SEVEN-CARD STUD

Introduction

Seven-card stud has been a complex poker game that has needed much patience and attention.

Though it could be disappointing at times, since the best starting hand will often get beat, stud would still present a great deal of action that would make the poker game exciting and fun to play. There would be two crucial choices that would have to be made when playing seven-card stud poker.


The first would occur on the first betting round, which would be known as the third street, and would merely be whether to enter the pot. If you were to make this choice well, you would have to be able to beat most low-limit stud poker games provided, that is, that the rest of your game would be satisfactory. The second critical decision you would have to make when playing poker would be whether to carry on playing on the third betting round, which would be known as the fifth street. This would be the last occasion you would have to profitably throw away your poker hand.

If you were to continue to play a hand on the fifth street that you should have disposed, you could easily be ensnared for three double-sized bets. Of course, every choice you would make in seven-card stud poker would be important; any mistake could prove to be costly.

However, your talent to determine the best course of action on the third and fifth streets would be the prime factor that would conclude whether you would be a winner or a loser in this game of poker. As you will learn, to become an expert at seven-card would require numerous poker skills, many of which would be beyond the range of this book.

But the information that will follow should be useful in guarantying your success in the low-limit poker games.

HOW TO PLAY

In seven-card stud, each poker player would usually post an ante prior to the cards being dealt (although some low-limit poker games would require no ante). To begin the hand, all poker players would be dealt two downcards and one upcard. The poker player with the lowest upcard would need to start the action on the first betting round with a small bet, which would be called the bring-in. If more than one player were to have the same rank of low card, then suit in alphabetical order clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades would decide who must start the action.

The first poker player to the left of the bring-in would have three alternatives: He could throw his hand, call the bring-in, or raise to a full bet. If he were to fold or call the bring-in, the person to his left would have the same alternatives; however, if the first player were to raise to a full bet, the next person now would have the choice of  folding, calling the full bet, or raising again.

The action would progress clockwise in this manner until all poker players would have implemented their decisions and all bets would have been called. All poker players remaining in the hand then would receive three more upcards and a final card face down, with a betting round after each card were to be dealt. In these succeeding four betting rounds, the player with the high hand on board was to act first. If two hands were of equal high value, the poker player to the left of the dealer would commence the betting action. At the showdown, the player who would make the best five-card poker hand from the seven cards he would hold would win the pot. 

Structured-limit or fixed-limit seven-card stud poker games would have a double limit, with the lower limit used in the early betting rounds and the higher limit (which would typically double the lower limit) used in later rounds.Thus the lower bet would be permitted on the first and second betting rounds-referred to as the third street and fourth street-which matches the first three cards and the fourth card, and a double-sized bet would be needed on the third, fourth, and fifth betting rounds.

These later rounds match with the fifth, sixth, and seventh cards, and would be called, respectively,fifth street, sixth street, and seventh street, or the river.There would be one exclusion: If a poker player were to have an open pair on fourth street, either a single or a double-sized bet could be made.Here’s an example. Suppose you were to be playing three to six dollar seven-card stud. Everyone would ante fifty cents, the poker player with the low card would bring it in for one dollar,and the first player to his left would have the choices of folding, calling the one dollar bring-in, or raising to three dollars. Once the bet were to have been raised to three dollars, all succeeding bets and raises on both third and fourth streets would be in three dollar increments, unless a poker player dictionary were to make an open pair on fourth street.

In this case, any active player would have the choices of betting or raising either three or six dollars. All bets and raises on the last three betting rounds would be in six-dollar increments.

Normally, cardrooms would permit three or four raises. But heads up (two players), the number of raises would be infinite.Many low-stakes seven-card stud poker games have also been played with spread limits, where each poker player has had the choice to bet or raise an amount that wasn’t fixed.

As an example, in a usual one-to-four dollar spread-limit stud game, there is no ante, the low card brings it in for one dollar, and all bets and raises can be any amount from one to four dollar at the bettor’s judgement.Lastly, in some low-limit stud poker games, a jackpot has been conferred when a very strong hand has been beat by an even better hand.

To seed the jackpot pool, the houses have generally set aside a small amount of money from each pot, although sometimes an additional ante has been needed to sustain the jackpot.When a good hand, such as aces full of queens, would be beat, the player holding the losing hand has won either the entire jackpot or a large percentage of it.

In most cardrooms, the poker player holding the winning hand has also received a fraction of the jackpot, and sometimes all players dealt in the hand have been awarded a token amount of the prize money.Jackpot poker has at present been very trendy in many locations where poker has been legal.

Depending on the game, classic jackpots have ranged from two thousand to ten thousand dollars,but some have surpassed fifty thousand dollars.