Seven card stud is probably the game that most players will be familiar with. It is normally the first game that people tend to learn as they enter the wonderful world of poker. Until Texas Hold’em increased in popularity, seven card stud was the most popular game. Seven card stud consists of five rounds of betting or stages: 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, 6th Street and 7th Street (River). The process of playing a round of seven card stud is described below:
It really is as simple as that! If it still seems a bit daunting then don’t worry as the casinos listed below will allow you to play free games until you feel confident enough to take on other opponents. Please refer to the advanced section for hints, tips and strategies to improve and hone your poker skills.
- Buy-in: Before a player can start to play seven card stud poker, they will normally have to buy-in to a table. The minimum limit is equal to ten times the lower bet limit of the game. For example on a £1/£2 table the minimum buy-in is £10, on a £5/£10 table the minimum buy-in is £50.
- Initially, one player is chosen to be the virtual dealer. Obviously in online poker nobody can actually deal, however, the fact that somebody is the dealer is important in the game as you will find out shortly. The dealer is shown as a marker on the table and is commonly referred to as the button. The button then rotates around the table in a clockwise direction after each play. This ensures that each player gets a chance to be dealer and also to be last to bet.
- Ante: Before any cards are dealt, each player puts a small amount of money, called an ante, into the pot. The amount of the ante reflects the limits of the table. The lower the limit, the lower the ante. For example, £1.00/£2.00 tables have an ante of £0.25, and £10.00/£20.00 tables have a £1.00 ante.
- Each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. The two cards that are face down are referred to as the player’s hole cards. This dealing of cards and the subsequent betting is referred to as 3rd Street.
- After, the cards have been dealt; the player with the lowest exposed card must open the 3rd street betting. If two or more players have the same ranking card then the suit is taken into account. The suits are ranked according to the following descending order: spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds. The opening bettor may either bet with the lower bring-in amount (normally half the lower bet limit) or by betting the full amount of the lower limit bet. On all rounds the betting action is limited to one bet and three raises and the betting proceeds in a clockwise direction from the initial bettor.
- After the 3rd street betting has been completed, the dealer deals another card face up to the players. This fourth card and the betting that follows it are known as 4th Street. Each of the players will now have two hole cards and two board/open cards. The betting action on this round begins with the player with the highest two card poker hand and again proceeds in a clockwise direction. On 4th Street, all bets and raises are at the lower limit unless there is an exposed pair visible. With an exposed pair in any player’s hand any other player may elect to make bets and raises at the higher limit.
- After the 4th street betting has been completed, the dealer deals another card face up to the players. This fifth card and the betting that follows it are known as 5th Street. During this round and subsequent rounds of betting, bets can only be made at the higher limit.
- After the 5th street betting has been completed, the dealer deals another card face up to the players. This sixth card and the betting that follows it are known as 6th Street. By this stage of the play, each remaining player will have six cards; two face down hole cards and four board/open cards. Once, the cards have been dealt, the betting proceeds at the higher limit.
- After the 6th street betting has been completed, the dealer deals the final card for each player face down. This seventh card and the betting that follows it are known as 7th Street. At this stage of the play, each remaining player will have seven cards; three face down hole cards and four board/open cards. However, if all eight players are still in the hand on 7th Street, the total number of cards needed for all the players to receive their own seventh card would not be available in a standard deck of cards (8 x 7 = 56 – A standard deck of cards has 52 cards). In this case, the 7th street card will be dealt face up on the table and it will be used as a community card. Once, the cards have been dealt, the betting proceeds at the higher limit.
- When the 7th street betting is over, the players then reveal their hole cards and the winner of the pot is determined as the player with the highest ranked five cards out of their hand of seven cards. If multiple players tie, then the pot is split with any odd amount going to the player immediately to the left of the dealer.