Seven Card Stud

Playing Seven Card Stud requires a basic understanding of the game including the Seven Card Stud rules. Find more detailed information about the rules and strategies for stud poker games below.

Seven Card Stud Variations

Seven Card Stud is most often played in limit and so players who have a background in Limit Hold’em will have an advantage.

Although the game of Seven Card Stud can be played in the hi lo format whereby the players compete for the high and low portions of the pot, the game that is mainly spread is the hi variant (simply known as Seven Card Stud). This is the poker variant the we’ll discuss on this page but we also have a dedicated Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo section on our site.

How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker

A 7 Card Stud game usually has no more than eight players. All players will have to pay an ante before any cards are being dealt. The size of the ante in Seven Card Stud is normally 10% of the minimum bet. The game begins with each player at the table receiving three cards. Two cards are dealt face down and one card dealt face up.

There are five betting rounds and you get a total of seven cards. Three of the cards are dealt face down and only for you to see. Two cards are dealt in the first round and one in the last betting round. Sometimes there will too few cards remaining in the deck for all the players to receive the final downcard. In this scenario, a card is dealt face up on the table for all the players to share.

The player with the lowest ranked upcard starts the betting round with the bring-in. The player to the immediate left of the “bring in” will be last to act in that betting round (third street). If two or more players have the same high card, then the player closest to the left of the dealer is the first to act.

The first round of betting starts after the bring-in has been placed. Action in this round and all subsequent betting rounds moves around the table in a clockwise manner.

Positional strength is important in seven-card stud. You will always have an advantage over players to your right side, but positional strength varies throughout the game. The betting always begins with the player who has the highest hand.

On fourth street and all the way to seventh street the player with the highest ranked up-hand will act first, so positional strength changes all the time according to the strength of each players up-cards.

After that betting round has finished, another card is dealt face up (known as fifth street) to each player still left in the hand. Then there is another round of betting.

On sixth street, another card is dealt face up for all the players to share, followed by another betting round.

Then finally the seventh and final card is dealt face down (known as “the river”) should there be more than one player that is still in the hand, and a final round of betting begins.

The player that has the best five card hand using any combination of the seven cards in their hand wins the pot. The hand rankings are exactly the same as Texas Hold’em.

In fact, 7 Card Stud was the most popular poker game that was played at casinos up until the 1970s before Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em took over in popularity.

Seven Card Stud Strategy

It has to be said that Seven Card Stud is probably the most difficult off all poker games to master and most players are not that skilled at it. You have to take into account the large number of cards that are revealed in your opponent’s face up cards, the larger number of betting rounds, and the wider range of starting hands that you will be required to play, makes this game fairly technical and complex to play.

As a beginning Stud poker player, one of the most important skills you need to grasp and understand is good starting hand selection. It is incredibly important that you know when to fold and when to continue betting.

Because the game starts with three cards being dealt, you pretty much immediately get a good idea about how your hand looks. Once you get the fourth card, if you don’t start building a pretty decent hand, then it’s probably time to consider folding and looking for a better opportunity to pick up chips. But despite all of this this, 7 Card Stud is still played by a good number of avid Stud poker players that have a passion for the game even till this day.