The first round of a game of 7-card Stud is called 3rd street. Every player starts by posting a mandatory blind bet called an ante. The ante is 10% of the size of the high end of the betting structure of a fixed limit game. Each player is then dealt three cards, with the last one being visible to everybody. Then, the player with the lowest showing cards must make a forced bet called the bring-in. The bring-in is usually between 10% and 30% of the high end of the betting structure. On Zero Gravity Poker software, the bring-in corresponds to 30% of the high end of the betting structure. The player who must make the bring-in also has the option to “Complete” to the full amount of the low-end of the betting structure. After that, betting proceeds clockwise from the bring-in. Players can either complete the bring-in if it hasn't been completed or raise another unit of the low end of the structure. For details on raise policy in a fixed limit game, please view fixed limit bet rules.
On 4th street, each players are dealt an additional face-up card. Then the betting round begins. The first player to act on 4th street and subsequent streets is the player with the highest showing hand.
On 5th street, players are dealt one more face-up card. Again, the first player to act is the one with the highest showing hand. On 5th street and subsequent rounds, bets are now in increment of the high-end of the betting structure.
On 6th street, players are dealt a last face-up card. Betting then proceeds.
On 7th street, players are dealt a final face-down card and a last betting round proceeds. In the rare instances that not enough cards are left in the deck to give each player a card, a single community card will be placed in the middle as the final card for everyone. If two or more players are still in after the last betting round, we move to showdown.
If showdown is reached, a player who has made a bet on the river and has been called is forced to show his hand first. Naturally, the winning player cards will automatically be shown. The rest of the players will have the choice of showing their hands or mucking, starting to the left of the player who made the forced bring-in. The player to win the pot is the player who makes the best five card hand out of his seven cards. In the high-low variation of Stud poker, pots are won according to high-low pot rules.
In fixed limit games, bets and raises can take any of two values. They can either be low end bets or high end bets (somewhat like big blind/small blind in a Hold'Em game but not quite like that). Players are not allowed to bet or raise any other amount except if they go all-in. Zero Gravity uses a Full raise policy on incomplete bets/raises. A bet is considered a full bet only if it is bigger than half of the required minimum bet/raise. If it is not, it is considered merely a call with few extra chips. In that case, action is not reopened to players who have already acted this round.
In the Hi-Low variations of poker, the pot is split half and half between a high hand and a low hand. If no players are able to make a lowhand, the pot is entirely awarded to the player holding the best high hand. For details on high hands rankings, please view hand rankings. To understand how low hands are made, please view low qualifier.
Hands are ranked from best to worst this way:
1. Straight Flush : Five cards in a row of the same suit
2. Four Of A Kind : Four cards of the same value
3. Full House : Three cards of the same value + two cards of the same value
4. Flush : Five cards of the same suit
5. Straight : Five cards in a row
6. Three of a kind : Three cards of the same value
7. Two Pairs : Twice two cards of the same value
8. Pair : Two cards of the same value
9. High cards : 5 cards of different value
In order to win the low part of the pot, a player must first qualify for a low hand. In order to "qualify" or be holding a low hand, a player must have five different card 8 or lower. Once players are qualified, the player who actually wins the low pot is the one who has the lowest highest card. So if a player1 holds A-2-3-5-7 and player2 holds A-2-3-4-7, player2 wins the pot. Likewise, if player1 holds A-2-3-4-8 and player2 holds 3-4-5-6-7, player2 wins the pot. It is important to note that straights and flushes do not count against you while making a low hand.