Stud Poker Starting Hands

And, frankly, there are so few starting hands that are worth playing in 7-Card Stud, that impatient stud players often jump at the chance to just have something worth pursuing. Starting hands should consist of a combination of cards which allow several types of outs to catch the best hand. The first rule of thumb when playing tight at a low stakes table is: The lowest card in your starting hand should be higher than any other card showing around the table. Playing stud-hi means playing high. Pechanga casino gambling ages.

Starting Hands Probabilities for:

Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud High-Low Eight or Better (Stud-Eight) Poker

There are 22,100 combinations possible for 3 cards dealt from a 52-card deck. Because in the ranking of hands the rules of poker do not rank suits, 3, 4, 5, is not distinguishable from 3, 4, 5, and A, A, 2 is not distinguishable from A, A, 2. After subtracting all duplicate hands the number of unique three-card starting hands is reduced to 1755. These starting cards can be sorted into six broad categories: suited-connected, trips, connected, suited, paired, and none of the above (unsuited, unconnected, unpaired). The table below lists the categories, along with descriptions and examples.

Description and Examples for Three-Card Starting Hands in Seven-Card Stud Poker
Starting HandDescriptionExample
Suited-ConnectedThree sequential cards of the same suitJ Q K
TripsThree cards of the same rank8 8 8
ConnectedThree sequential cards6 7 8
SuitedThree cards of the same suitA J 3
PairTwo cards of the same rank with a third card of a different rank8 8 7
Not connected, suited or pairedThree cards not meeting any of the descriptions above9 8 2

The next table lists the number of unique hands possible for each category along with the number of three-card combinations that result in the hand. Also listed are the probabilities and odds for each category’s occurrence. The probabilities (or frequencies) are computed by dividing the number of combinations for each category by the total number of three-card combinations possible (22,100) and then multiplying by 100 to convert to a percentage. This table is true for Stud-Eight and high-only Seven-Card Stud.

Stud Poker Starting Hands Game

Probabilities and odds for occurrence of starting hands in Seven-Card Stud
Starting HandNo. PossibleNo. CombinationsProbability (%)Odds
Not connected, suited or paired109616,44074.391:3

Stud Poker Starting Hands Against

As a general rule starting cards in the last category are unplayable in both Stud-Eight and Seven-Card Stud. Notice that this category includes 75% of all hands dealt. Stud-Eight does have an exception to this general rule because an Ace unconnected to two other wheel cards (2, 3, 4, or 5) has value as a starting hand. However, only 20 of the 1096 hands in the last category meet that definition and these hands will only occur 1.36% of the time.

The most important decision a player makes is the choice of starting cards. Automatically folding the approximately 75% of hands in this un-connected, unsuited, unpaired category is a necessary discipline for success. The exceptions are when a bet has a reasonable chance of stealing antes or winning uncontested.