Seven Card Stud: Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is also a vital tool with seven-card stud in order to become and remain successful in the long run.

We will often come across very good poker players who went broke because they played with an insufficient bankroll with the wrong limits. We should avoid making this mistake whenever possible.

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The facts and information given here also apply to seven-card stud but need to be adapted in terms of variance and the opponent profiling aspect needs to be added to bankroll aspects.

Special variance features with seven-card stud

The 300 BBs rule has established itself as a guide value for sensible bankroll management in limit Hold'em and is universally acknowledged. The rule states that we should have at least 300 times the higher limit available in order to protect ourselves against anticipated downswings. If we want to play $1/$2 limit Hold'em games on a regular basis, we should have at least $600 available as a bankroll.

With seven-card stud this amount is too low for two reasons.

  • Firstly, seven-card stud is a game that requires a lot of capital because there is one betting round more than in Texas Hold'em. In Hold'em there are four betting rounds (pre-flop, flop, turn, river) and five in seven-card stud (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th street). The additional round of betting often takes place in the upper limit, meaning that on average we need 25 per cent more capital for each hand.
  • Secondly, in seven-card stud three cards are dealt before the first betting round, which in turn leads to much more involvement in the game and increased multiway action, at least on 3rd and 4th street. This factor also leads to a higher variance, meaning that in seven-card stud we need a bankroll 40 per cent higher than the same limit of Texas Hold'em.

This in turn gives us the 420 BBs rule. In order to take part in a $1/$2 limit seven-card stud game on a regular basis, a bankroll of at least $840 is recommended. These aspects should always be calculated into a move up to the next limit.

Adjusting the limit with consideration for the individual opponents

No other factor in poker will give us as much long-term success as having better skills than our opponent. This advantage is gained by learning the strategic basics, practising and experience as well as by observing and profiling opponents.

Depending on the type of opponent, we may need to adjust our bankroll management.

For this reason we should use the "Player notes" area to make notes or use legal technical programs to record players' strengths. If the data can be evaluated and are conclusive due to the number of samples, it is recommended that we keep a lookout for presumably weak players. Technically weak players don't think about bankroll management too much and will use gut feeling to select the limit they want to play at. If we come across such opponents at a table with the next limit either above or below us, it may be worth taking this point into consideration when selecting the corresponding limit.

The following rule of thumb applies here as well: Only ever advance upwards to the next limit and never skip a level! Not only does the standard of the opponent increase along with the limit, the basic strategic considerations often require a completely different approach that we first need to get used to.

Bankroll management needs to be taken seriously. Without sound bankroll management we can only use sheer luck to help us survive the inevitable swings. And luck is one aspect we should try to eliminate wherever possible.