Seven Card Variations


Most people know that the game of poker has almost as many variants as cards in the deck. One branch of these variants is the many variations on the “seven card” game. As the name implies, the one connecting feature is that all of these games involve playing with seven cards over the traditional five.


The first and most common variation is seven card stud. Until the recent surge in popularity of Texas Hold 'em, seven card stud was the most popular variant of the game. Two to eight players can play in a seven card stud game. The game plays as usual with the dealer passing cards clockwise, Two cards are dealt face down to each player and one card face up. After this, betting proceeds clockwise with the high card betting first. Then another card is dealt to each player, face up. Another round of betting follows and then another face up card is dealt to each player. Betting continues again and the another face up card is dealt. After yet another round of betting, the last card is dealt face down and the players then place bets based on their hands.


Perhaps the most popular seven card variant is Texas Hold 'em. The surge in popularity is due in large part to the rise in popularity of televised poker tournaments which most often feature Texas Hold 'em. In this variant, the dealer gives each player two cards face down. These are called the “hole” or “pocket” cards. A round of betting based on these two cards begins. Then the dealer “flops” three cards face up on the table. These are community cards, and every player uses them as potential parts of their hands. This is followed by another round of betting, and then a fourth flop card is dealt, followed by another round of betting. Finally, a fifth card is dealt. This is called the “River” and is followed by yet another round of betting. During game play, all players may raise or fold as in any poker game.


In Omaha Hold 'em, the game is similar to Texas Hold 'em except each player is dealt four hole cards instead of two. Betting is identical to Texas Hold 'em. At showdown, the player's best five card hand must be made from three of the five cards on the board, plus two of his own cards. Technically, the player plays with nine cards, though two of his cards are not counted.


In the game of seven-card flip, each player is dealt four cards face down. Each player then chooses two of these cards to turn face up. All cards are turned over simultaneously once they have been chosen, to prevent players from changing the cards they wish to turn over based upon the other's choices. At this point the game proceeds like a regular game of seven card stud, with three more rounds of cards still to be dealt.


The game of Chicago is a variation of seven card stud. In Chicago, the high hand splits the pot with the player who holds the highest ranking spade among his down cards. In Little Chicago it is the lowest ranking spade that splits the pot. Among players of Little Chicago, the former variant is called Big Chicago. This is sometimes refered to as Chicago High By Night and Chicago Low By Night.


The game of poker has enjoyed a tremendous boost from televised poker tournaments and celebrity poker matches. These have in turn fueled an online poker market that is booming. With each successive tournament season, poker’s popularity grows exponentially.


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