Seven-Card Stud for Advanced Players

By Dylan Diehl

Seven-Card Stud for Advanced Players entered the poker vernacular in 1989, becoming an instant classic. A century later, Sklansky, Malmuth and Zee updated the tome with 100 pages of new material, including loose games, playing big pairs, playing little and medium pairs, playing three-flushes, playing three-straights, ante stealing, fourth street, fifth street, sixth street, scare card strategy, and randomizing play. Not designed for lower limit or beginning players, this truly is an advanced book about a complex game. The writing, thankfully, is straightforward, if dry, but nonetheless concise and very comprehensible even when the theory gets intricate.

Sklansky, Malmuth and Zee stress the importance of third street, focusing about one fifth of the book on play at the crucial turn. The 21st century edition then moves on to confronting play at each of the later streets (though this play is far more automatic). This book, though perhaps geared towards more advanced players, remains the best textbook on arguably the most complex version of poker. This is the kind of guide that takes players to the next level in their game, really delving into the intricacies of seven-card stud. Though it's not recommended, even a beginning player who reads Seven-Card Stud for Advanced Players carefully can ostensibly understand the basics of the game encapsulated in a simpler book, and already gain perspective on more complicated aspects of seven-card stud.

The strategy explained in the book functions best on games above low-level play, though the authors, in the loose gaming chapter, advise that the book's concepts can be modified to suit, say, a 10-20 level. They reason that it is difficult to read what other players are doing if they themselves don't know (common in lower level seven-card stud), thus making their advanced strategy most useful when playing with other advanced players. The book's main strength is its presentation of theories along with detailed explanations of how they are implemented in specific situations. Beneficial quizzes are also included, which are an excellent way for the reader to confirm whether or not he or she is comprehending the sometimes complex concepts. Seven-Card Stud for Advanced Players remains the classic and definitive text on its subject.

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