The Rules of Seven Card Stud

  • Seven Card Stud is an easy game to learn but may take half a lifetime to master but the best way to improve the odds of winning regularly at Seven Card Stud is to practice, practice and practice some more. Unlike Texas Holdem and Omaha, Seven Card Stud is only played with a ‘limit’ betting structure – there are no ‘pot limit’ or ‘no limit’ variations of the game.
  • Before the game has even begun each player has to put a nominal amount of money down on the table – this is known as the ante or simply an opening wager or bet.
  • Each player is then dealt 2 hidden ‘hole’ or personal cards and one exposed card
  • The player with the lowest ‘up’ card, or exposed card, is called the ‘bring-in’ and has to make a mandatory wager of either half a small bet or a full small bet. As Seven Card Stud is played with a limit betting structure the small and big bets are determined before the time.
  • If two players happen to share the same ‘low’ card that determines the ‘bring-in’, the suit is the deciding factor with spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs in descending order.
  • The action continues around the table in a clockwise direction until all betting is completed for the first and opening round.
  • Each player is now dealt an exposed card, known as the fourth street (not the turn as it is known in Texas Holdem and Omaha).
  • Each round, the player whose exposed cards have the highest poker value, acts first and may either check or bet. If there are no pairs amongst all the exposed cards on the table, the bet will be a small bet but if any player shows a pair, the betting can open with the big bet.
  • Again, each player is dealt a card face up, colloquially known as fifth street, and the betting begins with the player who has the highest poker value in his exposed cards. Starting from fifth street and for the rest of the game, all bets made will be big bets.
  • The sixth street is dealt and betting is conducted in the same way as earlier betting rounds
  • The seventh and final card is dealt face down to each player and only the player knows the value of the card and betting continues.
  • If there is more than one player left standing when the final betting round is completed, then the last player to bet or raise shows his or her cards. If there was no bet on the last round, the player whose up cards have the highest poker value will show first and the best 5-card poker hand, according to poker rankings, wins the pot.