Ante in Seven Card Stud is mandatory, and it varies for different betting limits. Low-end games usually are only around 10-15%. For example, a $3-$6 game of Stud will likely only have a $.30 Ante. Higher-end Stud games can get a bit higher, up to 25%. This can be a fairly large amount to Ante, especially if you’re playing in a higher money game. Consider starting off playing in the smaller $2-$4 or $3-$6 games before moving up to the high stakes games, just to get used to the strategies and methods without blowing your bankroll on the Ante. Just keep in mind that as the stakes get higher, the players become tighter with their money.
Let’s use a typical $5-$10 game for this example. The Ante is $.50. The dealer begins by dealing to the player to his immediate left, and continues clockwise around the table, until each player has two facedown cards and one face-up card (called the “Door”). After all the cards have been dealt, the dealer must then declare which player will begin betting. This is done by selecting whoever has the lowest Door card. If there is a tie, suit determines the outcome. The suits are ranked like this: 1- Spades, 2- Hearts, 3- Diamonds, 4- Clubs. These initial 3 cards are called “Third Street”.
The player who has to begin the betting round (because he or she is holding the lowest Door card) must “bring it in”. What this means is that the player must bet two times the amount of the Ante (in our example game, this would be $1). If the player does not do so, his or her hand is forfeited and the player to the immediate left must “bring it in”. The betting goes around as normal, with the maximum bet or raise being the low stake, or $5 in our example.
The dealer deals each player an additional face-up card. With Fourth Street, whoever has the best hand of the two cards that are currently face-up is the person who begins the betting round. For example, if one person’s showing K-7 and another shows J-Q, the highest card opens the betting. Again, you may only bet up to the lowest stake.
Another face-up card is dealt same as Fourth Street. The only difference is you may now bet the high stakes ($10 in our example).
Identical to Fifth Street. Once card is dealt face-up, and you use the highest betting limit.
The final card, also known as the “river”, is a facedown card dealt to each player. All bets/raises are still at the highest limit ($10).
After all Bets and Raises are resolved, the players who still remain must “Showdown”. The player who initially started betting reveals his or her pocket cards first. If any of the other players wish to compete with the hand that’s revealed, they may do so. You may also fold, but if a player requests to see your final hand, you’re obligated to reveal it. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.