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Stud Poker

Game Type
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In Stud Poker, each player is dealt one or more hole cards, face down. The remainder of his cards are dealt face up. The two most popular standard Stud Poker games are Five-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud. After each player is dealt at least one card face up (upcard), and after each subsequent deal, there is a betting interval before dealing is resumed. Stud Poker has cut into the popularity of Draw Poker because there are more betting rounds (and thus, bigger pots), and there is a fascination about seeing some of the opponents' cards and trying to fathom what the hole card or cards may be.

Laws of Stud Poker

Betting in Stud Poker. In each betting interval the player with the highest exposed combination has the right to bet first. In most games in the first interval, this player must bet at least the minimum established for the game. In any subsequent betting interval, the player may check.

If, in any betting interval, every active player checks, the interval ends. Another round of cards is dealt, or there is a showdown, as the case may be. If one player bets in any round, each active player after him must at least call the highest previous bet or drop.

At the start of each betting interval the dealer must announce which player bets first and identify the highest exposed holding, for example, "Pair of eights bets" or "First ace bets." The dealer should also announce, after the third and fourth face-up cards are dealt, any player's combination that, when combined with his hole card, may make a one-card draw to a flush or straight announced by saying "Possible flush" or "Possible straight."

Incomplete hands
For the purpose of establishing the first bettor in any interval, exposed cards rank from highest to lowest as follows:

Four of a kind: between two such hands, the four higher-ranking cards are high.

Three of a kind: if there are two such hands, the higher-ranking three of a kind is high.

Two pair: when two such combinations are showing, the highest pair determines the high hand, and if the highest pairs are the same, the higher of the two lower pairs.

One pair: between two such hands, the higher pair is high. If two hands have the identical pair, the highest unmatched card determines the high hand, and if these are identical, the higher of the two other cards.

The highest card: if two players tie for highest card, the next-highest card in their respective hands determines the high hand, and so on.

If there are two holdings that are identical card for card, the one nearest the dealer's left is high for purposes of betting but has no superiority over the other holding in the showdown.

Flush and straight combinations of four or fewer cards rank no higher, for determining the first bettor, than any other holdings including no pair except when a fourflush (four cards of the same suit) is played to beat a pair; in that case a fourflush showing bets ahead of a pair.

If, through the dealer's or his own error, all a player's cards are exposed, all are taken into consideration for establishing the first bettor. If, at the start of the final betting interval, that player has a straight, flush, full house, or straight flush showing, his hand outranks any combination of exposed cards that it would beat in a showdown.

At any time before the dealer begins dealing the second round of cards, a player who has not looked at a card dealt face down to him may call for a new shuffle, cut, and deal if the player notices that: 

  1. The pack was not shuffled or cut
  2. A card was exposed in cutting, or the cut left fewer than five cards in either packet
  3. Two or more cards are face up in the pack
  4. The pack is incorrect or imperfect in any way
  5. A player is dealing out of turn.

When there is a redeal, the same dealer deals again unless he was dealing out of turn, in which case the deal reverts to the proper player.

If the dealer deals too many hands, he shall determine which hand is dead and that hand is discarded. However, if a player has looked at the hole card of any hand, he must keep that hand.

If the dealer deals too few hands, he must give his own hand to the first omitted player to his left.

If the dealer gives a player two face-down cards instead of one during the first round of dealing, he turns up one of the cards and then omits that player on the second round of dealing (unless the rules of the game require two hole cards, as in Seven-Card Stud). The player who received the two cards may not look at them and then turn one of them up.

If the dealer gives a player more than two cards on the first deal, that player may require a redeal before the second round begins. If the error is not noted until later, his hand is dead.

If, in dealing any round of face-up cards, the dealer omits a player, he moves the cards one place backwards, so as to give each player the face-up card he would have had if no error had been made. However, if the error is not noticed before the first bet is made, the hand of the player who was omitted is dead.

Exposed card
If the dealer gives any player a hole card face up, the player must keep that card and receive his next card face down. The player has no redress, except to receive his next card face down, unless the dealer repeatedly fails to correct the error until the player has four cards. At that point, if the dealer has never given him a face-down card, the player may drop out and withdraw all his chips from the pot. If the player stays for his fifth card, and the fifth card is dealt face up, the player may withdraw his chips from the pot or may remain in the game and play with an exposed hand.

Dead cards
A card found face up in the pack during a round of dealing must be dealt to the appropriate player. If a card at the top of the pack is exposed during a betting interval, either because it is face up in the pack or prematurely dealt, it is discarded. In dealing the next round of face-up cards, the dealer skips the player who would have received that card and deals in rotation, ending with the player who would have received the exposed card. In each subsequent round, the dealer deals in the normal rotation.

Impossible call
If the last player to speak in the final betting interval calls a bet when his five cards, (whatever his hole card may be) cannot possibly beat the four showing cards of the player whose bet he calls, the call is void and the chips may be retracted, provided that a player calls attention to the error before the hole card of any other active player is shown.
Error in Valuing the Hand. If the dealer errs in calling the value of a hand or in designating the high hand, no player has any redress. If the player incorrectly designated makes the first bet, it is not a bet out of turn.

Hole Card Irregularity
The dealer does not have the option of dealing a player's first card up and his second card down intentionally. A player may not turn up his hole card and receive his next card face down. If he turns up his hole card, he must play the round with his cards exposed.