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How To Play 7 Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is one of the most common version of poker that you will find in a casino or in a private game. Texas Hold' Em might get all the glamour and TV exposure, but 7-Stud is the game of choice for many players. The game requires a deeper knowledge of strategy and human behavior than Holdem because you have to calculate your best hand AND the best hand of all of your opponents. Human nature comes into play because you can have the most powerful hand showing, and have someone raise with an improbable out. Ive even had situation where someone is representing a flush, but I know that all of the cards have been in play (including my hole cards) so it is an easy bluff to call.

It takes time and practice to develop a winning edge. Every good player that I know feels that they are still learning, even the pros ...

Basic rules:

Poker games are typically classified by the table betting limits. In a casino, you can typically find fairly low limits of $1-4, $2-4 up to to $6-$12. Any thing beyond that is probably too high of a limit for a beginning player. Several online sites have limits as low as .05/.10 which is a wonderful way to learn the game when you want to move out of play money games. If you are a new player, or simply trying to manage your bankroll, look for a lower limit game ($2-$4). Most casinos will require that you buy in for at least 10 times the minimum bet ($20.00 for a $2-$4) game. It is recommended that your buy in for at least 30 times the Big Blind, so a typical bankroll on a $2-$4 table would be $120.00. You can obviously buy in for less, and you dont need to buy in all at once but you should avoid playing too tight or feeling pressured because you sit down short stacked.

Getting Started:

The Ante vs. Forced bet

Depending on the casino, you will either have to Ante or there will be a forced bet.

If there is an Ante, then everyone must put in a small bet (Typically 10-20% of the minimum bet). Most $2-4 games will have a $0.50 ante with higher stakes games requiring a proportionally higher Ante.

If there is a forced bet, the low card must open with the minimum bet and they do not have the option of folding.

7 Card Stud Poker


The dealer gives each player one card at a time. The cards are distributed in a clockwise rotation starting with the player on the dealers left. Each player receives two pocket ("hole") cards (face down) and a single up card. At this point the player with the lowest card must open the betting. If there's a tie for low card, then it is resolved by suit: spades, hearts, diamonds, and finally clubs.Because of the forced bet, each player has the option to either call, fold or raise.

Fourth Street:

After the first round of betting is complete, each player receives a fourth card, referred to as Fourth Street. The card is dealt face up and after the cards are dealt the person with the high hand as determined by the open cards has the option to check, bet, or fold. Each player will then have the opportunity to check, bet, call, raise or fold. A player must call, raise or fold to any bet. All bets must be at least the table minimum ($2.00)

In some casinos, if there is an open pair, the player can Bet at the upper limit ($4.00) and all additional bets and raises for the remainder of the hand will be at the higher table limit.

Fifth and Sixth Street:

Again, the card is dealt up and high hand opens. All Bets and Raises are at the upper limit ($4.00).

Seventh Street (a.k.a. "The River")

The last card, is another pocket or hole card (face down). All bets and raises are at the high limit ($4.00).

The Showdown

After all of the Bets and Raises have been completed, the players showdown their cards. The player who initiated the last bet reveals his pocket cards and shows his best 5 card poker hand. If the calling player can beat that hand they show their cards, or they can choose to muck their cards (Fold) if they dont want to show their hand.

In a casino it's the dealer's responsibility to declare the winning hand. You should always turn up your cards in casino play because it is not uncommon for players to make mistakes and misread their hands.

Final Thoughts:

It takes a lot of practice, and knowledge to become a good poker player. Remember that anyone can win on any given day, and that has never been more true for any activity than for poker. I have seen seasoned professionals get knocked out of tournaments by someone playing their first tournament. Tournament can be a great way to learn how to play 7 card stud or you can look for a relatively low stakes game. No matter where you decide to get started, have fun!

If you are still asking more about How do I Play 7 Card Stud then try reading the articles below for more information to help you gain a better understanding of online poker games.

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