Run from the Shaking Hand

Sure, there is that frown or sigh when a player misses his hand, but how can you tell when he has made it?  One of the most common tells that gives away a powerful hand is when a player’s hand shakes.  A player looks down to see five beautiful diamonds, or maybe that card that turned his Poker Two Pair into a full house, and when he bets, his hand begins to shake.  I know, because it’s something that has happened to me in the past.

This is why you not only have to look at your opponents faces; you also have to watch their hands as they place bets.  Whenever you see a player’s hand shake as he is about to toss his chips in front of him to bet or raise, you’d better have a monster hand, too- because he certainly does.

Another indicator that a player has made his hand is when he looks at it very briefly.  When a player is looking at his hand for a long time, either he hasn’t made anything and is hoping the cards will somehow magically change, or he has made a straight and is trying to put the five cards in order in his head.

In contrast, when a player looks at the cards very briefly, he has made a good hand.  By this point, he knows exactly what he needs to complete his hand – one more of his suit or one more to give him a full huse.  He doesn’t have to stare at the cards very long to figure this

out.  Because of this, a quick glance at the hand followed by a bet should put you on guard.

Another tell indicating that a player has made a hand is when he wants his friend or spouse to see it.  If he shows his hand to Poker Pleyar or stranger next to him, he could simply be sharing his misery at having not made the hand.  But if he shows it to his wife or buddy, he probably has something good – he’d rather show them what a good card player he is.

While the tells I’ve mentioned are common at the low limits, not every low limit player is stupid.  Some will try to fool you – they’ll do the opposite of what the tell would generally indicate.  Despite the occasional actor, these tells are frequently genuine, which is why you must be focusing on the game at all times.

Watching your occonents when you’re out of the pot will allow you to pick up on tells, and that will earn or save you money when you are in the hand.

“You’ll Never Beat the Low Limits!”

On some web sites I’ve heard people complain that the low lmit games are unbeatable.  Some say that the rake is simply too high; others say that there are too many clue-less people (fish) playing low limit stud – they stay in with trash and then improve on the river card, which makes the game something of a “crap shoot.”

I don’t buy these arguments, and neither should you.  If a rake is higher than 10%, it is too high –but 10% (up to four dollars) has become the standard rake at most card clubs.  A card club has to stay in business somehow.

You can also overcome any rake by playing solidly against weaker players- and that’s what you will be doing.  So many stud players out there are nice people, but they simply have no idea what they are doing.  They’ve played at their kitchen tables for dimes and quarters, and think it’s the same thing at the card club, so they call when they shouldn’t and stay in hands way too long.

If you study the odds (see the Appendix) and pay attention to your opponents and the cards on the table, you’ll have a powerful advantage, and you’ll become a good, consistent winner over the long haul.

Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some of the basics that you need to remember every time you go to play cards:

  • DO always remember cards that have been folded
  • DO always have a positive attitude.
  • DO remain focused on your game, even when you’re not in the hand.
  • DO know when to leave when you feel yourself going on tilt.
  • DO have a general knowledge of the odds so you know when staying in a hand is justified.
  • DO watch your opponents carefully at all times.


  • DON’T feel you have to “get even” when you’ve suffered a bad beat.
  • DON’T play over your head – play only at the limits you can afford.
  • DON’T gamble by chasing hands that aren’t justified by the odds.
  • DON’T get overly frustrated by losing a good hand or having a losing session.  No one wins still go home with less.  In the long run, though, if you stick to what you know, you’ll be a winner.

In this book, I’ve given you solid advice on playing stod poker in the pokr rooms at the low limits.  What I hope this advice will do is make you a good, consistent winner at seven card stud poker.  Thee will be times when you will lose – but don’t let them bother you.  Play your “A “Game every time, recall those live cards, know the odds, and remember how to play all the hand we’ve covered properly, and I’m confident that you can enjoy stud poker more and more.  Poker is always fun to play – but it’s even more fun when it benefits your wallet.  This book will help make that happen.