There are many exciting poker variants, but two of the most popular are Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em poker. These poker games each have their similarities and differences, but which one should you play?
Find out how to play each of these exciting poker games and why you might want to pick one over the other, regardless of whether you’re playing online poker or poker in person.
How to Play Seven Card Stud
If you’re interested in playing this poker variation, let’s start by taking a look at the Seven Card Stud rules.
Seven Card Stud is a standard game of draw poker that uses a 52-card deck and the standard poker hand rankings. In order to win you must use your seven cards to form the highest-ranking five-card poker hand or be the last player remaining in the game. It accommodates a maximum of eight players in a game.
At the start of each game, players make a predetermined ante bet. After ante bets are placed, each player receives a card until they have a total of three cards. The last of the three cards is dealt face up, so all players know one of the three cards that you are holding.
Once all the players have received their cards, the next round of play begins. The player with the lowest value card facing up is the first to play. The action continues clockwise around the board, with each player deciding whether they should check (if they don’t want to raise), fold (if they want to forfeit their hand), raise (make a bet to increase the pot) or call (if another player raises).
With the second round of betting complete, each player still in the game receives another card facing up and the third round of betting begins. Now the player with the highest value cards that are visible is the first to play. The action again continues clockwise around the board, with each player again deciding whether to check, fold, raise or call.
Once all players have completed their actions, a third card is dealt face-up to the remaining players. Again, the player with the highest value cards goes first, with action proceeding clockwise around the board, as in previous rounds.
Again, once all the players have completed their actions, a fourth card is dealt face-up to anyone still in the game. Play proceeds clockwise from the player with the highest value cards.
Once all the players have completed their actions, it’s now the final round of betting. Players receive a fifth card, but this time the card is dealt face down. Play again continues clockwise from the player with the highest value cards.
After the final round of betting, all the players must reveal their cards. The player with the strongest five-card poker hand out of their total of seven cards wins.
The round ends and a new round of play begins.
How to Play Texas Hold’em
Basic Texas Hold’em poker rules are easy to pick up, but before we begin, if you are unsure about any of the terminology associated with Texas Hold’em, be sure to check out our complete Texas Hold’em terminology guide. With that out of the way, here’s how you play the game.
Texas Hold’em is a community card poker game that uses a regular 52-card deck. Hold’em poker hands use the same standard hand rankings as most other poker games. In order to win in this variant, you must use your two hole cards and the three community cards to form the highest-ranking five-card poker hand or be the last player remaining in the game. It accommodates a maximum of nine players in a game.
In a game of Texas Hold’em in a casino or other dedicated real or virtual poker venue, there is a dedicated dealer. However, if you’re playing from home, you can decide which player starts off as the dealer, with each player taking on the dealer role after each hand in a clockwise direction around the table.
Before any player receives their cards, the small blind and big blind must first make their bets. The small blind is the player immediately to the left of the dealer, while the big blind is the player immediately to the left of the small blind. The small blind must place half of the minimum bet value, while the big blind must place the minimum bet value.
After each hand of poker, the small blind and big blind (and the dealer if you don’t have a dedicated person handling the cards) will rotate one player clockwise to ensure fair play. This is because players who are first to act are at a disadvantage compared to players who act last. A player who acts first has no information about how their opponents are going to play, while the last player has the most information about how the other players will act. A button or marker is used in most games to keep track of player positions.
Once the blinds have been added to the pot, the dealer will deal each player a card until they have two cards. These are their hole cards and must not be shown to other players. Once each player has looked at their hole cards, the action starts from the small blind and moves clockwise, with each player deciding whether to fold, raise or call. Once each player has completed their actions, the first betting round is complete.
The dealer then takes the top three cards from the deck and places them face up in the center of the poker table. These are the first three community cards, which are the cards all the players will be using to try to make the strongest hand possible. This round is known as the flop. Again, the action starts from the player to the left of the dealer, with players deciding to check, fold, raise or call.
When every player has acted, a fourth community card is drawn and revealed. This round of betting is known as the turn. As with the previous round, players who are still in the game must decide whether they want to check, fold, raise or call.
Once again, after every player has completed their actions, the fifth and final community card is drawn and revealed. This round is known as the river. Again, all the players who are still in the game must check, fold, raise or call.
If there are still at least two players left in the game after the river, the showdown begins. All the remaining players must reveal their hole cards to see who has the strongest hand when combined with the community cards. The player with the strongest hand claims the pot and the action starts again from the beginning.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t the only way to win in Texas Hold’em. If, during any round, only one player remains in the game, they win the pot. They do not have to reveal their cards in order to win.
These rules apply to Texas Hold’em online and offline games.
Which Poker Variant Should You Pick?
Now that you know how both of these poker variants work, you may be wondering which poker variant you should pick.
It’s well known that Texas Hold’em is the more popular game and some find the fast gameplay more exciting, but does that make it an automatic pick over Seven Card Stud? Let’s take a look at why you may want to pick each of these poker variations.
Why Pick Seven Card Stud?
Here are some of the reasons you may want to pick Seven Card Stud:
It’s a game that caters to poker veterans.
It’s a slower game since it has more betting rounds.
It’s slightly harder to get into but easier to master since more cards are dealt face-up, making it easier to decide when you should battle for the pot and when you should fold.
It’s a much-needed breath of fresh air if all you play is Texas Hold’em.
Why Pick Texas Hold’em?
Here are some of the reasons you may want to pick Texas Hold’em over Seven Card Stud:
It’s easier to learn and play and is also more likely to have novice players.
It doesn’t require the same level of focus as Seven Card Stud.
Your position is predictable and can help your decision-making.
It more easily caters to limit and no-limit players.
It’s easier to find a game online, even at quieter times of the day, because of how popular it is.
Games of Hold’em are quicker since the variant has fewer betting rounds.
Enjoy All These Poker Variants and More at BetMGM
If you enjoy Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em poker, you can find these and other exciting poker variants at BetMGM. Our online poker site offers players no-limit, fixed limit and pot limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo and Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. These variants can be played as cash games, but some variants are also a part of our regular online poker tournament schedule.
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