Introduction to 7 Card Stud Poker 

Stud poker represents a variety of poker game where players are dealt with several cards, face-up and face-down. The first type of Stud Poker was named 5 Card Stud and was first played during the American War of Independence, but was quickly supplanted by a 7 card Stud poker game. 

7 card Stud had been considered to be the most popular type of poker before Texas Hold’Em took over the crown around 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won WSOP and initiated the global rise in demand and popularity of Texas Hold’Em. However, there is still a huge fan base for 7 card Stud and whose members consider it a purer type of poker.

The players are dealt with 7 cards throughout the hand, and the best 5-card poker hand wins the pot. The game is divided into 5 rounds of betting, and the betting turn moves clockwise around the table. 

Before receiving their first cards, all players need to post an ‘ante’ bet. This bet is mandatory for all players and ensures there is some initial pot. Then, the dealer distributes three cards to each of the players at the table, with 2 cards dealt face down and one dealt face up. The former are called ‘hole’ cards, and the latter is called the ‘door’ card. The player with the lowest door card makes the ‘bring-in,’ and the action begins. 


Different Rules of 7 Card Stud 

Although some will claim that Stud Poker is a game that takes a lifetime to learn, the 7 card Stud rules are relatively simple, and you don’t need a lifetime to master them. As we said, the game begins when players are given two face-down cards and a face-up card. The player who has the lowest face-up card pays a ‘bring-in,’ a nominal bet that the player is forced to pay and whose amount depends on the game. 

The action around the table occurs in a clockwise direction. If two players have the same low cards, suit may use to break the tie, and the suits are ranked in alphabetical order – clubs (lowest), diamonds, hearts and spades (highest). 

After this, the betting stages begin, and the dealing pattern can be summarized into ‘two cards up, four down, and one up.’ Up to 8 players can play at the table with a single 52-card deck. Although 7 cards to 8 players together with the ‘burned’ cards mean 60 cards are required, it is not a problem because many players will have folded by then and previously burned cards can be reinserted into the game as they are not revealed to players. 

The total of 5 betting rounds take place in 7 card Stud poker game that is usually played with a Limit betting structure, so Pot Limit and No Limit Stud are not present. 


How to Play 7 Card Stud

Playing 7 Card Stud is pretty much straightforward as long as you stick to the general rules. Let’s see what the rules are.

Understanding 7 Card Stud Betting 

The moment you sit at the 7 card Stud table, you need to be prepared and certain that you know how to play 7 card Stud. As previously mentioned, the betting limits are fixed at set amounts. The game has small and big bets. The ante bet you need to make is usually 10% of the big bet, so for a $5/$10 game, you would need a dollar for the ante. As far as ‘bring in’ is concerned, the minimum amount of it equals that of the ante. 

The betting and raising are done according to the increments of the small and big bets. Two initial rounds entail increments of the small bet, while the next three are done in increments of the big bet. Usually, a cap is put on the number of raises and the maximum bet, so rarely would you see more than 3 raises. 

Third Street

After the players get their first three cards, the player with the lowest face-up card will start the action with the ‘bring in,’ and other players can use standard poker betting options such as ‘fold,’ ‘check,’ ‘bet,’ ‘call’ or ‘raise.’ 

Fourth Street 

After Third Street, the players now receive another face-up card called the Fourth Street. The player with the highest poker value of the exposed card is on the move, and they can either bet the small bet or check. If there is an open pair on the fourth card, the player has a choice of making either a lower or higher bet. If someone uses this option, the larger bet amount stays for the remainder of the betting round. 

Fifth Street 

Where the Fourth Street ended, the Fifth Street continues, and the players receive another exposed card. The player with the best-shown card is the one who bets first. Here, you can hope to have three-of-a-kind as the best combination, or possibly a pair. In this round, the big bets are used. 

Sixth Street

Sixth Street is a betting round identical to the Fifth Street where yet another face-up card is dealt and the player with the most significant poker value card bets first with the big betting limit. With 4 show cards to each player, four-of-a-kind is the best option here. 

Seventh Street or River

The seventh and the final card is dealt face down, starting from the player on the dealer’s left and moving clockwise. Since the last card is known only to the person it is dealt to; the first move is made by the player whose exposed cards have the biggest poker value. If more than one player remains in the game, it all comes to the Showdown. 

The Showdown

In the Showdown, the last players standing try to make the best 5-card poker hand with their 7 cards. The last bettor or raiser is the first one to show their cards. If there are two identical hands, the winnings are divided equally among the players who have the best hands. 


Conclusion

7 card Stud is still one of the most enticing types of poker that with a proper 7 Card Stud strategy at play can bring you substantial wins and a lot of fun. There are various betting options, lots of excitement and outcomes to hope for in this poker game you can play alongside 7 other players at the same time. If you’ve read our guide, rest assured you’ve prepared yourself for this thrilling game and are ready to enjoy one of the most popular types of poker.