Poker specifically the online version has really become popular in recent times. The game has a number of variants specifically stud poker. In Stud poker, players receive a bunch of faces up and face down cards followed by the betting rounds.
Who goes first is usually decided by the cards or in other words, whoever is dealt the best face-up hand gets to go first and that changes with each round. Variants such as High Low stud, Razz, Six Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud along with Mexican Stud, Caribbean Stud & Mississippi Stud are quite popular.
There are many more variants, but we would be talking about the seven-card stud variation. Also known as Down-the-River or Seven-Toed-Pete is probably the most widely played poker variant across America. Check out all the variations of this game on poker idn with ease.
How to play 7 card stud poker
A Seven Card Stud table has between 2 to 8 players. The casino play variant uses a small ante and bring in and the home version just uses an ante. An ante is an initial stake that is put in the pot and subsequent bets are added to it. The face-down cards are known as hole cards and face-up cards are known as door/window cards. The game has no Blinds and there’s a mandatory ante for each player to start a hand.
The game begins with each player getting a combination of chips. The betting structures vary, but we shall stick to fixed limit betting. One of the players can be the dealers (there aren’t any rules pertaining to that). The deck is shuffled and the players ante a minimal amount. The dealer starts towards his left by dealing each player with two holes and one door cards, this is known as Third Street. The player with the lowest door card pays the bring-in. Depending on whether this player chooses to bet an amount equal to the ante or the minimum bet, the action continues clockwise till one round is complete.
Next, each player is given another ‘exposed’ card. This is known as Fourth Street. This time around, the player with the highest poker value of the door card gets to bet first. The round of betting continues. The same round continues twice with another ‘exposed’ card, but it will now be called Fifth Street and Sixth Street followed by betting in each round. Rules are the same, the player with the highest poker value door card starts betting.
Once the round is complete, the dealer deals a hole card to each player. Only players to whom the card is dealt are aware of what it is. This is the final card, the player with the highest poker value door cards, dealt in the previous rounds gets to act first and the final round of betting takes place. It may be noted that the value of the final hole card does not affect the value of the previously dealt door cards. Now we’ve reached the big betting limit of the game.
We reach a showdown only if more than one player remains and the best five-card hand wins the pot. The last bettor shows his cards first, in case of no bets the players in the earliest seats show their cards and then we move clockwise exposing further hands. If more than one player holds the winning cards, the pot is divided equally.
Rules for Seven Card Stud
The usual actions are available and depend on the action taken by the previous player. To fold means to discard the cards. To check means keeping the card while declining to bet. To call is to match the amount bet by the previous player and to raise is to increase the bet by the previous player. As mentioned earlier, bets in a fixed limit game are pre-determined.
There are certain rules one needs to abide by when playing the Seven Card Stud. A player can view his hole cards anytime.
If more than one player has the lowest card in round 1, the suit rank determines who pays the bring-in (highest spades-hearts-diamonds-lowest clubs). As this is a fixed limit game, players can raise only by the same amount as the last bet. After a third raise, it’s capped when players fold or call.
If two players have the highest card (Fourth Street) the player on the dealer’s left gets to bet first.
In an 8 player game, chances are that the group may run out of cards since there are just 52 in a deck. In such a situation, instead of dealing with each player a door card a single door card is dealt in the middle of the table. This is called the ‘Community’ card which is shared by the remaining players as the seventh card of their hand.
Tips for playing card stud poker
The third street involves major decision-making since it’s here that the player decides whether and how to play a hand. It’s best to stick to starting hands such as trips, premium pairs, drawing hands, and small and medium pairs. With trips (Aces) and premium pairs (Aces-Tens) raise and re-raise. Drawing hands refers to three straight (J,K,Q or 5,6,7) and three flushes (Jh,Ah,4h). Higher cards are best, a single flush or straight is your cue to raise and re-raise. With small and medium pairs (9-2) just call. Do not play any hand, patience and strategy go a long way.
It’s best to count the cards of the players that fold, (fourth street) this gives an idea of what other players have. Raise and re-raise only if you think you have the best hand. Many players fold in the third street so a good indication of when to fold is if you have not been dealt a good hand by fifth street.
Even with a limit one can win or lose a significant amount of money so strategize, be patient but aggressive. Seven-card stud requires skills equivalent to community games such as Gin or Bridge and even the most experienced of poker players should know this variant well to polish their skills.