A large portion of reading hands Seven Card Stud poker strategy comes into action during Third Street. As said in the start of this article: you have only three cards to read, all the other cards are visible. They are there, lying visible on the table.
When a player receives his starting hand – two hole cards and one face up card - he makes he decision to enter the round or to fold without risking his hand. This is a crucial time for you to learn your opponents. If you do not take part in this round then you may devote al your mind to the matter. Look at the players that have folded during Third Street – what were their hands? Did they fold with a low pair or a non-value hand? Write notes to yourself on such actions taken by your opponents.
As the round progress watch other players that have folded during 4th Street and 5th Street, if they show their hand: look if they entered the round with a good starting hand or did they "played along" to see if they might "catch" good cards. What are their Starting Requirements?
If you notice players that just enter rounds to "catch" good cards in later stages of the round then you know that these players are not skilled. They might "catch" a good hand, that's a part of the fun of Seven Card Stud poker, but it's not a strategy. You can "catalog" such players as amateurs – you know more about them than they would ever know about you, and all because you're making an effort to learn them – a solid Seven Card Stud strategy that would help you win.
Learning your opponents starting requirements would reveal you their hands time after time on next rounds. You can always wait till 7th Street ("showdown") to get a view of the winner's hand. See with what he entered this round and consider this in future rounds. The more you know about your opponents' starting hands requirements the more you can manipulate them and win the pot.
For example, you know that Tim's starting requirements is a High Pair and nothing less, he's not the bold Seven Card Stud poker player. If you enter the game with a Low Pair such as 4-4 and at Fourth Street you gain another Low Pair and you see that Tim also gained two low cards – a 3 and a 2 from different suits – you can finish the game now – make him draw now – you know you can beat his High Pair with your two pairs. Winning at Seven Card Stud doesn't always happen at Showdown. Remember this – you can win the pot in early stages of the game if you would use reading hands Seven Card Strategy wisely.
If you read your opponents well, meaning you notice all along the game what are their starting requirements, you have an unbelievable advantage that no one can take away from you. Combine this knowledge with other issues of reading hands strategy of Seven Card Stud and you get closer and closer to reveal your opponents' hidden card.
Daniel Jenkins, Editorial Staff. 2006–01–23