In 7 Card Stud, “Aces in the Hole” refers to another poker situation where your great strength is not apparent to your opponents. I have had occasion to play this hand many times. And I think a recent example will demonstrate some interesting aspects of 7-Card Stud strategy.
I was playing on line in a fairly tight $5/10 Stud game. The players were generally good, most of them folded on Third Street if there was a completion. There were a couple of players who didn’t really have a clue. But even they seemed to be relatively timid unless they had called the bring-in already – which they frequently did.
One of the timid players was to my right and he brought it in for $2 with a 3h. I had the Aces wired and a 6c exposed with six players in front of me who hadn’t acted. Here were there hands.
What would you have done?
My raise would have looked suspicious, seeing as I only had a 6 exposed. Folks would have suspected me as having, at least, a premium pair in the hole – since my image was tight and aggressive – if slightly wild – with an ante steal semi-bluff thrown in every now and again.
This clearly wasn’t an ante steal situation. I was in early position with the lowest up card save for the bring-in. What else was I likely to have if not a premium pair in the hole or perhaps a pair of 6s with an Ace kicker. My observant opponents were likely to fold. Any non-observant ones were likely to fold as well since there would be such a small pot and they hadn’t yet entered it.
So I called as did three other people. I wasn’t too concerned about that, since my 6 was also live, making Aces Up a very strong possibility. As it was I went on to call a bet from someone else on Fourth, making it heads up. I hit an Ace on Fifth, bet, and my opponent folded.
But imagine a different scenario. How would you play the following?
You have the same hand but face a slightly altered line up:
What would you do here?
In general, if there is already action in front of me, I tend to play my hidden Aces strongly, trying to build the pot and at least to some extent limit the field. As good as they are, I’d much rather be up against a single opponent than a host of opponents. However, that being said, if I am first to act, if I am against at least fairly tight opponents, I will slowplay the Aces until Fourth Street, not wanting to run the risk that I will knock everyone out of the hand.
Compliments of Ashley Adams