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SEVEN CARD STUD
Seven Card Stud is probably the most popular of the stud games. It can result in high pots, and affords you the opportunity to evaluate the other player's possible hands. There are no community cards, and each player has four of his seven cards exposed to the other players. There are five rounds of betting in Seven Card Stud, as opposed to the four rounds in Hold'Em and Omaha.
Before any cards are dealt, all players must ante. This is a small bet, usually a fraction of the lower limit on the table. The size of the ante depends on the limits of the table you are playing, $0.50/$1.00 tables have no ante.
Each player is dealt three cards, one at a time, two face down (hole cards) and one face up (up card/door card). The player showing the lowest upcard must bring-in the first round of betting. The lowest card is determined by value, in the event of a tie, then it is the lowest suit. This is the only time that suits are used in poker. In order of lowest suit, it is clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, (alphabetical order).
The bring-in bet is a small bet slightly larger than the ante, and is also determined by the limit of the table you are playing, usually half the lower limit.
A normal round of betting follows with each player having the option to fold, call or raise to a full bet. Each raise is limited to the lower limit.
E.g. In a $10/$20 game, the ante is usually $1, the bring-in $5, and a full bet or complete bet is $10. In each round there is a maximum of 1 bet and 3 raises. The limit for bets is the lower limit for the first two rounds and the higher limit for the remaining rounds. The exception is if a player shows a pair on the second round he can go straight to the higher limit.
Fourth Street (second round of betting)
After betting has equalised, i.e. all players have bet the same amount, each player is dealt another card face up.
The player with the highest two face up cards starts the betting. If the highest two cards are a pair, they have the option to bet at either the higher or the lower limit. If two players are tied, then the player with the highest suit starts the betting.
Players can fold, call or raise, and providing that no-one has bet, they may also check (bet nothing), enabling them to see who else bets. If all players check, then play moves to the next round.
Fifth and Sixth Streets
In the fifth street each player receives another card face up. Betting starts the same as in the fourth street, but all bets are at the higher limit.
Sixth Street is identical to Fifth Street.
The highest hand showing starts the betting in each round.
Seventh Street (The River)
Each player receives their last card face down, and the player who started the betting in Sixth Street, starts the betting in this round.
Once betting has finished, the player who made the last strong raise or bet shows his five card hand, the best five card hand wins the pot.
Strategy & Tips
Fifth street is a decision time, as the betting limit increases, this is the time to fold a poor hand, especially against aggressive betting. If you stay in be sure you can play your hand out to the end.
If an opponents exposed cards beat your whole hand, it is best to fold.
If you are trying to make a straight, look to see if other players are showing the cards you need, and reconsider your bet.
If you are trying to make a flush, check to see how many of that suit are left not showing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you are trying to make a flush of diamonds, and you hold four and there are another eight showing, there is only one diamond left.
The advantage of playing online is that if you are quick you can write down what cards other players have before they fold, so helping you analyse what possible hands are still available. But you must be quick, as slow play will empty your table of players.
This is a game of patience, so be prepared to wait until you get good hands before betting heavy. Remember there are five rounds of betting in this game as opposed to four in Hold'Em and Omaha, and the level of play can hit the higher limit quicker.
The guide above was written and relates to Ladbrokes Poker website.