Seven Card Stud - Bumped by Texas Hold'em

Seven Card Stud Poker, at one time, was THE poker game to play. But then along came Texas Hold’em Poker and its popularity waned.

History of Seven Card Stud Poker

Despite the fact that these days Texas hold’em poker has taken some of the limelight off of seven card stud poker, the latter is still a fun game to play, popular in US casinos especially in the east. The game stands for the S in H.O.R.S.E (which is Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Eight or Better).

Bring In, Open, Terminology in Seven Card Stud Poker

Players are dealt three cards in the first betting round: two face down and one face up. If the game is played with a “bring-in” then the player who has the lowest ranking card facing up pays that and thereafter the betting begins. It always starts clockwise like other poker games. This is considered an “open.” An “open” is whereby a player voluntarily chooses to begin the betting; in other words, he or she “opens” the round. In this case, the next player whose turn it is, is not allowed to check. Yet if there is a situation in which two players have equally ranked low cards, the suit is used to break the tie and assign the bring-in. In a situation in which a bring-in does not exist, the first betting round starts with the player showing the highest ranking face up card being able to check. If this is the case, suit should not be used to determine a tie. If there is a situation in which two players have the same high face up card, it is the one who is closest to the dealer clockwise who makes the first move.

After First Betting Round

Each player now gets another card faced up (after a burn card) and this begins from the player sitting next to the dealer’s left. A second betting round then ensues. The first player to start that is the one whose card facing up makes the best poker hand. As there are less than five cards which are face up, a player cannot use any straights, flushes or full houses for this. The one who has the best poker hand at this stage will act first and may actually bet up to the game’s limit.

Next Betting Rounds

There are five betting rounds all in all (and sometimes a showdown if need be). A showdown is a situation in which there is one or more player remaining after the last betting round. In this situation all other players have to reveal and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners of the game. In a showdown situation all players have to form the best 5 card poker hand from the 7 cards he or she was dealt.