7 Card Stud Rules

7 Card Stud Poker is an exciting poker game and the most popular of the stud games. Until the recent popularity of Texas Hold’em Poker it was the worlds most popular poker variant. Lets take a look at some of the rules of 7 Card Stud that makes this new poker game so great.

The game can be played with between 2 and a maximum of 8 poker players plus the dealer, which is not too dissimilar to Texas Hold’em. But, unlike Texas Hold’em and Omaha, Seven Card Stud is not a “community card” game. This means that the cards dealt to each player are the cards that are used to make the highest ranked poker hand, and the same applies to your opponent’s hands.

There are no “blinds” to post in 7 Card Stud Hi. Instead, the game begins with each player posting the “ante” to build the initial pot, which is a fixed amount of money each player is required to put in the pot ($0.010-$0.25 in a $1-$2 game, for example).

After players have posted their ante, each player is dealt three starting cards. Two of these cards are dealt face down and are visible only by each player. These cards are called your “hole cards”. One card is dealt face up. This is called the “door card” and can be seen by everyone at the table.

The player who gets dealt the lowest door card must post the “bring in”. Like the ante this is another forced bet designed to start building the initial pot, which is a fixed bet relative to the limits of the game.

The bring in bet is usually no less then half of the table’s lower limit but the player does have the option of making a full bet. So, in a $1/$2 game, the first player can bring in for $0.50 or for $1, which is the amount equal to the small bet. If two or more players have the same low card, the suit of the card is used to determine who has to bring in first in this order: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.

The play then moves in a clockwise manner and players are given the choice of folding, calling the initial bet or completing the bring in bet. This is referred to as the “3rd street” betting round. Once all players have completed their action the next card is dealt and a new betting round commences.

4th Street:

After the fourth card is dealt to all the players the next round of betting begins. After all betting actions are completed the 5th card is dealt face up.

5th Street:

The fifth card is dealt out to each player and the next round of betting occurs.

6th Street:

The sixth card is dealt face up and another betting round commences. Once all betting action has taken place, a seventh and final card is dealt.

7th Street (also called the River):

The seventh card is dealt face down this time and is only visible by the individual player. After another round of betting takes place, with all remaining players revealing their seven cards to determine the winner. This is called the “showdown”.

The Showdown 

All the remaining active players in the game are required to show their cards. The active player to bet or raise last on the seventh street is required to show their hand first and the other players expose their cards in a clockwise manner around the table.

The winner is the player with the best five-card poker hand. If two or more players have the same hand, the pot will be equally divided between them.

Additional Information

As you can see, 7 Card Stud Poker has more betting rounds than Texas Hold’em poker. The game offers a good alternative to the more popular poker games, as 7 Card Stud Poker is easy to learn and fun to play. This attracts novice poker players, as new players can sit down and learn to play 7 Card Stud Poker in a couple of minutes, and with a little luck, rake in some nice sized pots.

Seven Card Stud Poker also appeals to more players as they get to see more face cards (more information) before putting money into the pot and in theory can use that information to gain an edge over your opponents. You must take into account all of the exposed cards you can see and cards players have folded.

Betting Options and Rules

As with other forms of poker, in 7-Card Stud Poker the available betting actions are to either fold, check, bet, call or raise. A player may have the option to check if a player has not already bet in the same betting round, otherwise they would be required to fold, call or raise.

The fixed limit betting structure in 7 Card Stud is most commonly played. This means all the bets and raises must be in fixed increments. For example, in a $2/$4 7-Card stud fixed limit game, all bets are made in increments of the small bet, which would be $2. For the first two rounds of betting, the betting amount is equal to the lower limit of the game. But then in the final three rounds of betting, the betting amount doubles to the higher limit of the game, which would be $4 in the same $2/$4 game.

On the second betting round and all subsequent betting rounds, the action starts with the player showing the highest ranked hand and moves clockwise player after player until all the players have acted on their hand.

Other Stud Poker Variants 

There are several different variants of Stud Poker that can be played online and offline. Another variant of 7 Card Stud, is 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, otherwise known as “Stud Eight or Better”. This variation of Stud is a “split pot” game with two or more players competing for the pot. There are two possible winning hands, the best highest ranked poker hand and the best lowest ranked poker hand.