All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Poker FAQ:
Seven Card Stud, Probability Theory and Improvisation

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Q: How does Texas Hold’em differ from seven card stud?

A: Both games look similar to an outsider but they have little in common. The main difference is the use of the community cards and the fact that “position” at the table is more critical in Hold’em. The major difference, and the aspect which makes Texas Hold’em so popular, is that for the price of a single round of betting you will get to see over seventy per cent of your potential hand as the flop comes down. This is the main reason seven card has taken a back seat in the last decade or so.

Q: Does “probability theory” play any part in Texas Hold’em?
Yes, it does. Probability theory as applied to gambling is based on the concept that if you toss a coin over a long period of time it will come down heads as many times as it comes down tails. Pure chance. That’s the probability. When applied to poker various simulations have proved that if an experienced player plays a relative novice over a medium term or long period of time, the experienced player will almost always triumph. This indicates that skill and know-how play a large part in games like Texas Hold’em. Chance is involved but it is not necessarily the deciding factor. All the more reason to try a FREE tutorial at and hone those essential winning skills.

Q: I’ve been playing poker for a few years now and I enjoy the game a lot and I’m beginning to understand some of the major concepts. What do you guys think is the difference between a good player and  great players like Brunson or Ivey?
We like the jazz comparison best. Brilliant jazz musicians take basic musical concepts and improvise on the general theme. You say you are coming to grips with poker’s nut and bolt concepts. That’s great. Now start to improvise. That’s where greatness lies and it’s either instinctive, as in the case of Ivey, or it’s learned, as in the case of most of us.

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Thursday January 26, 2006: 
Poker FAQ: Seven Card Stud, Probability Theory and Improvisation