Seven-card stud is a classic poker game that’s slightly different from Texas Hold’em and Omaha. In seven-card stud, each player receives seven private cards, and the goal is to make the best possible five-card poker hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play:
- Ante Up: Each player places an initial bet called an “ante” before the start of each hand. This ensures there’s a pot to play for.
- Deal: Each player is dealt two private cards (hole cards) face down, and one card face up (the “door card”).
- Bring-In: The player with the lowest-ranking door card (the highest suit is the tiebreaker) is required to make a “bring-in” bet, which is typically smaller than the minimum bet. This starts the betting action.
- Betting Rounds: There are a total of five betting rounds in seven-card stud. After the bring-in bet, the betting action continues clockwise around the table. Players can either fold, call, raise, or check depending on the action. The betting rounds are as follows:
a. Third Street: Each player receives a third face-up card. The player with the best exposed hand starts the betting.
b. Fourth Street: Each player receives a fourth face-up card. The player with the best exposed hand starts the betting.
c. Fifth Street: Each player receives a fifth face-up card. The player with the best exposed hand starts the betting. From this point forward, the bets are made at the higher limit.
d. Sixth Street: Each player receives a sixth face-up card. The player with the best exposed hand starts the betting.
e. Seventh Street (River): Each player receives a seventh and final face-down card. The player with the best exposed hand starts the betting.
- Showdown: If there are still two or more players remaining after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their hole cards, and the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. The standard poker hand rankings apply.
- Winner: The player with the best poker hand wins the pot. In case of a tie, the pot is split evenly between the tied players.
- Start New Hand: The game typically continues with the same players, and a new hand begins. Players may need to post additional antes or blinds, depending on the specific rules being used.
Remember, seven-card stud has many variations in terms of betting limits, such as fixed limit, pot limit, and no limit. It’s essential to understand the specific betting structure being used in the game you’re playing.