How to Play 7-Card Stud Poker
Stud Poker has been around for many years, and is still played at many casinos around the world, despite the popularity of draw and flop-based games, like Texas Hold 'em and Omaha. So, understanding how to play stud requires first understanding how it differs from other games.
When you hear the word "stud" it means that the cards you get are the cards you play. There isn't an opportunity to draw any more cards, like in 5-card draw, and there will not be any community cards, like with Omaha. One of the inherent problems with playing stud is the number of cards in the deck. When there's 10 players trying to play 7-card stud, it requires a maximum of 70 cards. It is assumed that not all players will get all seven cards, but from this basic calculation you can now understand why 5-card stud, Hold 'em, and Ohama are played the way they are. So, assuming that there's only 6 players at the table, then 42 cards are the maximum required to allow all players to participate.
A hand of 7-Card Stud starts with all player either paying an ante, or there may be a blind structure, and from there, 2 cards are dealt face down to every player, and then one card is dealt face up. There are multiple variations as to who starts the betting and how much they are to pay, but from here, the first ound of betting occurs. Players will either call, raise, or fold and when finished, players that remain in the hand receive another card face up. This continues until the players have 2 cards down, and 4 cards face up, then the final card is face down. "Down and Dirty" is often how it is referred. One more round of betting occurs, and then each player will reveal their best 5 card poker hand, and the best of all the hands wins the pot, or side pot, if there is one.
7-stud poker can be played as a cash game or tournament, and there are many variations such as High Only, Razz(Best Low), and High / Low. Other silly things are wild cards, "Follow the Queen", Chicago(low spade in the hole wins part of the pot), and it is the basis for Midnight Baseball
One of the reasons that people prefer to play stud, is that they can see a majority of the cards of their opponents and can make more educated decisions based on it. This can be used to make an appropriate fold, or it can be used as a basis for a successful bluff.
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