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Seven-Card Stud


The game begins with each player automatically putting an ante. The exact size of the ante depends on the stakes you have chosen to play. Three cards are then dealt to each player; two face down and one face up. The player showing the lowest upcard must make what is called a "bring-in" bet. As with the ante, the size of the bring-in varies depending on the size of the stakes, but unlike the ante, you have a choice with the bring-in. Here are examples of the antes and bring-ins for the different limits:


Limit Ante Bring In

• 1/2 0.1 0.50
• 3/6 0.30 1
• 5/10 0.50 2


You may make a minimum bet that is only slightly larger than the ante, or you may choose to make a full-sized bet. For example, in a $5-$10 game, you could choose to make a bring-in bet of either $2.00 or $5.00.


The bring-in bet is the only significant time and place in Seven-Card Stud where card suits come into play. The highest suit is spades, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs. If the lowest upcard showing is a four, and one player held the four of hearts, and the other the four of diamonds, the player with the four of diamonds would make the bring-in bet.


Assuming the player who brings the hand in does do so for the minimum, the next player to act (action, as in all forms of poker, moves in a clockwise direction) may choose to fold, call the minimum bet, or "raise" by "completing" the bet. For example, in the $3-$6 game, the first raiser would increase the bet from $1 to $3, a raise of only $2. Any further raises during this round would be in normal $3 increments.


Fourth Street (the second round of betting)

After the action has been completed on the opening round, the dealer gives a face-up card to each player remaining in the game. Unlike the first round, where the lowest hand was forced to start the action, in this second betting round, the highest hand on board has the option to start the betting; that is, the player showing the highest hand is called upon first to either bet or check.


Checking (declining to bet, but retaining the option to remain in the hand if someone else bets, or even to raise if someone else bets) is not an option on the first betting round, because the forced bring-in bet creates a bet that must be called or raised. The betting action starts with the highest visible hand throughout all further betting rounds. In the unlikely event of a tie, suits once again come into play. For example, if two players are each showing the highest hand with an ace-four (or four-ace; the order the cards are received in doesn't matter), the player with the higher suit would start the action.


Normally, all bets and raises are at the lower dollar figure (in our example here, $2) during the first two betting rounds, and at the higher dollar figure ($4 in this example) for the final three betting rounds. If, however, someone immediately makes an open pair on his first two upcards, he is allowed the option to immediately make the larger bet; that is, he can choose to bet either $3 or $6. He could also choose to check, however.


If the player bets $3, his opponents may call or raise in $3 increments. Because the open pair creates the possibility of the $6 wager, just because the player who owns the pair bets $3, the other players don't have to stick with that number. For example, Player A, who is showing an open pair of fives, might bet $3, and find himself immediately raised $6 by Player B (who puts $9 into the pot to do so). As soon as the $6 raise is made, the action stays at the $6 level; that is, Player C cannot re-raise $3 (putting $9 into the pot). If Player C wants to re-raise after Player B has raised $6, Player C must also raise $6.


Similarly, if Player A bets $6, all further calls or raises are in $6 increments.


Fifth and Sixth Streets

On "fifth street", you receive your third upcard, and then there is a round of betting, again started by the highest hand on board. There are no more $3 bets: all bets and raises are at the higher $6 increments. "Sixth street" is virtually identical: an upcard is dealt, the highest hand acts first, and all bets and raises are at the higher $6 increments.


Seventh Street, "The River"

The betting on "seventh street" is identical to "sixth street", but the card dealt is the last card you will receive, and it is dealt face down. After you examine this final card, you assemble your best possible five card poker hand out of the seven in front of you.


Seven-Card Stud High-Low

The game is played exactly as Seven-Card Stud High only the pot is splitted the same way as it happens in Omaha High-Low.




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