Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud was the king of the poker world until Texas Holdem came along but that doesn’t mean it’s dead by any means. 7 Card Stud is still very much alive and well at all the major card rooms and at all online poker sites. In terms of popularity, Seven Card Stud is probably the third most commonly played game after Texas Holdem and Omaha.

Seven Card Stud is especially popular among high stakes players and fans of mixed game formats such as H.O.R.S.E. A lot of the high stakes Texas Holdem players try new forms of poker in the hopes of finding new opponents and new challenges. That makes 7 Card Stud the most obvious choice because it offers plenty of both.

But 7 Card Stud isn’t a game for the high rollers only. Thanks to online poker, players of all skill levels can try their luck at all stakes, high and low. The tables can be pretty dead at the smaller poker sites but if you stick with a bigger one like PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker, you’ll find plenty of competition.

How to Play 7 Card Stud

1. Each player must pay an ante at the beginning of each hand. Antes are small, forced bets that are used to sweeten each pot. The ante is equal to about 10 to 20% of the small bet. In a $10/$20 stud game, the antes would be about $1.00.

Third Street

2. After the antes have been placed, the dealer gives each player 2 cards face down and 1 card face up. The face up card is called the “door card.”

Once all the cards have been dealt, the player with the lowest door card must pay the “bring-in” which is a mandatory bet equal to half the size of the small bet. In a $10/$20 game, the bring-in would be $5.

If two players tie for the same door card, the tie is broken by suit. Clubs are the highest, followed by diamonds, hearts and then spades. You can remember this easily by remembering the suits are ranked in alphabetical order.

3. After the bring-in bet has been made, play continues clockwise around the table. Each player may choose to pay the bring-in to stay in, they can fold or they can raise. The first raise would bring the cost of entry up to a full minimum bet and all raises after that would be in increments of the minimum bet.

Fourth Street

4. Each player receives another card face up. This is followed by a betting round that begins with the player who has the highest hand showing so far. There is no bring-in bet this round. The first player simply has the choice to check, bet or fold. Betting continues clockwise until all the players have acted.

Fifth Street

5. Fifth street is played like fourth street. Each player receives a face up card and another round of betting takes place, beginning with the player who has the highest hand showing. From here on out, all bets must be made in increments of the upper betting limit.

Sixth Street

6. Each player receives one card face up. There is another round of betting just like there was in fifth street.

Seventh Street

7. Each player receives one last card face down. There is another round of betting just like the previous betting round.

8. After this last betting round is completed, there is a showdown between the remaining players. The player with the best 5 card poker hand, using any 5 of his 7 cards, wins the pot.