7 Card Stud

7 Card Stud has a reputation as one of the most well known online poker games, and is often considered more sophisticated than Texas Hold'em because of the betting structure. This form of poker does not involve any community cards, only a mixture of "pocket" (also known as "hole") cards and "door" cards from which your best hand is to be selected.

Players are dealt seven cards throughout the course of the hand, but only the best five-card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner.

Starting the game

Instead of blinds, in a game of Stud, all online poker players have to put an ante into the pot to get the betting started. Their size is dictated by the table limits, e.g. on a $5 / $10 table, there is an ante of 50c. Likewise, on a $10 / $20 table, the ante would be $1.

Dealing the cards

To begin the starting hand each poker player receives in turn from the dealer three cards, the first two are dealt face down (pocket cards) then a card is dealt face up. After these cards have been dealt, the first round of betting occurs, beginning with the "bring-in".

The bring-in

The online poker player with the lowest showing door card must post the "bring-in", a mandatory initial bet of usually half the smaller stake amount. So on a $10 / $20 table the bring-in would be $5.

The bring-in poker player has the option to increase this bet to the full small stake. If two poker players are showing the same door card, suit rankings decide which card is weakest. The ranks of the suits are (strongest to weakest): Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs.

The following betting rounds can consist of one bet and have a maximum of three allowable raises, known as the "cap". So, if a bet is made, that bet can only be raised three times, after which all players must call, or fold. However, if only two players remain in the hand the cap is increased, to a maximum of five raise.

Fourth Street

After the Bring-In bets have all been called, each player is now dealt another face up card, called "Fourth Street." Now, the highest showing hand opens the betting round. If a pair is showing for any hand on Fourth Street, that player has the option of doubling their bet amount, and "raising the stake" for this betting round. Otherwise, Fourth Street bets and raises are limited to the small stake.

Fifth Street

Another face up card is dealt to each poker player, and the high hand opens the betting round. For these last three rounds, the bet amount is now the higher stake.

Sixth Street

The fourth face up card is dealt to each online poker player, and the high hand opens the betting round. As stated before for these last rounds of betting the amount is now the higher stake.

Seventh Street

The final card is dealt to each player face down, (a pocket) making a total of seven cards in each hand. Now the final betting round begins, and as before, the highest showing hand starts the betting.

Unusual circumstances: If eight players are still in the hand before the 5th round of cards, there won't be enough cards left in the deck for every player to receive one. Therefore, in this scenario, a card is dealt into the middle of the table and used as a community card.

The Showdown

All the bets have been called, and it's time to pay the winner. The last online poker player to bet or raise during the final betting round (the river) will show their hand first. If all the players checked through (nobody bet) on the river, the last player to have made a bet will be the first to show their cards. The remaining poker players' hands will be automatically revealed moving clockwise, unless a hand is weaker than the winning hand shown. In this case, you'll have the option to show, or muck. The best five-card hand takes the pot.


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