What are the Rules for Seven Card Stud?

While it may not be the most popular variant of the game at present, seven card stud is one of the more traditional forms of poker. It’s also relatively easy to learn so it could be a popular option for new players.

Here is a comprehensive guide to 7 card stud poker rules to get you up and running.

7 Card Stud Rules

Basic Rules

We’ll learn how to play seven card stud by starting with the basics. As the name suggests, each player has seven cards in which to make the best possible hand. There is a mix of hole cards which are dealt face down while other cards are face up for all players to see. One key element with 7 Card Stud is the absence of any community cards. All cards that are dealt are specific to the individual player.

The game starts with a standard ante bet. Each player will then be dealt two hole cards which are face down. Players will then receive a third card, commonly referred to as ‘third street’ and this will be face up. At this point, the first round of additional betting can begin.

The player with the lowest upcard starts the process and they must place at least the minimum bet shown. From there, betting continues to the player’s left with subsequent opponents having the option to call, raise or fold.

Once this round is complete, a fourth card is dealt to all players, face up. Those that are remaining will recommence a further round of betting, starting with the player who has the highest value upcard. Two more rounds of betting follow in this fashion, based on upturned cards known as fifth street and sixth street.

The seventh and final card is a hole card which is dealt face down and the betting will now conclude. In summary of this guide to how to play 7 card stud, two initial cards are face down, the next four are face up and the final card is face down.

The highest hand now takes the pot and that’s how to win at seven card stud poker.

seven card stud poker

7 Card Stud Game Variants

The basic 7 card stud rules are uniformly followed across all online casinos. However, there are a number of variants which offer a twist on that classic gameplay. One of the more common alternatives is known as Mississippi where the fourth and fifth cards are dealt face up at the same time. The significance of this is that one round of betting is taken out of the equation.

The other version which is most commonly used at online casinos is known as High Low Stud. This is an unusual variant where, at the end of the round, the pot is split between the player with the highest hand and the player with the lowest hand. In order to qualify as the worst player, the hand in question must not contain any pairs or any card above an eight.

Clearly, when you want to know how to win at seven card stud poker, High Low offers an interestingly different approach.

FAQs About Seven Card Stud

Who Goes First in 7 Card Stud?

7 card stud poker rules state that, after the third card is dealt, the player with the lowest value up card starts the round of betting.

After cards four, five and six are dealt, the player with the highest hand goes first.

Do you Burn a Card in 7 Card Stud?

Before the game begins, the dealer will traditionally burn the top card of the deck. This is a practise commonly seen in other forms of poker and it’s usually the case in seven card stud too.

Players do not burn a card but they can disregard two of their seven cards at the end of the round. Following third street, fourth street, fifth street, sixth street and the seventh, downturned card, those players use five of the seven cards to make the best possible hand.

7 card stud poker

How Many Times Can You Raise in 7 Card Stud?

Following the ante bet, players can raise four times in 7 card stud. Raise bets can be placed on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth cards.

In some cases, 7 card stud poker rules may state that a fifth bet can be made on the seventh card but raise bets are usually capped at four.

How Many Players Can Play 7 Card Stud?

A game of seven card stud requires a minimum of two players while, at the top end of the scale, it’s generally accepted that the maximum should be eight. However, if eight players are at the table, the sheer numbers mean that there may be some alterations needed to standard 7 card stud rules.

An optimum figure is around four to five players but anything between two and eight is perfectly acceptable.

Closing Thoughts

As with all games of poker, it’s vital that you understand how to play 7 card stud before you step up to the table. One important element is the ranking of each hand from Royal Flush downwards. Remember that with most online casinos you can play trial versions for free before committing to real cash stakes.

It is, however, an easier game to pick up: There are no community cards so it’s just a case of judging your own hand. The tricky part lies in the fact that three cards are effectively blind but there are four upturned cards so, when you’re learning how to play seven card stud, you’ll need to use your judgement at times.

Assessing opponents’ hands can obviously hold a key, particularly when only one 52 deck of cards is in play. If, for example, you need a jack to complete four of a kind, you won’t be able to do this if an opposing player holds a jack in their upturned cards.

That’s a point to keep in mind when playing this fast paced version of the game. It’s a traditional way to play that remains popular so, now that you know how to play 7 card stud, why not give it a try?