7 Card Stud Rules

The game 7 Card Stud Poker is a game that is easy to learn and simple to play but one that is difficult to fully master. While today the poker world has made Texas Hold’em poker a more popular (and commercial) game, 7 Card Stud Poker still retains a following in part due to it being considered one of the more difficult varieties of poker to master.

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A game of 7 card stud is played as follows:

    • Every player has to ante up before any cards are dealt (the ante is usually determined to be 10% of the betting limits, so that at a $5/$10 table players would have to ante 50 cents).
    • Every player receives three cards the first two are dealt face down (the hole cards) and the third card face up. This first face-up card is called the ‘Door card’ or ‘Third Street’.
    • A betting round takes place. In most games the player holding the lowest ‘Third Street card’ bets first (some poker rooms have been known to reverse this in pot limit games so that the highest ‘door card’ player bets first) this is a mandatory bet and is referred to as the ‘bring-in bet’.
    • Every player is dealt one more face-up card (known as ‘Fourth Street’).

Another betting round takes place.

  • Every player is dealt another face-up card (known as ‘Fifth Street’).
  • Another betting round takes place, however now the minimum betting amount is raised.
  • Every player is dealt another face-up card (known as ‘Sixth Street’).
  • Another betting round takes place, the minimum bet remaining the same as in the Fifth Street round.
  • Every player is dealt their final card, this one face down (known as the ‘River Card’ or ‘Seventh Street’).
  • The final betting round takes place.
  • With the final betting round complete the showdown takes place, the hands are shown and whoever has the best five card hand wins it all. Note that even though the players receive seven cards in total, they only use their best five cards in the showdown.


5 Card Stud Rules

5 card stud has quickly become nearly extinct in the poker world, especially at online rooms. Traditionally played with only one down (hole) card, there simply isn’t enough suspense in the game to keep players interested, with low hands traditionally winning the pot and little doubt as to what other players have. While 5 card stud is till around at the odd poker room, it’s predecessor 7 card stud far more popular.
A game of 5 card stud is played as follows:

  • All the players ante up for the hand about to be dealt. The amount of the ante varies depending on the table limits where you’re playing.
  • Everyone is dealt one card, face down (the ‘hole’ card) and one card face up, totaling 2 cards for the initial deal to each player.
  • Bets are placed. The player with the highest valued card showing opens the betting round.
  • Each player receives another card, face up.
  • There is another round of betting.
  • Each player receives another card, face up.
  • More betting, with the betting minimums doubled now.
  • Each player receives another card, face up.
  • Final bets are placed.

After betting, the hands are called and the person with the highest 5 card hand takes the pot. Note: although you are dealt seven cards in any seven-card game, you only play your best five cards at the end of the hand, even in the event of a tie.

After betting, the hands are called and the person with the highest hand wins the pot.

Betting Note: 5-card stud is different than Texas Hold’Em and Omaha Poker in that the player with the highest ranking hand face up bets first for that round regardless of their position to the dealer. The bet then goes clockwise around the table.

Seven Card Stud Playing Tips

7 card stud is one of the harder games to master, but one of the easier games to turn a profit at if you can out-skill your opponents. Because there are so many cards dealt face-up, it’s easier for a skilled player to gauge how many ‘outs’ they have at any given time by looking to see what’s already been pulled from the deck.
Practice makes perfect, but here are some tips to get you started:

Push High-Pair’s Early

A high pair off the initial 3 cards is a good hand, but often won’t improve or hold up once other players get more cards. Unless another player has indicated strength, it’s usually better to get players to fold early through betting while you have the best hand rather than slow play.

Consider Slow Playing Trips

Because 2 pair is a common final hand in a game of 7 card stud, it’s often worth slow-playing 3 of a kind if your opponents tend to fold early on, since it will more often than not take the pot. Beware of straight or flush draws in your opponents hands however.

Watch Other Players Hands Carefully

Cards up on the table can be discounted as possible outs for your hand. For example, if you need a 7 to hit your straight, and there’s 3 up on the table, chances are slim you’ll be dealt the fourth. If you need one more spade to get a flush, but you can count 8 spades out on the table in addition to the 4 you have, you know there’s only one possibly left to draw.

Conversely, you can use the cards that have been dealt to predict a likelihood that you will catch a specific card/suit. For example, you could have 4 cards to a flush and note an absence of that suit having been dealt to other players, and use that as an indication that you are more likely to catch your card and make the hand.

Remember What Was Folded

When a player at the table folds, their cards are turned over. It’s important to keep mental note of what cards were folded as well as what remains showing to have a clear picture of what cards were discounted later in the hand.

Watch Players Bets Early To Get An Indication of What Their Down Cards May Be.

When a player bets early, it’s usually an indication of a good starting hand. This may be a pair, or even three suited cards to start the hand. If you can get a feel for what your opponents have in the hole, you can not only act accordingly based on the strength of their hand, but can get a better indication of what cards to discount from the deck for your own hand.

The bottom line is, 7 card stud allows you to get a much better feel for what’s left in the deck compared to Hold’em games. Pay attention to what’s dealt and you can act accordingly.

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