7 Card Stud
If No Limit Texas Hold’em is the Rolls Royce of poker then 7 Card Stud might be something like an old school luxury ocean liner. It comes from a different era when things weren’t all about hustle and bustle. It also came from a time when people enjoyed things that were well crafted. The game is one that requires you to keep track of the cards that have been exposed and have a good understanding of the percentages of your hand improving. It also requires you to be able to read and bluff your opponents.
In 7 Card Stud every player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. There is then a betting round that is usually started by the lowest up card bringing in a forced bet. After this there is another card dealt face up and the betting is opened up by the highest two up cards. This process is repeated until there are four total up cards. The last card is dealt down so that the player ends up with three down cards and four up cards. Like any poker game the player’s best five cards make up their hand.
The game is nearly always played in a limit format in the US with all players paying an ante. In other parts of the world they play the game as a half or full pot game which can certainly make for a big game.
The most difficult thing for a Hold’em player to learn about the game of Stud is to keep track of the cards that have been dealt face up to other players. If for example you have a pair of 7’s but you see other players have been dealt the two other 7’s, you will know that there is no chance of hitting another 7. This is a very important part of the game.
Stud is a great game to learn and is a nice change of scenery from communal card games like Hold'em and Omaha. You will find that many of the skills you learn in this game will help you develop into a well rounded poker player.