7 Card Stud Rules
7 Card Stud is a popular, well-known game which is played with up to eight players at the table.
The game starts off with all the players posting the "ante," a predetermined amount put in the pot before any cards are dealt. The size of the game determines the amount of the ante and can vary among the different poker rooms. A typical ante amount for a 1/2 table would be 25 cents, while for a 3/6 table it would be 50 cents.
In 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo or better poker players receive seven cards, three "down" cards and four "up" cards. Once the antes have been placed, each player is dealt three cards (two "down" cards and one "up" card). The "up" card is also known as the "door card" or "Third Street". The lowest "up" card must start the action with a "Bring-In" bet. If more than one player has the same lowest card, the person who brings it in is determined by suit order progressing from clubs, diamonds, hearts, to spades.
One bet and three raises per player are allowed in each betting round. To continue to play, players must take an action from what is displayed to them on each "street" or betting round, unless they are all-in.
After the first round of betting another card is dealt face-up to each player still in the pot (i.e. all who didn't fold on "Third street"). This is "Fourth Street" or the second round of betting. From "Fourth Street" on, the highest hand showing begins the action by checking or betting. If a player makes a single bet, the other players may call, raise the single bet or fold.
After betting is finished on "Fourth street", another card is dealt face-up to those who remain in the pot. This is called "Fifth Street," the third round of betting, and the value of each bet is double of what was available in the first two rounds. This amount will be used for the remaining betting rounds as well. The highest hand showing again starts the action by checking or betting.
After betting is finished on "Fifth street", another card is dealt face-up for "Sixth Street," the fourth round of betting.
The final card, or "River Card" is dealt down to start "Seventh Street," the final round of betting).
The Standard Rules
Each player is allowed a maximum of four bets for each betting round, which includes one bet and three raises. Players must take an action from what is displayed to them on each "street" or betting round to continue play, unless they are all-in. The final raise in a round is called the cap, since betting is then capped and no one can make another raise. Once capped, players may only call or fold. Folding can be done at any stage of the game and removes the player from the game. He/she loses any rights to any pots on the table.
Poker is typically played "table stakes," meaning only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. Players cannot get additional funds from the cashier during a game, only after play is finished and a new game is ready to start. However, a player cannot be forced to forfeit a hand because they don't have enough chips to call a bet, instead that player will be said to be "All-In." An All-In player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager. Any additional action involving the other players goes in a "side pot", which is unavailable to the player who has already gone All-In. When a player goes All-in, the pot currently at the center of the table which he/she has contributed to, is treated as the main pot and the All-in player has rights over that. After the player goes all-in, all the new bets are placed in a side pot, where only the contributing players have rights. The All-in player does not have any rights over the side pot. The side pot is then given to the next winning combination.
Upon completion of the final round of betting, the best hand wins the pot, although the pot may also be won by someone who bets without being called at any time during the hand. Your "hand" is determined by using the best five of seven cards. Your hand may be made of up the following:
- Five cards from the seven dealt to you.
- One community card and four of the cards dealt to you.
After the final round of betting, the player who bets first (or checks first if no one else bets) is required to show their cards first at the showdown. If they have the best hand, the remaining players may/may not show their cards as they wish. The aggressors hand is only turned over first if he was the last to initiate action on the river.
If two or more hands are the same ranking, the winner is the one having the higher cards. For example, a Flush with an Ace high beats a Flush with a King high. If the poker hands remain tied, then the highest card not being held in common or the kicker, determines the winner.
The suit order of the cards is not taken into account while deciding on the winning cards. Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the pot distribution will be split evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, the player with the highest card in their hand is awarded the odd chip.