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Learning To Play Stud Poker
Stud poker is a game played with both face up and face down cards. It differs from the currently more prevalent Texas Holdem in many fundamental ways. Unlike Holdem, it does not feature community cards.
Also unlike Texas Holdem, order of wagering is not based on position at a table. Instead, this is usually determined by which player has the best hand showing. Stud does hold to the card rank and hand rank conventions that generally govern poker games.
Stud poker encompasses dozens of different poker variants. Many people learned poker playing five-card stud. Today, seven-card stud is the stud game played at profession tournaments.
Stud High can be a general term to describe the kind of card ranks being wagered upon in a game. When it comes to tournament-level game play, Stud High refers to games of Seven Card Stud High.
Seven Card Stud High
Seven Card Stud High requires players to build the best five card hand. This is used with the seven card dealt to each player. There are six rounds of betting, allowing players to set traps for opponents.
Since nearly half of all cards are unseen, players are able to feign relative strength or weakness based on the cards showing. Face down cards are called "hole cards". The hole cards are the first two cards dealt, along with the final or seventh card. These will be detailed later. First, let us focus on the deal.
At the beginning of a hand of Stud High, each player is dealt two cards face down. Each player is also dealt a third card, this one face up for all the players to see. The player with the best card showing begins the betting phase.
The player with the lowest card showing generally is required to place a "give in" bet. This is a small required bet to drive the action. From here, betting starts, usually in a clockwise manner around the table. When the first wager is made, the remaining players choose to call, raise or fold. Therefore, a player chooses to remain in the hand based on 3 of the 7 possible cards in the hand.
After the first round of betting is finished, the remaining players are dealt a fourth card face up. This card is called fourth street. At this point, the players have two cards face up and two cards in the hole. The player with the best two card hand showing restarts the betting. The same process continues as it did after the deal.
Fifth and Sixth Street
There are similar respective betting rounds after the fifth and sixth cards are dealt. These cards, which are called fifth and sixth street, are dealt face up like the fourth card was. Therefore, the fifth street betting round and the sixth street betting round are exactly the same as the fourth street betting round.
The seventh and final card dealt to the player is called Seventh Street. Because it is the last card the player receives, it is also called the "River" card. As with the deal, seventh street is dealt face down. This means that, in the final round of betting, players can see 4/7ths of their opponent's hand.
If two or more players bet through the five betting rounds, then a "showdown" occurs. All the cards are revealed and each player makes the best five card hand. In Stud High, this simply means the player with the highest card rank.
Stud High Low has two pots. I will discuss this on its own page.
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