Seven Card Stud Rules

Seven Card Stud is one of the most popular non-Hold'em poker games and can be found in most casinos, live or online. Before Texas Hold'em came around, Seven Card Stud was the king of poker. It was the game you had to know if you considered yourself a poker player.

Today, Seven Card Stud is still played at every casino and in many major tournament series, including the World Series of Poker. Many of the high stakes mixed format games such as H.O.R.S.E. include Seven Card Stud in their lineups.

If you’d really like to expand your poker skills into a useful area, Seven Card Stud is a great game to learn. A lot of high stakes Hold'em players are also proficient at Seven Card Stud. Even if you don’t play it very often, it makes for a great thinking exercise that will help you excel in all forms of poker.

Seven Card Stud requires the use of several critical skills at the same time. Not only do you need to know the odds of various draws and be able to read your opponents, but you also need to have a strong memory to recognize which cards have already been revealed.

It might sound difficult, but if you can become a strong Seven Card Stud player, there is a lot of money to be made. Seven Card Stud strategy isn’t discussed or written about nearly as extensively as Texas Hold'em strategy. If you become decent at the game, you’ll find that there are a lot of fish who have no idea what they are doing.


Seven Card Stud is played with an ante, which is a small bet that every player contributes to the pot at the beginning of each hand. A typical ante size is about 10% of the lower betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, the antes would be $1.00.

Third Street

After all the antes have been paid, the dealer gives each player three cards. Two are dealt face down and one is dealt face up.

The player with the lowest card showing must “bring-in” the betting by placing a bet equal to half of the small bet. In a $10/$20 game, the bring-in would be $5. The player paying the bring-in may leave it at that amount or raise it up to the full minimum bet (in this case, $10).

After the bring in has been posted, the betting continues clockwise around the table. Each player may call, raise, or fold. If any player raises, all the other players at the table must either call, raise, or fold.

Fourth Street

Each player is now dealt one card face up. A round of betting follows but this time the betting begins with the player who has the best hand showing. This player may either check or bet.

Fifth Street

Each player is dealt another card face up. Another round of betting begins, but from here on out, the bets must all be in increments of the upper betting limit.

Sixth Street

One card is dealt to each player face up. This is followed by another round of betting.

Seventh Street

Each player is dealt a final card face down. This is followed by a final round of betting.

Note – If there are not enough cards to give to each player, a single community card can instead be dealt in the middle of the table. The players all share this card and can use it to complete their own hands.


Any players remaining after the last betting round now show their cards. Out of the seven cards, the player with the best five card poker hand wins the pot. If there is only one player left at this point, that player may take the pot without showing his hand.

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