Seven Card Stud Poker
by Greg Cavouras  

While not currently as popular as Texas Hold’em, Seven card stud is a very exciting game that has been widely played for generations. The basic premise of seven card stud is to make the best 5 card hand of the 7 cards you are dealt. Of these 7 cards, 3 are delivered face down as hole cards, and 4 are delivered face up for the tables viewing, however these are not community cards as in Texas Hold’em. Hands are ranked in the standard Poker way, and any 5 of the 7 cards may be used, and kickers and split pots operate exactly the same as in Hold’em. Aces play both high and low for the purposes of a straight.


The game starts with each player placing an ante, and there are no blinds as there are in Hold’em. After the antes have been placed, each player is dealt two hole cards face down and one card face up. The betting action then begins with the player showing the lowest up card, and action proceeds clockwise. The first player to act must place a bet known as a “bring-in”, this is a forced bet, but not a blind one. The player has the option of folding or placing the bring-in, which is usually a very small amount. This first round is known as Third Street.


Upon completion of Third Street, another card is dealt to each player face up. This is called Fourth Street, and another round of betting begins, this time starting with the player showing the highest board (their two face up cards). All subsequent betting rounds will begin with the player showing the highest board. When all bets have been settled, another card is dealt face up to each player still in the hand- this is Fifth Street; once again, a round of betting ensues beginning with the player showing the highest board.


After this round of betting is complete, it’s time for Sixth Street, and again every player is dealt a card face up followed by a round of betting. When this round of betting is complete, it’s time for Seventh Street (also known as The River), where every remaining active player is dealt a final card face down. A final round of betting occurs, again beginning with the player showing the strongest board, and after all bets are settled, hole cards are revealed, and player hands are compared to determine the winner. The winner is the player who forms the best 5 card poker hand using any of the 7 cards in front of them.

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