Poker Games — Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud is a well-known form of poker that’s always gaining in popularity. It’s played with up to eight players at the table.
A single deck of cards is used to play Seven Card Stud, where a deck refers to 52 cards, excluding jokers.
A fresh game begins with all players posting the “ante,” which is a predetermined amount placed in the pot before the cards are dealt. The amount of the ante is based on the size of the game, and does not follow any set rule. For example, the ante amount for a $1/$2 table is $0.25, while the ante amount for a $3/$6 table is $0.50. The exact amount should be made clear at the online casino you’re playing at.
In Seven Card Stud poker, players receive seven cards: three “down” cards and four “up” cards.
After the antes have been placed, the first round gets under way with each player being dealt three cards—two down cards and one up card. The up card is also known as the “door card” or “third street.” The lowest up card initiates the action with what’s called a “bring-in” bet. If two or more players have the same lowest card, the person who “brings it in” is determined by suit order in the following progression: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.
Each player is allowed one bet and three raises in each betting round. To continue play, players must take action from what’s given to them in each betting round, unless they are “all in.” (More on “all in” later.)
After the first round, another card is dealt face-up to each player who’s still in the game; in other words, every player who didn’t fold on third street. The second round of betting, as you might expect, is called “fourth street.” From fourth street on, the highest hand showing begins the action by checking or betting. If a pair is showing on fourth street, players have the option to make a single or double bet. If a player makes a single/double bet, the other players may call, raise the single bet, raise the double bet, or fold. In the event of a double bet, only an equal amount may be raised.
After third street and fourth street have passed you by, it’s time for “fifth street”—if you’re still alive, of course. In this third round of betting, another card is dealt face-up to those who remain in the pot and, again, the highest hand showing starts the action by checking or betting.
One difference between the later rounds and the first two rounds is that the betting limits switch from the table’s lower number to its higher number. For example, if you’re playing at a $5/$10 table, you can bet $10 once you’ve reached the third round, whereas in the first two rounds you can bet only $5.
The fourth round continues in the same vein as the others: this round is called “sixth street” and the betting limits remain on the higher number.
The fifth and final round is a little bit different. The last card is dealt face down instead of face up, and this card is called the “river” (although many people call it “seventh street” too).
Some standard rules:
A maximum of four bets, including one bet and three raises, are allowed for each betting round per player. As mentioned above, players must take action on what’s given to them in every round of Seven Card Stud in order to remain in the game (unless they are “all in”).
The term “cap” is used to describe the final raise in a round, since betting is then capped and no one can make another raise. Once capped, players will have the option of calling or folding only. Folding can be done at any stage of the game. The action of folding means that the player is no longer considered part of the game, and does not have any rights over pots created on the table.
Apart from folding, a player also has the option of checking, which means that the player passes his or her turn without placing a bet. This option is not always available to the player, and depends on the actions taken by the previous player in the hand. The player HAS TO equal the amount of the bets placed by other players for each round in the hand.
Poker is typically played by “table stakes,” which means that only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand can be used throughout the hand. This means that players cannot get additional funds from the cashier while they are in the midst of a game. The table stakes rule has an application called the “all in” rule, which states that a player cannot be forced to forfeit a hand because he or she doesn’t have enough chips to call a bet.
Exceptions to betting values in each round:
A player who doesn’t have enough chips to call a bet is declared “all in.” The player is eligible for the portion of the pot up to the point of his final wager. All further action involving other players takes place in a “side pot,” which is unavailable to the player who has already gone all in.
When a player goes all in, the pot currently at the center of the table, which has contributions from that player as well as from the others, is treated as the main pot, and the player has rights over it. After the player goes all-in, however, new bets are placed in a side pot, over which only the contributing players have rights. The all-in player does not have rights over the side pot. The side pot is given to the next winning combination.
Upon completion of the final round of betting, the best hand wins the pot. Note, however, that the pot may also be won by someone who bets without being called at any time during the hand. Your hand is determined by using the best FIVE of seven cards. The following combinations may be used:
- Five cards from the seven dealt to you.
- One community card, or “board card,” and four of the cards dealt to you.
There is a set ranking of cards, which is used for deciding the winning combination. To view the various ranks that are possible, click here.
If two or more hands have the same ranking, the winner is the one who has the higher cards. For example, a flush with an ace high beats a flush with a king high. If the hands still remain tied, then the highest card not held in common (“the kicker”) determines the winner. The suit order of the cards is not taken into account while deciding on the winning cards. Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the rules of poker distribute the pot evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, the winning player to the left of the button/dealer receives it.