Seven Card Stud is one of the traditional, original forms of poker.
The game is played with a Fixed Limit (FL) betting structure and uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards with no joker. The poker hand rankings are the same as Texas Hold'em or Omaha, with a Royal Flush being the most valuable hand.
A player uses the best 5 of the 7 cards they can be dealt. Unlike Hold'em or Omaha, there are no shared cards, except in one very unusual circumstance.
There is a dealer button that moves after each hand, but its main purpose is to show the order that the cards will be dealt. It also serves as a reference to award odd chips in split pots or during Hi/Lo games.
There are no compulsory blinds taken from the two players next to the dealer.
All players must contribute an ante to the pot before being dealt in. The ante is a percentage of the blind structure being played. At Replay, the ante in a 50/100 table is 10 chips.
Every player initially receives three cards, one face up and two face down. Everyone can see the 'up' cards. All players must only use their own cards to make a poker hand.
Third Street and Betting
In the first round of betting, the player with the lowest ranked up card must make a nominal bet. This is called the 'bring in,' and is smaller than the normal opening bet size of the small blind. On Replay, it is usually 20% of the big blind, or 40% of the small blind.
If two players tie for the lowest ranked card, the tiebreaker is the suit. Clubs are the lowest suit, then diamonds, then hearts, and finally, spades are highest.
The first player may bet the bring in, or make a full sized bet of whatever the small blind is. Any player may 'complete' the bring in to a full sized bet, but this does not count as a raise. The raising on Third Street is in increments of the small blind.
As with all fixed limit games, there is a cap of one bet and four raises on each street.
All the players are dealt a second face-up card.
Starting with Fourth Street, the player with the highest ranked up-cards begins the betting round. From now on, the first player may check instead of being forced to bet. The betting is the size of a small blind again, except when a player shows a pair.
NOTE: If any player has a pair showing, all players have the option to double raise the bet to the big blind on this street.
Until somebody exercises this option, the betting can remain at the small blind level. However, when any player makes a double raise, the following raises must also be in increments of the big blind.
Example: When the player who acts first displays 5h 5d in a 100/200 limit game, they will see the options to check, bet 100, or bet 200. If they bet 100, the next player will see the options to call 100, raise to 200, or raise to 300.
There will still be a maximum of four raises, no matter at what point, if any, a player makes a double raise.
This is traditionally called 'expensive street,' as the betting becomes the big blind amount for the rest of the pot.
All the players are dealt a third face up card. Betting begins from the strongest cards showing.
At this stage, you'll be able to see your hand strength. It is the first time a complete poker hand is possible.
All the players are dealt a fourth face-up card. Again, betting begins from the strongest cards showing.
All the players are dealt a seventh and final card, face-down, and only visible to themselves.
As before, a round of betting ensues, starting from the strongest cards showing.
After betting completes, the players use their strongest five-card poker hand possible from their seven cards to make a claim on the pot.
The Community Card
In the exceptionally rare instance where all players require a seventh card and there aren't enough cards left in the deck to provide them all with a card, the seventh card will be dealt face-up onto the table as a Community Card.
Because the maximum table size at Replay's Seven Card Stud is eight players, this will only happen if all eight remain at the start of Seventh Street.
All players use the Community card, as happens in Hold'em or Omaha.