7 Card Stud Poker Basics

by Bill Burton

7 Card Stud Poker is one of the most popular games in the cardroom.  Everyone who has ever played poker at home is familiar with 7 card stud because most of the crazy home games such Baseball or follow the Ace are just variations of this game with different wild cards. 
In the card room the only thing wild are some of the players and the game is played with no wild cards. Because each player receives seven cards the number of players in a game is limited to seven or less.

7 Card Stud Poker: History
There are many theories about the history of Poker and the history of 7-Card Stud Poker. Likely, Poker came from the French card game Poque while at the
same time, there is a Persian game called Nas, played with a five-suit deck. Therefore, the game of Poker is probably a result of a combination of both Poque and Nas. The concept of bluffing originated from the English game brag, also known as Bragg that is very similar to Poker but played using only three cards.

Poker was around in 1829 in New Orleans and played with a 20-card deck consisting of all cards with values of 10 and higher=four tens, four jacks, four queens, four kings and four aces. The aim of the game was to bet on which five-card hand revealed the highest cards. This game was then played on Mississippi riverboats, where scam artists used a 52-card version to con unsuspecting travelers and claim their “pokes,” or gambling bankrolls.

Stud Poker arrived on the scene during the American Civil War and was known as
stud or stud-horse so named by cowboys in the Mid-West. 5-Card Stud
began the ‘variant cycle’ officially in 1864 followed by 7-Card Stud in the early 20th century. The game remained the most popular form of professional and casino Poker until the 1980’s, when there was a new game in town called Texas Hold ‘Em. We all know how the story ends today with Holdem at the top of the heap with professional and casual poker players alike.

The majority of Poker tournaments are based on 7-Card Stud or variations of it. Binions Casino in Las Vegas was the founder of the largest professional Poker
tournament, the World Series of Poker. The casino boasts a Poker Hall of Fame to memorialize the greatest Poker players in history. Featured are Wild Bill Hickok, who was shot and killed during a Poker game holding a two-pair hand of aces over eights, known as a dead man’s hand and Red Hodges, believed to be the greatest 7 Card Stud Poker player. 7-Card Stud is still an established game in Vegas, other land casinos worldwide and at online casinos.

Rules of the Game:
7 Card Stud has five betting rounds instead of the four found in Holdem and Omaha. There are also two betting variations you may encounter depending on the limits you want to play.
In the higher limits, the first two betting rounds are one amount and the limits double on the last three rounds.
For instance in a $5/10 game the first two rounds are five dollars and the last three are ten dollars.
In the lower limit games the betting levels are usually a spread amount. One of the most popular spreads for low limit games are $1-5. This means that a player can bet any amount with in that spread.
A player can bet any amount with $1 being the minimum bet and $5 being the maximum bet. 
If a player wants to raise he must double the amount of the bet.

7 Card Stud is an ante game. That means that each player must put some money in the pot before the game begins. The amount of the ante depends on the limit of the game and also may vary from card room to card room. Some cardrooms offer low limit spread games with no antes.

The Start
After the antes are put in the dealer scoops the money into the pot.  Each player is dealt two cards down and one card up beginning with the player to the immediate left of the dealer button. The two face down cards are called your hole cards and the up card is referred to as your “door card.”

Bringing It In
The first betting round is called Third Street because you have received three cards to begin the hand.  After the cards are dealt the first betting round begins.
In the first betting round the player with the lowest card showing is required to make a forced bet know as the “Bring in” bet. The size of this bet is slightly larger than the ante but less than the minimum bet. In a $1-5 game it is usually around 75 cents.
After the bet is made the next player on the immediate left of the player making the bring in bet has the option of calling the bet, folding, or raising. During this first round if a player wishes to raise the amount of the raise is not double but equal to the amount of the minimum bet for that game.  In a $1-5 it must be at least one dollar but no more that $5. In a $5/10 game the raise would be $5.

Fourth Street
After the betting is finished each player is dealt a second card face up and the second betting round begins. From this point on the action starts with the player showing the highest hand of each of the remaining betting rounds.
The player with the highest hand is not forced to bet. He can check and the player to his left then has the option of betting or checking.  If there is a bet and a player acting after the bet must call, fold or raise. A raise would be double the bet in a spread game or the higher denomination in a fixed betting game.

Fifth Street
When betting is complete, each active player is then dealt a third card face up. In a limit game the betting is now higher bet, So in a $5/10 game all the bets are now in multiples of $10.
The player with the highest hand showing acts first and can bet of check. The betting proceeds clockwise.
Sixth Street
A fourth card is dealt face up to all active players and there is another betting round with player showing the highest hand acting first.

Seventh Street
The seventh card is dealt face down. Each active player now has four up cards and three hole cards face down.
There is a final betting round and all players show their hands after the betting is complete. The highest five card hand wins the pot.
If one player makes a bet and all the others fold, that player wins by default and is not required to show his hand.

7 Card Stud Poker Strategy follows 7 Card Stud Basics
How to Play Poker 1 Program
Learn Poker Games 2 with 7 Game Types

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Tips, Terms & Wins

In 7 card Stud, your starting three cards make up 42% of your final hand.
The first thing you need to do after looking at your three cards is to look around the table at the up card of all the other players.

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