Seven card stud poker is the original poker game before Texas hold’em captured the public’s imagination. It’s a much more sophisticated version of poker as opposed to community card game types and can take a long time to master or even to play at a respectable level.
Even in the current generation of poker and amongst all poker communities across the globe, Stud poker is considered to be one of the hardest games to play and a variation which still retains elements of the original poker game.
The Basics of Seven Card Stud Poker
The game accommodates between two to eight players at one time and as with every other poker variation, the goal is to win as as many rounds and dominate the table with the most chips.
As the name suggests, each player is dealt seven cards through the course of a game. At the final round, from these cards the player will reveal the best five-card poker hand they can produce and the individual with the best value combination will win the pot.
Once the initial deal has started the betting interval begins. Throughout the course of a game, each player is dealt an additional three cards that are open view and another card that is hidden from others. There is a betting interval between each of these card deals. In the final round aka the showdown, each player reveals their hidden cards and discards two to make their best hand.
In Stud poker players have the usual actions of ‘fold’, ‘check, ‘bet’, ‘call’ or ‘raise’ depending on the action of the previous player. If no one has made a bet then a player may check or bet but if a player has bet then a player may fold, call or raise.
Slightly confused? Don’t worry.
We’ll go through each of the stages of the game below in a little more detail.
Once all players are sat down at the table they need to ‘ante’ a nominal value which represents the cost of being dealt into the hand. Antes are collected and are immediately put into the pot which builds up from here.
After the ante has been determined, the dealer deals every player two face down cards (commonly known as hole cards) and also an additional face up card which is visible to others. This progresses in a clockwise direction from the player on the dealer’s immediate left. The player with the lowest visible card is then dubbed as the ‘bring-in’ who must start the game with another nominal bet or a full bet of the lower betting increment. The game will then proceed and players can either fold, call or raise.
Determining the ‘bring-in’:
➤ Cards are worth face value
➤ Value from worst to best: jack, queen, king, ace
➤ If players have identical cards then suits come into play: clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades
In this stage each player receives another card known as ‘Fourth Street’ which is open. Rules are now flipped so the player with the highest poker card value will make the first move. This also includes the open card received in the third street stage too so pairs will produce better values. The winner may then check or bet the lower betting increment.
Another open card called the ‘Fifth Street’ is dealt and the exact actions occur as the previous stage. The only difference is that from this round onwards, all bets are in the big bet increments.
Again another open card called the ‘Sixth Street’ is dealt, the first player to act is determined and another round of betting ensues.
All players are now dealt with their final card which is face down and hidden from others. The process is repeated and if more than one player is still active then the game proceeds to the ‘Showdown’ phase.
As with community card poker games, the player with the final action in the previous round reveals their cards. If no one made a bet then the player in the earliest seat reveals their hand. This continues in a clockwise direction if there are more than two players who have survived till this last round.
The players discard two cards to form their highest poker value hand at an attempt to win the pot. If there is an identical draw then the pot is distributed equally amongst the winners.
Seven Card Stud Tip:
Know when to be aggressive. Hang in there if you land an Ace or King within your first Three cards and play aggressively from the start if either of those come in a pair.
Other Variations of Stud Poker
Already have a grasp of regular Seven Stud Poker? You may or may not of heard of a variant called Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo poker. Rules are fairly similar, however the difference is that there are two potential winners in each game; the player holding the highest value poker hand and the player holding the lowest value poker hand. There is also another type of Stud poker called Razz which rewards the entire pot to the best low hand at showdown.
A good way to get into Triple Draw or any type of poker game is to practice on play money online poker sites. You can find lists of OPA approved sites on our US Poker Sites Guide.
Seven Card Stud Poker Video Tutorial
If you’re more of a watch-and-learn poker player, check out the Pot Limit Omaha Poker video tutorial below: