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Picture courtesy Americas Cardroom
Stud poker is characterized by players having one or more face-up cards. Of all the poker games most commonly played in public cardrooms, Seven Cards Stud Poker is probably the most popular.
In this game, each player is dealt seven cards of their own: two cards in the hole and one face-up, followed by an opening bet. Then three cards face-up, with a betting round after each card dealt, and a final card in the hole with a final betting round followed by the showdown. In short (C=card, hole cards in brackets): (CC) C opening bet; C (bet?); C (bet?); C (bet?); (C) final bet. The player makes a hand using any five cards from the seven dealt.
Step by step procedure: First move, each player must place an ante in the pot. Then...
- Each player is dealt three cards; two cards face-down (hole cards) and one card face-up (door card)
- 1st betting round (by now some players may fold)
- Each active player is dealt one card face-up (4th street)
- 2nd betting round
- Each active player is dealt another card face-up (5th street)
- 3rd betting round
- Each active player is dealt another card face-up (6th street)
- 4th betting round
- Each active player is dealt a last card face-down (river)
- Final betting round
- Showdown (the remaining active players show their hands, bettor showing first)
Players may use any 5 of their 7 cards to make their best hand.
The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, without Joker. To avoid running out of cards on a deal, all seven-card stud games are usually restricted to a maximum of eight players. The deck is standard consisting of four suites: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. The suits are all equal value for ranking purposes. Each suit has 13 cards. Ranking from highest to lowest are:
Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace again.
The Ace may be played either highest or lowest.
A-2-3-4-5 = Low Straight
A-K-Q-J-10 = High Straight
Rank of Hands:
- Straight flush
- Four of a kind
- Full house
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- One pair
- High card
Seven-card stud poker is played in three versions: High, Low, and High-Low Split.
7-Card Stud High
The highest hand wins the pot. The object of the game is to obtain the highest ranking hand to win the pot. On the first round, the low card by suit is required to initiate the action with a bet. Suits are ranked: Spades (highest), Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. On subsequent rounds, the high hand showing initiates the betting action. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first.
7-Card Stud Low (Razz)
The lowest hand wins the pot. The object of the game is to obtain the lowest ranking hand to win the pot. The play Aces are low and the King is the highest card in the deck. Straights and flushes do not count against the low card value of a hand. The best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-Ace.
Suits are ranked only to determine which hand starts the action from lowest to highest: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. The high card is required to make the forced bet on the first round and the low hand acts first on all subsequent rounds. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first.
7-Card Stud High-Low Split
Unless a specific posting to the contrary is made, a qualifier of 8 or better for low is used for all High-Low Split games. If no player qualifies for low, the high hand wins the entire pot.
A player may use any 5 cards to make the best possible high hand. The player may use any other grouping of five cards to make the best possible low hand, whether or not it is the same as the player's high hand.
Straights and flushes do not weaken the value of a hand for low. The low card by suit: Clubs (lowest), Diamonds, Hearts and Spades, initiates the first forced bet. In all other betting rounds the high hand initiates the action. Ace counts as a high card on the first betting round. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first.
Seven Card Stud 8 or Better
Seven Card Stud 8 or better is a popular, well-known form of poker. It is played with upto eight players at the table.
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