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7-Card Stud Rules

The game begins with each player being dealt two cards face down and one card face up. The first betting round begins with the player showing the highest-ranking upcard, who may check. In this case, suit should not be used to break ties. If two players have the same high upcard, the one first in clockwise rotation from the dealer acts first. After the first betting round, another upcard is dealt to each player (after a burn card, and starting at the dealer's left as will all subsequent rounds), followed by a second betting round beginning with the player whose upcards make the best poker hand. Since fewer than five cards are face up, this means no straights, flushes, or full houses will count for this purpose. On this and all subsequent betting rounds, the player whose face-up cards make the best poker hand will act first, and may check or bet (up to the limit).

The second round is followed by a third upcard and betting round, a fourth upcard and betting round, and finally a downcard, a fifth betting round, and showdown if necessary. Seven-card stud can be summarized therefore as "two down, four up, one down". Upon showdown, each player makes the best five-card poker hand he can out of the seven cards he was dealt.

  • Royal flush: a hand containing an ace-high straight flush (i.e. A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣)
  • Straight flush: a hand which contains five cards in sequence, all of the same suit.
  • Four of a kind: a hand containing four cards of one rank, and an unmatched card.
  • Full house: also known as a boat or a full boat, is a hand which contains three matching cards of one rank, plus two matching cards of another rank.
  • Flush: a hand which contains five cards of the same suit, not in rank sequence.
  • Straight: a hand containing five cards of sequential rank, of varying suits.
  • Three of a kind: also called trips, is a hand which contains three cards of the same rank, plus two unmatched cards.
  • Two pair: a hand containing two cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank (that match each other but not the first pair), plus one unmatched card.
  • One Pair: a hand containing two cards of the same rank, plus three unmatched cards.

You may note that seven cards to eight players plus four burn cards makes 60 cards, and there are only 52 in the deck. In most games this is not a problem because several players will have folded in early betting rounds. But there are certainly low-stakes home games where few if any players fold. If this is the case in your game, you may want to limit the game to seven players. If the deck does become exhausted during play, previously-dealt burn cards can be used when only a few cards are needed to complete the deal. If even those are not sufficient, then on the final round instead of dealing a downcard to each player, a single community card is dealt to the center of the table, and is shared by everyone (that is, each player treats it as his seventh card). Under no circumstances can any discarded card from a folded hand be "recycled" for later use. Unlike draw poker, where no cards are ever seen before showdown, stud poker players use the information they get from face-up cards to make strategic decisions. A player who sees a certain card folded is entitled to make decisions knowing that the card will never appear in another opponent's hand.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Seven-card stud" and "Rank of hands (poker)".

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