Monday, May 30, 2005

Review: 7 Card Stud by Roy West

Review: 7 Card Stud by Roy West

7 Card Stud, 42 Lessons How to Win at Medium & Lower Limits, by Roy West, is a solid book for beginning players. Not complete beginners, but beginners nonetheless. The first 26 lessons are on 7 Card Stud in medium and lower limits, the next 12 are on general poker issues, and the last 4 are written by Tom McEvoy on Stud tournaments. I found the book to be good for players that need to be told how to play. West advice is to play tight and aggressive when you have the best of it. But sometimes, his advice seems too much on the tight and conservative side. Maybe this is good for the beginning player (to play too conservatively), since most players in the medium and lower limits have the exact opposite problem (they play too loose).

The problems I have with West’s advice is in Chapter 20 when he discusses playing two small pair on fourth street in two situations. His advice is to fold with two small pair even with no open pair showing on board, and five other players calling one bet. I don’t think this is correct, the player with two small pair has pot odds to get to fifth street. The other problem is that he suggests you should fold with two small pair when faced with a probable big pair on fourth street. It is true that the two small pair is not a big favorite (but it is a small favorite), and the big pair will be able to take the lead and be aggressive (while the two small pair will have a tough time), but that is not enough reason to fold the favorite.

For most beginners who are too loose, they are going to benefit from this book. They will likely ignore that advice about folding two pair on fourth street anyway, so it won’t hurt them. But if they follow the rest of West’s advice to be tight, they will likely improve their results.

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