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How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker

How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker


How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker

How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker

Seven card stud was the most broadly played poker variant before Texas Hold‘em. Keep reading to learn how to play seven card stud poker.

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned,” they say. If you are interested in winning money and have read all about how to play poker, it is wise to learn its variants to be a more confident gambler, as poker professionals follow their own guide to play seven card stud poker all too well. The focus of this article of is revolving around playing seven card stud poker and it should be your first stepping stone.

How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker – All You Need to Know

If you are aware of the biggest poker mistakes and are a stud poker enthusiast, who has a thirst to learn more about this variant of poker, or a beginner, who is eager to know all about it, you are suggested to pursue this passage.

What Is a Seven-Card Stud in Poker?

What Is a Seven-Card Stud in Poker?


Stud is a poker variant that emerged during the American Civil war and was commonly played by the soldiers. However, the history of 7 card stud and who introduced it in the early 20th century remains a mystery. It became extremely popular and widely played before a twist named Texas Hold‘em overtook the classic version.

In seven-card stud, players will be dealt a mixture of down-cards and up-cards in several betting rounds. A common number of players can be between two to eight. If played in a casino, a small ante and bring-in are used; in home games, however, an ante would do.

How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker?

Two down-cards and one up-card are dealt prior to the first round of betting. It is then followed by three more up-cards – with a betting round after each one – and another down-card. Overall, it is summarized as “two down, four up, one down”. The final round of betting comes right after the last down-card. Who wins the pot? The best five-card poker hand in total seven cards is determined as the winner, of course.

  • An ante must be played into the pot by each player
  • Two down-cards (hole cards) are dealt as well as one up-card (door card)
  • First betting round
  • An up-card is dealt (fourth street)
  • Second betting round
  • Another up-card is dealt (fifth street)
  • Third betting round
  • Another up-card is dealt (sixth street)
  • Fourth betting round
  • A final down-card is dealt (river)
  • Last betting round
  • Showdown

Seven Card Stud Poker Rules

Seven Card Stud Poker Rules


This guide will cover the standard seven card stud poker rules, which is of great importance if you want to prepare yourself a guide to play seven card stud poker; the rules can be broken up into four parts:

  • Setup
  • The Bring-in
  • Betting Rounds
  • Showdown


The first one of the seven card stud poker rules is setup. A combination of chips that permits a big bet, small bet and an ante should be provided at the table. Typically, a small bet is half the size of the big bet and the ante is about 10% of the big bet. When everyone has chips, a player will shuffle up the deck. In a stud game, it is not important who begins as the dealer.

The Bring-in:

After shuffling the cards, the next section of the seven card stud poker rules focuses on all the players providing an ante. Dead money is called antes which means they will quickly go into the pot. Any other bets made are added to the antes.

The player who sits on the left side of the dealer starts and it turns clockwise. Each player is dealt two down-cards and an up-card. In every variant of poker, in order to know how and where to start the action in the hand, a set of determining factors is available. As for Hold ‘em, it starts to the left of the big blind, but in stud, it begins with the bring in.

Whoever has the lowest-value up-card will need to “bring it in”.

To recognize the player for the bring in, you need these:

  • Face cards are ranked from worst to best: Jack, Queen, King.
  • Ace is higher than a king for the bring in.
  • The two players with a low card that has the same value will need suits to know the loser.
  • Poker-suit alphabetic is used in stud from worst to best: clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades.

The player who has to bring is presented with two options. One choice is to bring by offering a bet that is the same size as the ante and the other choice is completing the bet to the small bet’s fullest amount.

Betting Rounds

Round one (Third Street):

Whoever sits left of the bring will be next to act and has three choices that are part of the seven card stud poker rules:

  • Call: They match the highest bet made.
  • Fold: They add nothing to the pot and drop out of the hand, losing all they bet.
  • Raise: The previous bet will be increased.

In a minimum bring, which is the amount of the ante, the small bet limit will be a completing raise. In a maximum bring, on the other hand, which is bringing the full small bet, doubling the small bet will be a raise. When all the players have had their chances to act and those who haven’t folded made a bet which equals this round’s money, the betting round finishes.

Round Two (Fourth Street)

Following the completion of the first betting round, the players are dealt an up-card. During this round and all the followings, the value of the show cards, which is in the same order as poker hands, determines which player acts first.

As only two cards are showing on Fourth Street, the greatest hand could be two aces and the worst one could be two and three of clubs. Any card that is pair values more than a non-paired one; for instance, two of clubs and two of diamonds is better than ace and king of spades.

In cases of a tie, suit ranks are considered for the highest-ranked show cards. As part of the seven card stud poker rules, the suit of the highest-ranking card determines the value of the hand. For example, if player one holds the three of spades and player two has the three of heart, the first player wins.

After finding the highest hand, that player will act first. They are given two options, either check (make no wager, and let their left player act) or bet, according to the small bet limit.

It then turns clockwise around the table and each player can:

  • Bet/Raise (the small limit can be bet if nobody made one; if a bet has been made, the player can raise it by adding the same amount to the small limit)
  • Call (match any bet)
  • Check (in cases that no one made a bet)

After each player acted, and those who haven’t folded have put equal amounts into the pot, the round finishes.

Round Three (Fifth Street)

Every player that is left will receive another up-card. The first live player starts and his or her left will continue clockwise. After the dealt is over, just like the fourth street, the betting round begins. Whoever has the best show cards will be the first to bet. The best combination would be three of a kind, then a pair, followed by the highest cards.

In this round, however, the big bet limit can be used and anything else is the same as the fourth street.

Round Four (Sixth Street)

This street is just like the last one, with each player being dealt an up-card, and that who has the highest valued show cards bets first. In this street that the players have four show cards, the best would be four of a kind. The big betting limit is used in the sixth street as well.

The Last Round (Seventh Street)

One final down-card is dealt in this street and the last round’s best highest-ranked show cards will act first. Just like the last two rounds, the big betting limit is used.


The remaining players in the final round will get into the showdown and they form the best five-card hand from their seven cards, which is another one of the 7 card stud poker rules. The two cards that are not used will be “dead” and never hold a value.

Seven Card Stud Poker Odds

This part of the article highlights the seven card stud poker odds of you having a winning hand. Despite being a rather easy game to learn, combining all hands in seven card stud shows a particularly higher one than that of Hold‘em. As there are many available outcomes with each player having seven cards, you may want to make sure that you play your hand with the highest seven card stud poker odds of winning.

In addition, another factor you need to consider is to avoid playing a common hand that is easily beatable.

Hand 7 cards
Straight Flush 41,584
Four of a Kind 224,848
Full House 3,473,184
Flush 4,047,644
Straight 6,180,020
Three of a Kind 6,461,620
Two Pair 31,433,400
One Pair 58,627,800
High Card 23,294,460

In order to win, it is quite essential to understand hands and their probable outcomes. The above chart is set from the highest to the lowest possible hand. You can see a notable mathematical gap between a four of a kind and a full house, as well as another leap between three of a kind and a two pair.

Beginning with at least three of a kind to keep going forward is a great seven card stud strategy. Clearly, the odds of getting dealt three of a kind is significantly dependent on the number of players in the hand and the next betting rounds as well as your rival’s cards.

The table below displays the flushes and straights’ of seven card stud poker odds. The number of players in a multi-way pot can determine your odds. For instance, the best odds of catching a flush if you have one card to draw is when you have 4-5 players calling bets.

At stud hi/low tables, where many players are in a hand, straights often happen and they match the odds required to catch a hand more closely.

Draw one card with Odds
Four cards to a flush 1 in 4.5
Double open-ended straight 1 in 5
Open-ended straight (1 end) 1 in 11
Inside Straight 1 in 11
Double open-ended straight flush 1 in 23
Open-ended straight flush (1 end) 1 in 46
Inside Straight Flush 1 in 46
Rolled up with 3-of-a-kind 40% chance of improvement to a full house by the river.

Knowing the seven card stud poker odds will enable you to decide correctly, leading to an Expected Value – meaning you will get directly through blending luck and strategy to make a profitable decision.

Seven Card Stud Poker House Edge

Seven Card Stud Poker House Edge


The house has an edge in all casino games and they say “the house always wins”. It would not be around for much if that was not the case. The ratio of the average loss to the initial bet can be defined as the house edge.

As for the seven card stud poker house edge, in a game that is mostly about skill, no actual house edge exits. The casinos only charge a small amount for hosting the game and assessing the fees because the players are the ones competing and the house holds no interest in the outcome.

Seven Card Stud Poker RTP

The Return to Player (RTP) is actually the total amount that is won plus the total amount that is wagered. The seven card stud poker RTP depends on actual wagers and winnings based on real people playing in a live environment.

Seven Card Stud Poker Terms

Seven Card Stud Poker Terms


A number of 7 card stud poker terms are used in playing this variant and this tutorial to play seven card stud poker will provide you with some of the most commonly used of them that are essential.

Aggressive: a player who bets frequently in order to control the action instead of checking and calling.

Ante: a forced bet in which players put an equal amount into the pot before getting dealt the cards.

Bicycle: a straight ace to five; check wheel.

Bring-in: a forced bet in seven card stud hand.

Broadway: a straight ten to ace.

Burn: a dealing practice in which the dealer removes the top card at the start of each street from the fourth on.

Call: to match any bet made.

Check: to make no bet and pass the action.

Door card: the first card to be shown in a seven card stud hand, which is given to each player at the same time as the two-hole cards.

Fifth Street: the dealing of the fifth card in the third betting round and making the bet size double.

Flush: any five cards of the same suit.

Fold: to drop out of a hand and lose all bets made.

Four of a kind: any four cards of the same face value.

Fourth street: the dealing of the fourth card in the second betting round.

Full house: any three cards of the same face value and two of another.

High card: a hand with the single highest card, which is the lowest ranking class of hand.

Hole cards: the first two down-cards dealt.

Kicker: the unpaired card in a player’s hand that is the highest, utilized for breaking ties.

Loose: a player who plays more than average hands.

Made hand: a very strong starting hand.

Passive: a player who does not bet frequently, letting others control the action. They are known as weak players.

Raise: making another bet aside from a bet already made.

River: the dealing of the last card, which is a down-card in the last betting round prior to showdown.

Rolled-up trips: any three of the same face value of the hole cards and the door card, with the best possible starting hand in 7 card stud being rolled-up aces.

Royal flush: a straight five cards of the same suit from a ten to an ace, which is the highest hand in poker.

Showdown: showing the last cards after the last betting round to find the winner.

Sixth Street: the dealing of the sixth card, which is the last up-card.

Split pair: a starting hand with the door card paring with one of the hole cards.

Straight flush: any straights with five cards of the same suit.

Straight: any five consecutive cards of different suits.

Three of a kind: any three cards of the same face value.

Three-flush: a starting hand with three cards of the same suit, letting the player try and draw to a flush.

Three-straight: a starting hand with three cards being part of the same five-card straight that allows the player to try and draw a straight.

Tight: a player who plays fewer than average hands.

Two pair: any two cards of the same face value with another two cards of the same face value.

Wired pair: a starting hand with a pair in the hole cards.

Seven Card Stud Poker Strategies

After learning how to play seven card stud poker, you have to better your game. This section of the article will provide some seven card stud poker strategies you can use to be the winner.

  • When to fold

It is a long shot to be dealt a three card in the same suit or sequence of cards. If nothing high value is in your hands in the first few rounds, the first one of the seven card stud poker strategies recommends folding, unless most players remained in the game. When betting, bet against a single player or maybe two if you have a high pair or something better in your hand.

  • When to be an aggressive player

When dealt the first three cards, if you have an ace or a king, remain in the game. Play aggressively from the start in cases that you have a pair of either an ace or a king.

  • Know how good your best cards are

Deciding to play your better cards will increase your expectation to win. You should make peace with a few setbacks during the game.

  • Remain in the game for two more cards

Another one of the seven card stud poker strategies comes in handy when the first three cards that the dealer gives you are from the same suit or a sequence and you are dealt a fourth one fitting your suit or sequence. In these cases, keep playing. If not, it is better to fold following the fifth card.

  • Pay attention to the betting action

Having a pair in the hole is a good hand, only when it is not beatable by the cards shown on the table. The betting action may guide you to either call or fold.

Seven Card Stud Poker Tips

Seven Card Stud Poker Tips


Although some of the strategies of the game are complex, there are certain rules that all stud strategies employ in order to help you win. To become a more consistent winner, learn the seven card stud poker tips and keep in mind that you need diligence and a willingness to follow a tutorial to play seven card stud poker.

  • Prioritize/Organize your info

In playing this variant of poker, there is a great deal of information that needs to be taken in. One of the seven card stud poker tips to consider is prioritizing and organizing the information in each hand but memorizing every up-cards is not an easy task. Bear in mind the betting patterns of the players as well.

Memorizing everything is not expected of you. Do not overwhelm your memory with memorizing every card on the table and start with the most important ones. If you do so, you increase the odds of missing here and there. Instead, pay heeds to suited cards, big cards, and also matching ones. It will enable you to predict the likelihood of you or your rivals getting pairs, flushes or other cards.

  • Use big pairs quickly

Strong hands in seven-card stud poker have big pairs and they are worthy to draws. If you plan to lead with a big pair, begin betting and raising from the start. By doing so, you will reach two objectives: getting money in the middle via a strong hand and making other players draw stronger hands.

  • In your starting hand, try to be selective

Another one of the seven card stud poker tips to consider to increase your chance of winning is tightening up your hand-playing needs. One mistake that many amateurs make is playing too many starting hands. The following starting hands are the best:

  • Three of a kind
  • A pair of 10s or better
  • Three to a high flush
  • Three to a high straight

See if your hand matches with this list; if not, rethink playing your hand.

  • Have a reason to stay in

For continuing at any point in this game, you should rely on a strong reason. If you lack that, folding would be wise. Seven-card stud requires a lot of patience because getting strong hands does not occur regularly. Do not play if you do not have a strong hand or a draw to one.

  • Make a decision in fifth street

When you reach the fifth street, you know most of your cards, and the bets are doubled. At this moment in the game, you have to make a decision on whether to continue holding a strong hand or drop out. Calling bets is not wise unless you have an obvious goal with your hand.

  • If odds are reduced, do not play

Each suit has thirteen cards and there are four cards of each rank. Seeing a card you need on your rival’s board, shows your odds are decreased. For instance, chasing a flush of diamonds would not make any sense if five diamonds are out.

  • Do not draw to second-best hands

When you cannot beat your rival’s board with all you have in your hand, the seven card stud poker tips suggest you to not push to outdraw his. You are probably going to draw to a second-best hand, which is the best way to lose a great amount of money. Missing your draw will be your loss and making it will result in you losing even more.

  • Pay attention to every hand

For the whole time you are around the table, imagine that you are at work. You should look carefully, even when you are not involved in hands. Notice how your rivals play, observe their betting cards, and watch their showdowns. It will help you read your rivals and learn how to play seven card stud poker better.

  • Bluff occasionally

If you like to be an unpredictable and exploitable player, occasional bluff will help. Do not overdo it and when you are bluffing, make sure what you bet makes sense and that your board is in line with your story.

  • Practice bankroll management

Regardless of skill, each player undergoes bankroll fluctuations. Notwithstanding how good of a player you are, it is essential that you only play the games in which you have a big bankroll. It means all the money you have saved for poker, not the amount you bring in for a single session.

Bottom line

Now you are provided with all the required information on how to play seven card stud poker. By taking these 7 card stud poker tips and strategies into account, you will be able to play this entertaining and quite demanding variation of poker like a professional.

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