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7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw Rules and Betting Structures

Although surpassed in popularity by Texas Hold'em during the last 10 years, 7 Card Stud remains a favorite among home game and casino players alike. In 7 Card Stud, players are dealt seven cards (three face down and four face up) throughout the course of the hand, but only the best five card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner. Unlike Hold'em and Omaha, all cards are unique to each individual player and no community cards are used. 7 Card Stud is usually played as a limit game, with bets and raises at the lower limit for the first two rounds and at the higher limit for the last three rounds (fifth street onwards).

5Card Draw

5 Card Draw is a classic poker game which you've probably seen played lots of times in old westerns. Each player is dealt 5 cards face-down and has the opportunity to change any or all of their cards in the hope of making a better hand. There are only 2 rounds of betting.

 Betting Structures

•  Antes, Bring-Ins and Betting Rounds

7 Card Stud begins with each player posting an ‘ante'. This is a small amount which varies depending on the size of the game.

Three cards are then dealt to each player, two cards face down which only the individual player can see, and one card face up which is visible to the entire table.

The player showing the lowest up-card must make a forced bet known as the ‘bring-in'. As with the ante, the size of the bring-in varies depending on the game stakes. For the purposes of determining the bring-in, ties in card rank are broken by suit, with spades being the highest, then hearts, then diamonds and clubs the lowest. Note that this is the only time in poker where card suits determine which hand is higher.

For example: Let say both player A and player B both are showing the lowest up card, a 3.

Player A has the 3 of spades and player B has the 3 of clubs, player B would make the bring-in as clubs is lower than spades.

Again from highest to lowest; Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs.


Betting continues in a clockwise direction from the bring-in with players having the usual options of folding, calling or raising.

After the action has been completed on the opening round of betting, each player remaining in the game is dealt a card face-up (fourth street). Unlike the opening round, where the lowest hand was forced to start the action, the highest hand showing now starts the action by either betting or checking. If no player is showing a pair the betting will always be at the lower limit, however if a pair is showing players have the option to bet and raise at the higher limit.

Once the action has been completed, all remaining players are dealt a further card face-up (fifth street) and a new round of betting ensues (again with the highest hand showing starting the action).

The sixth card is the last card to be dealt face-up, and another round of betting follows.

The seventh and final card is dealt face down, so all players now have 3 face-down cards known only to themselves, and 4 face-up cards with which to make their final 5 card poker hand. After a final round of betting a showdown occurs (if necessary) to determine the winner.

With 5 Card Draw, there are only two rounds of betting, one before cards are changed, (the ‘draw') and one after. The game is played with a dealer button that moves clockwise around the table after each hand. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button posts a ‘small blind' and the player to his/her left posts the ‘big blind'.

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