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Seven Card Stud: Eights or Better

How to Play 7-card Stud Eights or Better
by K. Swope of

Seven Card Stud was amongst some of the more popular games between professional players for many years. Now it is not so common in small level buy-ins, but can still be found near the high-roller’s tables.

Any seven card game can only be played with a max of eight players in either cash or tournament play. Stud poker uses the ante and bring-in bet structure.

To begin a dealer is designated with a disk or button. Each player then places the ante in the pot. Antes are normally 1/10 of the small bet. The dealer then gives each player two cards face down and one card face up in a clockwise motion.

The player with the lowest valued card showing must place a “bring-in” bet or may choose to make a normal small bet. The “bring-in” bet is typically 3/10 or 30% of the small bet.

Action moves to the left of the bring-in player and bettors may simply call the bring-in or raise to the small bet amount.

Stud is played in a Limit betting fashion. Players are only allowed to bet or raise the small amount when opening and on the door card, also known as, Fourth Street. Players may then bet and raise the large amount on the following three cards.

After the bring-in and betting the remaining players are then dealt the “door card” or Fourth Street card face up. The player with the best hand showing is the first to act.

On the occasion that a player’s door card makes a pair, then any player may choose to make a double bet or more simply put a player may make the large amount bet rather than a small amount wager. (Example in a 10/20 game player’s cards: xxKK this player or any following player may bet 20 instead of 10.)

After betting takes place each remaining player is given another card face up known as Fifth Street. The player with the best hand now showing must act first.

After the round of betting each player receives another card face up known as Sixth Street. Again the best showing hand acts first and betting takes place. The remaining players receive a final card face down commonly known as the river. A round of betting commences and the players in the hand reveal their cards.

In Eights or better the pot is divided equally between the best high hand and the best low hand. In the instance that the pot can not be split evenly the small extra amount goes to the player with the winning high hand.

High hand is determined using the standard poker scale of a single high card up to a Royal Flush. In order to qualify for the low hand a player must have a combination of five cards that are eight and below. (8, 6, 3, 2, A) In Stud Eights or better the Ace acts as both a high and low card.

When determining which player is to be the bring in bet the Ace is represented as a high card.


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