Seven Card Stud Poker
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Seven-card Stud Poker

Long before Hold 'em became "the game", Seven-card Stud was what you played when poker night came around. One part skill, one part memory, one part strategy, no parts boring.

Each player starts with two hole cards and one upcard; there are then three more rounds of upcards, with betting after each card, and a final downcard, followed by a final betting round. Each player ends up with seven cards: four face up and three face down. The player holding the best hand using any five of their cards wins the pot. As in Hold 'em, aces play both high and low.

Each new hand begins with every player putting an ante into the pot. For example, in a $2/$4 limit game, each player would ante 40 cents. The ante is not like a blind, and does not count toward any future bets. On the first round, the betting starts with the player having the lowest upcard. This bet is a forced bet, and the software will automatically put the specified minimum bet (called the bring-in) into the pot. In a $2/$4 game, the bring-in would be $.50.

Each player can then fold, call the bring-in, or complete the bet (that is, raise to the lower limit). Once the bring-in bet has been completed, there is a limit of three reraises. All future rounds have a three raise limit, as well.

On fourth and all successive streets, the betting always starts with the player showing the highest board. If two or more players have the same high board, the betting begins with the player closest to the left of the stud button.

The betting on fourth street normally proceeds at the lower limit. If, however, any board shows an open pair, any player may choose to bet or raise at the higher limit. Once a bet has been made at the higher limit, subsequent raises must be at the higher limit. For example, in a $2/$4 game, the betting in fourth street normally proceeds in increments of $2. If one of the players has an open pair, that player has a choice of betting either $2 or $4. If that player bets $2, any other player can call the $2, raise $2, or raise $4. Once a bet or raise of $4 has been made, the betting must proceed at $4 increments.

On fifth street, the betting starts at the higher limit, and remains at that limit through the final round of betting. After the last round of betting, the software will award the pot to the best hand.

For a complete set of rules, see: More 7card stud poker.