While many players are drawn to hold 'em poker, seven card stud has remained another popular, and equally as rewarding, game. It is a game I have always played with friends and family and I think it is a fun game for anyone who likes poker. Today I will discuss the rules for playing seven card stud.
All players must first ante before they receive their initial cards, except the $ 0.50 / $ 1 game which has no ante. There are five betting rounds in a complete game of 7 Card Stud, not including the ante.
On the first round of betting, the low card by suit is required to initiate action with a bet equal to half the lower limit (bring-in). Suits are ranked: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds, clubs. On subsequent rounds, the high hand on board initiates betting action. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first. In all cases, the dealer will inform the players as to who acts first.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $ 4 / $ 8 game, all bets and raises are $ 4 for the first two rounds. The exception to this rule is if any player displays a pair with their 2 face-up cards on 4th Street. In this circumstance, all players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent increases must be made at the higher limit.
Each bet and raise during the last three rounds of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $ 4 / $ 8 game, all bets and raises are $ 8 for the last three rounds (5th street, 6th street and the river).
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any particular betting round is four. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can not be raised anymore. Once the pot is capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding.