are there, then there is no sense in continuing. Another example of the problem with playing a second-best hand is that of an Ace high flush. While this can be a very powerful hand, you should be wary of using it if there are paired door cards. Why? Because the odds are much higher than your opponent will be holding the trips (if he does not already) or even the full house before you complete your flush.
Raising with the flush or straight draw on the seventh street is a poor 7-Card Stud strategy, especially if your opponent is holding three of a kind. The danger here is that your opponent might be holding a four-of-a-kind or a full house. Another instance of the second best hand in 7 Card Stud leading to trouble is the low straight and low flush. If you are holding a Club Jack high flush, and your opponent is holding a Queen of hearts, with plenty of hearts on the up cards, then you should be wary.
The reason? With you holding a lot of the clubs, chances are very good that your opponent is holding plenty of hearts too. In that case, you are holding the second-best hand because a Queen high flush will beat your Jack.
A lot of other times in 7 Card Stud you will get hand combinations that will be second best, and the same strategies mentioned here also apply to them. If you sense that it is beat, and cannot be improved, then fold. The best 7-Card Stud strategy for second-best hands is to fold their period. The risks are too great, and you will end up paying a lot of money to try and augment your hands, but it will not be enough. Always play the best Poker hands you can get, and you will be all right.