Stud - The Basics
A maximum of eight players can play at a Seven Card Stud table. There are five betting rounds in a complete game of 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.
Each player must put an ante into the pot before he receives his first three cards. The initial deal consists of two cards dealt face down, called the hole cards, and one card dealt face-up, called the door card.
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 you have the bring-in, 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 game, the player with the lowest door card must make a forced bet of either $1 or $2. (See "Betting" below.)
After the initial round of betting, which is initiated by the "Low Card Must Bet" prompt, all subsequent rounds start with the player with the high hand on board initiating the betting action. In cases of a tie, the player to the left of the dealer initiates the betting action. Examples:
- After each player has two upcards, 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 (initiates the betting).
- After each player has two upcards, two players have ace-king 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 upcards, two players each have king-king and no player has ace-ace, the player with the pair of kings sitting closest closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower value of the limit structure. For example in an $8-$16 game, all bets and raises are $8 for the first two rounds. There are two exceptions to this rule:
- The first exception is the Low Card Must Bet rule. After all players have received two downcards and one upcard, the player with the lowest exposed card of the round can bet either half the lower limit or the lower limit. For example, in a $2-$4 game, after each player has anted and each player has received three cards, one player has the 2. That player can make a bring-in bet of either $1 or $2. If the player bets $1, subsequent players have three choices: fold, call $1, raise to $2. Once the betting has reached $2, further raises must be in $2 increments until the cap is reached. If the bring-in bet is $2 (which doesn't often happen), subsequent players have three choices: fold, call $2, raise to $4.
- The second exception is if any player has an open (exposed) pair after the first two upcards have been dealt. In this case, 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 game, after each player has received the second upcard, one player has a pair of kings on board. Since this is the second round of betting, if no pair were 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 $8-$16 game, all bets and raises are $16 for the last three rounds (fifth street, sixth street, and the river).
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any particular betting round is four. This would consist of the opening bet and three raises. Once the betting limit for that round has been reached, players have only the option of calling or folding. (See Winning Hands)
Check-and-raise is allowed in all Seven Card Stud games (except on the first round, when any player except the forced bet, on his turn, must either bet or fold; the player with the forced bet does not have a choice of folding). The maximum allowable wager is always indicated on the Bet prompt and the lowest allowable wager is the default in the Bet window.At the Showdown
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 boardcard that will be used as a community card.
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