SEVEN CARD STUD
Seven Card Stud games are played with a maximum of eight players per play, unlike Hold em games where the max is 10. Instead of four betting rounds, there are five in Seven Card Stud, not including the ante. Each player, starting from seat 1 (the seat to the left of the dealer), is dealt two cards face down, then four cards face up, and the final (river) card is dealt face down.
The betting structure in Seven Card Stud poker differs from Texas Hold'em and Omaha games with the Seven Card Stud betting sequence as follows:
1. All players ante (except in certain low limits games that have no ante)
2. Each player is dealt two cards face-down (pocket cards) and one card face-up (door card) Card 1, 2 and 3
3. First betting round (lower limit)
4. Each player is dealt one card face-up (4th street) Card 4
5. Second betting round (lower limit)
6. Each player is dealt another card face-up (5th street) Card 5
7. Third betting round (higher limit)
8. Each player is dealt another card face-up (6th street) Card 6
9. Fourth betting round (higher limit)
10. Each player is dealt a last card face-down (river) Card 7
11. Final betting round (higher limit)
In the showdown of a Seven Card Stud poker game, players use any 5 of their 7 cards to make the best possible poker hand. On rare occasions, there may not be enough cards left in the deck to give each player their own river card. In this event, the dealer will turn one board card face-up and it will be used as a community card.
As mentioned, there are five possible betting rounds in Seven Card Stud, not counting the ante.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit Seven Card Stud game, all bets and raises are $2 for the first two rounds (after two hole cards and door card are dealt).
Betting and raising during the last three rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In this example all bets and raises will be $4.
The maximum allowable number of bets during any betting round in Seven Card Stud poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will only have the option of calling or folding. There are other games where a cap on the number of raises does not apply. These are No Limit and Pot Limit games. One on One games have a cap after 6 betting rounds.
At the table, a graphic called the Dealer Button (a small round disk with the letter 'D' marked on it), is used to signify the theoretical dealer of the hand. The hand is dealt clockwise one card at a time.
When a new hand of Seven Card Stud commences, each player must put their ante in front of them before he she receives his/her first three cards. Once all participating players have placed their ante, the dealer then deals two cards face down (pocket cards) and one card face up (door card) to each player (one card at a time). The amount of the ante is based on the table limits. For example, a Seven Card Stud poker game with a $1 - $2 limit may have a $0.25 ante and a $3 - $6 game may have a $0.50 ante.
The player with the lowest exposed (door) card (using suits in reverse bridge order-clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades-if there is a tie) is required to initiate action by betting a minimum of half the lower limit. This starting bet is called the bring-in. When the bring-in falls to you, you always have the option of betting either half the lower limit or the lower limit for the table designated. For example, in a $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud poker game, the player with the lowest door card must make a forced bet of either $1 or $2.
After the initial round of betting, which is initiated by the lowest card on the table and the "bring in" prompt, all subsequent rounds of Seven Card Stud start with the player with the high hand on the board initiating the betting action. In cases of a tie, the player to the left of the dealer initiates the betting action.
After each player has two up-cards, one player has an ace showing, no other player has an ace and no player has a pair, the player with the ace has first action (i.e. initiates the betting).
After each player has two up-cards, two players have an ace-king pair and no other player has a pair: the player with the ace-king sitting closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting. Suits have no bearing here.
After each player has two up-cards, two players each have king-king and no player has ace-ace: the player with the pair of kings sitting closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting.
On the subsequent (second) round, low limit applies with the following exception:
If any player has an open (exposed) pair after the first two up-cards have been dealt, all players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit. For example, in a $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud game, after each player has received the second up-card, one player has a pair of kings on board. Since this is the second round of betting, if no pair was showing, the betting would have to be at the $2 level. Since a pair is showing, however, the player with that pair can bet $2, or, if he wishes, $4. If he bets $2, any other player can raise either $2 or $4. If he bets $4, or if anyone raises $4, any subsequent raise must be $4.
Each bet and raise during the last three rounds of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example, in an $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud poker game, all bets and raises are $4 for the last three rounds (fifth street, sixth street, and the river).
Note: In the event that there are not enough cards after the fourth betting round for the showdown, instead of dealing the river card to each player, the dealer will turn one board card and that will be used as a community card.
Once a betting round has started, you must select one of the options from the play buttons that appear when it is your turn. If you choose one of the advance options (advance buttons), your bet is made automatically on your turn. If you select "Sit Out" or you close the window after a round has started, your bet will be considered a fold. If you click the "Sit Out" button before the game started and you change your mind and then click the "Deal Me In" button, you will still sit out for that hand. If your connection is lost, your hand will be played as an all-in bet.
When all the betting is done, and if more than one player is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins. The last player to open or raise is required to show his/her cards first, and anyone else can fold (muck his cards) if he/she determines he/she has lost. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards.
Unlike other casino games, Seven Card Stud poker is a game among players, and not a game against the house. Therefore the poker room makes money by collecting a rake. The rake is a predetermined amount that is removed from the pot. The rake amount varies depending on the number of people seated, the limits of the table, and the amount of the pot. The maximum house rake on the pot is $3.