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Almost everyone is familiar with what a heavy Boston accent sounds like. Or should I say Bah-stun?

I’ll never forget a story I heard while a freshman in college. A classmate had visited one of the Boston colleges the year before to check it out. The student giving the tour told him that “Freshman are not allowed to have cars on campus.” What he heard was “cahs: and not “cars.”

A bit confused he asked the student leading the tour – “why would a freshman want to have a cow on campus?”

Less well known about Bostonians is that they have taken the word “wicked” and turned it upside down. Wicked doesn’t mean evil in Boston. It means “‘very.”

A wicked bad headache is a very bad headache. So, when I say John Feola of New Vision Gaming has invented one wicked cool game, it means it is a game worth playing!

The new game is called Boston 7 Stud Poker and it just opened at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. It is a wicked simple game and if you’re familiar with Mr. Feola’s Boston 5 Stud, you’ll notice some similarities. Boston 7 Stud just takes advantage of the on-going popularity of the 7-card poker games.

To begin with, the player makes two equal size wagers, called the Ante and the 1st Wager. He then receives three cards. The player now has a choice to make. He can either fold, forfeiting his Ante and 1st Wager or he can make a 2nd Wager – equal in size to the other two wagers – and receive four additional cards.

If the player decides to make the 2nd Wager, his hand will go head-to-head against the dealer’s. The player will make his best 5-card poker hand from his seven. The dealer is also dealt seven cards to make his best 5-card hand.

If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s, his 1st and 2nd Wager will pay even money. The Ante will push unless the player’s hand is a three of a kind or better, in which case it will pay an Ante Bonus according to the following pay table:

Note that the top two hands actually consist of 6 and 7-card hands, respectively and are fixed pays, not odds pays.

If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s, all wagers are taken, However, the player will still be paid according to the above pay table if he has a three of a kind or better. So, while losing his Ante Wager itself, he will still be paid for the hand. If the player’s and dealer’s hands tie, all wagers push, but the player can still earn an Ante Bonus.

There is also an optional 3-card Bonus side bet the player can make based on his first three cards. The player must show his first three cards to the dealer if he has a pair or better in order to claim his win. The pay table for the 3-card Bonus is as follows:

As I did the analysis on this game for the regulatory agencies, I’m quite familiar with the math. The overall payback of the base game is 97.59%, which is fine for a game with essentially no strategy. While the player has to make a decision, in theory, there really is no decision in reality.

The player should never fold. Even the worst possible 3-card starter hand can come back to beat the dealer often enough to make it not worth folding. As a result, what we really have is a game in which the player and dealer will each win 50% of the time.

The house edge is created from the fact that the ante pushes unless the player’s hand is three of a kind or better. The player also gets the advantage of being paid even on losing hands of trips or better.

For the 3-card Bonus side bet, the payback is 93.81%, which is in-line with many other 3-card pay tables that can be found, especially in Atlantic City. The game was developed with numerous Ante Bonus and 3-card Bonus pay tables, so pay careful attention to the actual pay tables before you sit down and play.

If you do make it to Atlantic City and play Boston 7, I’m sure you’re in for one wicked good time. You can go to and check out more of their games, including Imperial Pai Gow.

About the Author

Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome’s roots run deep into gaming theory and analysis. His father, Lenny, was a pioneer in developing video poker strategy in the 1980s and is credited with raising its popularity to dizzying heights. Elliot is a second generation gaming author and analyst with nearly 20 years of programming experience.

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