Seven Card Stud is a form of poker that has been around for centuries. It is still widely played by professionals as well as amateurs. 7 Card Stud can be played online, in land-based casinos, and sometimes in home games.
7 Card Stud is available in Fixed Limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit. However, Fixed Limit is the most popular option so that’s what this guide will focus on. Stud is a 52-card standard deck. A game can have anywhere from 2-8 players.
Object of 7-Card Stud
7 Card Stud’s objective is simple: Each player will be given 7 cards to use in their hand. This will allow them to make the best 5-card poker hand possible.
Three cards are dealt face-down so that only the player can see them. The other four cards are dealt face-up so everyone can see them.
You cannot use the “community” cards or the shared cards that are dealt in the middle of the table like in Holdem.
The pot is won by the highest-ranking hand at the end.
Stud is played most often in Fixed Limit formats, unlike Holdem games, which are played more frequently in No Limit (or pot limit) formats.
Fixed Limit refers to the requirement that all Bets and Raises must be placed in a predetermined increment, which is proportional to the stakes at the table.
- The first two rounds of betting (3rd Street and 4th Street) require that bets be placed in increments of $1. Bet $1 -> Raise $2 -> Re-Raise $3 etc.
- The last three rounds of betting (5th, 6th, and 7th Street), require raises in increments equal to the highest stakes of $2. Bet $2 -> Raise $4 -> Re-Raise $6 etc.
Each round can only have 4 raises
The Antes & Dealer Button
Stud Poker uses a dealer button to indicate the theoretical dealer before any hand begins. This button is crucial as it determines how the cards will be dealt. The dealer button marks the position of the theoretical dealer.
Each hand ends with the dealer button rotating to the left to give the next player the dealer button.
Every player must place an “Ante”, or a small amount, into the pot before each hand begins. This small amount ensures there are chips available for every hand. Although the Ante can vary in size, it is usually 10% to 25% of the lowest stakes. So, for example, at a table with $1 or $2 stakes, the Ante would be $0.10.
The Hole and Door Cards
Each player will be dealt three cards after they have placed their Ante Bet in the pot.
For the player’s eyes only, the first two cards are dealt face down. These cards are known as the “hole cards“.
Third card is dealt face-up to everyone at the table. This is known as the “door card“.
The importance of the door card is crucial as the player with the lowest card must place a “Bring in” bet into the pot. If more than one player has the same lowest card, the decision is made by the player with lowest suit. In alphabetical order, suits rank from lowest to most important – Clubs (lowest), Hearts, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades (highest).
Although the bring-in bet may vary depending on the stakes, it is usually equal to half the low-end stakes. So, for example, if there are $1 or $2 stakes tables, the Bring In would be $0.50.
The First Betting Round (“3rd Street”)
The first round of betting starts once the Bring In bet is placed. It begins with the player left from the bring in player.
Each player must choose one of the following actions:
- CallYou may call if a player has placed an identical amount of chips into the pot. If another player raises the bet, it will be the amount of the bring in.
- Raise: You can raise by placing a raise (a call) that is equal to your previous bet. Then, you may place a raise (the raise). All other players must match or raise the raise after a raise is made. This is the.
- Fold: To lose the current hand/pot, you must throw in your cards face-down and not show them to anyone else (to ensure that the hand isn’t influenced).
- All In: You can go All-In if you don’t have enough chips to cover your bet or you don’t have enough chips, you may push your chips into another stack near the middle of the table. You lose and you’re out of chips. You can only win if you collect chips from players equal to your All-In Bet.
If the betting is redirected to the bring-in player, he may call the current wager by adding enough chips or raising his stake if he wishes.
4th Street – Second Betting Round
Each player is dealt four cards, each face-up.
The next round of betting starts exactly as the previous. However, the first round must be started by the player with the best open hand (face-up). The highest open hand at this stage is a pair or Aces.
There are now additional betting options, as no bet has been placed in this round.
- CheckYou may check if there are no players who have yet placed chips in the pot during the current betting round. This is a sign that you aren’t betting but not folding. You will need to call or fold if another player places a bet after you have checked.
- BetPlace a bet: This is the first person to put chips in the pot during a betting round.
The betting will continue until all the players who want to continue the hand have put the same amount of chips into it. Players who fail to do so must stop betting and cease playing until the next hand.
5th, 6th and 7th Street
This pattern continues with 3 more cards being dealt individually, and then a betting round is held after each card has been dealt.
- 5th Street: Each player receives a fifth cardFace-upThen, another round of betting begins, starting with the player who has the best hand among the three “up cards”. All raises and bets made must equal the $2 high-end stakes in a fixed limit game.
- 6th Street: Each player gets a sixth card.Face-up. The second round of betting starts again, with the player showing off the best hand using the four “up cards”.
- 7th Street: Each player gets a seventh and last card.Face-down. The “up cards” are not exposed, so the player who participated in the previous round of betting will continue to do so for the final round.
If at least two players remain in the hand, a showdown will occur. If only one person remains in the hand at any time due to everyone else folding, that player will win the pot immediately without needing to show his cards.
Each remaining player will reveal his cards after the showdown. Display their 5 best cards.
The entire pot is won by the player who creates the highest-ranking 5-card poker hand using their 7 cards.
If more than one player has the exact same winning hand (pair or ten-high straight, etc. ), they will split the pot. The pot will be split between the winners. If suit is applicable (Flush or Royal Flush), the pot will be split. The highest rank in a suit is awarded, sorted alphabetically by Clubs (lowest), Hearts, Hearts and Spades (highest), etc.
The hand rankings are the same as in Texas Holdem which if you have not already learnt which hand is better than another then please look at our Poker Hand Ranking Guide.
Help – We’ve Run Out of Cards!
There are not enough cards! This is a rare situation, but it can happen.
If there are 8 players at the table, this will occur if no one has folded. 8 players x 7 cards = 56. There are only 52 cards in this deck!
The final 7th card will be dealt as a community card if this happens. This means that a single card is dealt face up in the middle of the table to all players as their last card.
Variants of 7 Card Stud: How to Play Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
7 Card Stud High-Low, also known as 7 Card Stud 8 or Better, is a variation of 7 Card Stud that divides the pot into two equal parts. These are then divided up to award the highest high hand and lowest hand. This adds an additional dimension to the game because you can make two hands simultaneously with the same cards.
Object of 7 Card Stud Hi Lo
Hi Lo can be played exactly in the same manner as regular 7-card stud, except that the pot is divided between the highest high and lowest hand at the showdown.
You must make the highest-ranking hand possible to win the High Hand portion.
You must present a separate hand with the same seven cards that were dealt to you to win the Low Hand section.
Although the theory is simple, it can be difficult to apply in practice.
It is important to have an understanding of the high and low ranking hands as well as what qualifies for a low hand in 7-card stud.
Qualifying Low Poker Hands “8 or Better”
As the “8 or Better” term suggests, aQualifyingLow hand
- No card must be higher than an 8.
- You cannot have more than one pair (or trip, or quad)
- Aces are counted as low in low hands, straights and flushes are ignored and not considered combinations.
- The A-2-3-4 is the best “Qualifying Low Hand” possible
- The worst “Qualifying Low Hand” possible is: 4-5-6-8
Due to the strict restrictions placed on low Seven Card Stud hands, players who are not familiar with the game of poker are strongly advised to practice before placing real money on the tables.
Useful Things to Know
- Half of the pot is awarded to the winner of the highest hand. The other half goes to the winner of the low hand.
- If there are no qualifying low hands (remember “8 and better”), then the pot is split between the high-hand winner and the loser.
- You can win the high and low pots with the same player.
- For each of your high or low hands, you can use different cards from the 7 cards. When you stake your claim on each pot, you will usually submit two different best hands.
- You can view both the high and low poker hand rankings here, but again remember that in Omaha Hi Lo, your low hand must qualify by being “8 or better”.