7-Card Stud

One of the most popular poker games is 7-card stud. Traditional 7-card stud is played with 2 to 8 people.

At the beginning of a hand, each player must ante. The ante is often equal to 10% of the low limit of the table. So, if the table limit is $10-$20, the ante is commonly $1.

The dealer deals a single card at a time to each player. Each player gets two cards face down, known as the “hole” or “pocket” cards, and a single card face up, sometimes called the “door” card. Each player has three cards and this is known as the third street.

The person with the lowest exposed card must bet. If the game has a fixed limit, the bet may be equal to half of the small bet or in some games may be twice the ante. This bet is called “bringing it in.” When two players have equally low cards, it is resolved by suit. Clubs are lowest, then diamonds, and hearts; spades are the highest suit. If the lowest player does not want to bet, they may fold and the player to their left opens. At this point, all of the players may call (matching the opener’s bet), raise (by betting a larger amount, often fixed at the low betting limit for just the third street), or fold.

At the end of that round of betting, each player is dealt another exposed card. This is the fourth street and from this point on the player with the highest hand showing is the opener. A round of betting ensues, then the fifth and sixth streets follow in the same format. In some games, the betting for this round must be at the high limit.

In the seventh street, each player is dealt a hole card after which there is a final round of betting. This last hole card is sometimes called the “river.” In an 8-person game, there are not enough cards in a deck for the final hole card, so a single last card will be placed on the board to be shared by all players.

The best 5-card poker hands out of the 7 cards played wins.

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