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Guide to Seven-Card Stud Poker

Dominic Field

Feb 14, 2024

Guide to Seven-Card Stud Poker

Although it’s always tempting to focus on Texas Hold’em, there are actually many different variants of poker. One such example is the seven-card stud.

It isn’t as popular as it used to be, but you’ll still find many players enjoying the game. All major online poker sites offer cash tables and tournaments, for instance. The major poker festivals also run seven stud events, plus mixed tournaments that contain this game.

Seven-card stud poker has a historical evolution rooted in earlier versions with fewer cards. It started with the popularity of the four-card stud during the American Revolutionary War and later evolved through the five-card stud to become the seven-card variant we have today.

Ready to learn more about this intriguing game? Then keep reading!

What is Seven Card Stud?

You may not realise that there are many different types of poker to play. Many people come to poker through Texas Holdem, the most popular form in modern times. However, in the past, the 7-card stud was one of the most commonly played poker variants.

Like any form of poker, the aim is to make the best five-card hand. Although you’ll receive a total of seven cards, assuming the hand is played out in full, you’ll only use five of them. 

As this is a form of stud, players receive a mixture of face-up and face-down cards, all of which are their own. There are no community cards, like in Hold’em or Omaha, for example. What’s more, when playing stud poker, your position can change as the hand progresses, since there is no dealer button.

Seven Card Stud Rules for High Hand Excitement

The 7 card stud rules might seem daunting if you’re used to Hold’em, but they’re surprisingly simple. What’s more, the mixture of visible and hidden cards in the 7-card stud lends itself well to bluffing and strategy, a highly entertaining mix. 

For those eager to try their hand at home games or seek the thrill of a high hand, understanding the 7-card stud rules is the first step.

Antes, Betting, and Bring-In in 7-Card Stud Poker

Two face-down hole cardsIn the initial stages, everyone contributes a fixed fee, known as an "ante," to enter the hand. Two face-down hole cards and a single face-up "door card" are then dealt. The door card dictates the player responsible for the "bring-in," akin to the small blind in Hold'em.

In home games, this structure sets the stage for exciting betting rounds. Players can call or fold, with the option to "complete" the bet, doubling it to match the small limit, leading to subsequent calls, raises, or folds.

7 card stud games are almost exclusively played in a fixed limit format. If the game is described as $3/$6, for instance, then all bets must be exactly $6 on the fifth street, sixth street, and seventh street. Before that, on third and fourth street, bets are $3.  

Additional Situational Rules and Tips for Seven-Card Stud

There are two additional 7-card stud rules to consider. The first concerns the bring-in. If more than one player has an equally low-value card, use suits to break the tie. They are ranked alphabetically in seven-card stud, with clubs the lowest and spades the highest.

Secondly, it’s theoretically possible to run out of cards before the seventh street when playing full-handed. It’s unlikely, but should it happen, a single card is dealt face-up for everyone to share.

Final Notes on 7-Card Stud Poker

It may have fallen out of favour in recent times, but the 7-card stud is one of the more interesting variants of poker. 

Many who choose to play 7 card stud online do so just to take a short break from Hold’em. They’re having fun and blowing off steam, so they don’t necessarily know what they’re doing. As such, it can be profitable to play seven stud, especially if you’re willing to dedicate some time and effort to learning the game.

Give this historic and highly enjoyable game a try today.