How Different is Online 7 Card Stud from the Live Game?

How Different is Online 7 Card Stud from the Live Game?

7-Card Stud is one of the oldest versions of the poker – pre-dating Texas Hold’em by a century or more.  But the game has changed substantially from the days when it was played in live, in saloons, bars, poker rooms, and casinos.  

These days, it’s hard to find a live game.It’s now played almost exclusively online.  You want to adjust your strategy, at least somewhat, to take advantage of these online games.  This article will help you do exactly that.  


Comparison between Live7-Card Stud and Online game.

There are differences between the two games.  Below is a chart that simply contrasts the live game of 7-Card Stud to the online version.  Below it, I go into more detail about this comparison – and then give you a few tips for playing online.

As you compare the two versions of the same game, keep in mind that for most people the comparison is only theoretical or historical.  Sadly, with few exceptions, you will only find live7-Card Stud in the United States – and within the US, only regularly played in Connecticut, New Jersey, and, Nevada.

And, even in those places, it is often hard to find a game.  For most of the world, Stud is available onlyonline!

7 cards stud - online vs live

Whether playing live or online, the rules of Stud are universal.  It’s dealt the same; the hand values are the same; the betting structures are the same, and the general strategic principles are the same.  

Even so, there are differences between the two versions of 7-Card Stud, as outlined in the chart above.   

Let me expand on some of these differences in turn.


Reading Opponents 

poker player playing 7 card studAs in all forms of poker, when you are playing in person, you have an opportunity to read people’s expressions, hear their chatter, and see their mannerisms.  Observant and thoughtful players can thereby observe “tells”. Those tells are denied you online. 

On the other hand, you may be able to divine some meaning from how quickly or slowly someone acts.  If you are skilled, you can apply this timing hand reading skill to both online and live7-Card Studgames.

There is plenty of software that helps the online player keep track of opponents and their style of play – how aggressive, passive, tricky, loose, or tight they are, for example.  This method is much harder to do when playing live– where you have to write down or type into your phone the individual hands. 

Even so, when playing live, you are more apt to face the same 7-Card Stud opponents, day in and day out – as the universe of live 7-Card Stud players is relatively minuscule.  

This situation is hugely different from playing in an online room where the player pool is multi-national, enormous, and constantly changing. 


Pace of the Game and Distractions

poker player at table with baby cryingOnline 7-Card Stud games are played at a faster pace than live games, where there are live dealers and physical cards and chips that slow down the action.  There will also be the interruptions and distractions that come with physical interaction among people – conversations, arguments, and the like.  

But there are usually fewer non-poker distractions in a live game. You usually aren’t interrupted by the intrusion of the rest of your life as opposed to being holed up in a casino or poker room.  

You typically won’t have your baby crying, your spouse bothering you, or your boss demanding your attention when you’re in playing live. 


Rake and Time Charges

The rake or time charge online is generally much lower than that in a live game.  There are great efficiencies when you don’t have to hire dealers, purchase poker chips, cards and furniture. 


Game Selection

Your ability to select a good game is much higheronline than when playing live.  7-Card Stud game selection is practically non-existent in a live game. Online has many games on many sites to choose from – all at your fingertips.

Online7-Card Stud tournaments abound – for buy-ins that fit any budget.  Live7-Card Stud tournaments are rare – almost exclusively at the World Series of Poker, and almost always with buy-ins of no less than $1,500.  Your options online are much broader.

There’s one final consideration – and it’s the most significant.


Card Memory

Brain with poker cardsStud is a game where card memory is vital. Remembering folded cards helps significantlyin the calculation of drawing odds.   Some hands that typically would be playable, become unplayable because of the folded cards; and vice versa.  A good Stud player must keep track of what cards are folded.

One of the main differences between online and live play, in general, is the onlineability to multi-table.  Live players, on the other hand, are limited to playing one hand at a time – no matter what game they are playing. 

Even so, though you may theoretically multi-table 7-Card Stud when playing it online – just as you can multi-table Hold’em or Omaha – I strongly discourage you from doing so! 

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to keep track of all folded cards in multiple Stud games.  You have to be watching the action as the cards are folded, and then commit to memory for the duration of the hand those folded cards – a challenge to do with 100% accuracy in even one Stud game at a time. 

Accordingly, multi-tabling 7-Card Stud puts you at a severe disadvantage when playing against opponents who are adjusting based on the cards that have been folded. 


Top 5 Tips for Playing 7-Card StudOnline

Online7-Card Stud is a very different game from No Limit Hold’em and requires different strategies for winning play. 

1.    Unique to Stud, you must keep track of the folded cards – so only play one game at a time.  

2.    Adjust your strategy to take advantage of live cards – while avoiding draws to hands that require cards that are dead.  For example, you should call a raise on Third Street with three suited cards if they are completely live but should fold for even the bring-in if there are four dead cards in your suit.  

3.    Online7-Card Stud is also very different from playing live 7-Card Stud.  You should take full advantage of all software that can keep track of your opponents – and the hands they play, and how they play them.  

4.    Knowing the betting proclivities of your opponents can give you a considerable edge – that is much harder to accrue in a live game.  You can also practice much better game selection online.

5.    To do so, look for the softest games, with the loosest and least aggressive opponents you can find.  (You can find great games at