7 Card Stud Poker: Game Rules & Strategy
|Object: The object of 7 card stud is to
have the highest five-card poker hand at showdown, or to be the only
player remaining in the hand after all other players have folded.
Hand Rankings: Hand rankings are as follows, with the highest hands first:
If two or more hands are the same ranking, the winner is the one having the higher cards. For example, a Flush with an Ace high beats a Flush with a King high. If the poker hands remain tied, then the highest card not being held in common (the kicker) determines the winner.
Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the pot will be split evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, then either the winning player to the left of the button will receive it, or the odd chip will remain in the pot for the next hand (depending on the card room).
The Play of the Game: The play of the game proceeds as follows:
At the showdown for 7 card stud, rules indicate that players use any 5 of their 7 cards to make the best possible poker hand.
(Very seldom, a situation occurs where there are not enough cards left in the deck to give each player their own river card. In this event, the dealer will turn one boardcard face-up and it will be used as a community card.)
Betting Structure and Rules
There are five betting rounds in a complete game of 7 Card Stud, not including the ante.
On the first round of betting, the low card by suit is required to initiate action with a bet (the bring-in) that will be between a fifth and a half (depending on the game) of the lower limit. Suits are ranked: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds, clubs. On subsequent rounds, the high hand on board initiates betting action. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first. In all cases, the dealer will inform the players as to who acts first.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $4/$8 game, all bets and raises are $4 for the first two rounds. The exception to this rule is if any player displays a pair with their 2 face-up cards on 4th Street. In this circumstance, all players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit.
Each bet and raise during the last three rounds of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $4/$8 game, all bets and raises are $8 for the last three rounds (5th street, 6th street and the river).
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any particular betting round is four. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can not be raised anymore. Once the pot is capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding.
Check-raising is (usually) allowed.
Button and Blinds
A flat disk is used at the poker table; this is called the dealer button to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand. After each hand has completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. Since betting is initiated based on the cards on the table (and not position as is the case in Texas Hold'em) there is no advantage or disadvantage to being the dealer in 7 card stud.
There are no blinds in 7 card stud.
Read, read, read! Then practice, practice, practice! Then, win, win win! :)
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