Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is arguably the most well known poker game in the world. In this game, each player is dealt 7 cards during the course of a hand and must use only the best 5 card hand at showdown to declare the winner. You can review hand rankings for clarification if necessary.

An ‘ante’ (a nominal amount) must be posted before a game of Seven Card Stud starts. The ante seeds the pot and ‘buys’ each player a hand. Each player receives two ‘hole cards’ face down and one card face up. The player with the lowest exposed card must ‘bring-in’ (a forced bet) either half a small bet or a full small bet ($5 or $10 in a $10/$20 game) to initiate the betting. In the event of a tie of card rank for the bring-in, the cards suit is used (in descending order) spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. Action continues clockwise around the table.
After betting is complete, the ‘Fourth Street’ is dealt face up to each player. The player with the highest ranked hand showing initiates the action and can either ‘check’ or ‘bet’. If this hand is not a pair, the bet will be a small bet ($10 in a $10/$20 game). If it is a pair, the option of betting the big bet amount exists for all players. In this case, once the big bet amount is wagered, all subsequent bets are of the big bet amount.

The ‘Fifth Street’ is the next exposed card each player is dealt. Again, the first player to act is the one whose exposed cards have the highest rank. The bet amount for this round and all subsequent rounds is of the big bet amount ($20 in a $10/$20 game).

If you are able to read this, I am sure you can guess that the ‘Sixth Street’ is the next card that is dealt face up and is followed by a round of betting.

The seventh and final card is dealt to each player face down. The player with the highest hand exposed (4 cards are showing for each active player) initiates the betting for this 5th and final round.

Assuming that more than one player remains active in the hand after the completion of the last betting round, the ‘showdown’ now takes place to declare the winner. The last bet or raise of the last betting round must show their hand first. If there was not bet, the player who has the highest ranked exposed hand shows first.

In the event of identically ranked hands, the pot will be divided equally.

Now that the pot has been awarded, the hand is complete and a new hand is ready to begin.

It is important to note that a total of 8 players may be seated and active through the first 4 rounds of betting in a Seven Card Stud hand. In this unlikely event, the total number of cards needed for all the players to receive their own final card exceeds the 52 cards in a standard deck. In this case the last card is dealt face up on the table and it will be used as a community card.


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