Poker Rules of 7 (Seven) Card Stud

Poker Rules of 7 Card Stud

Seven card stud is the most popular version of stud poker. At one time it was the most popular form of poker in the United States. While Hold'em has overtaken it, it is still widely popular, particularly on the East Coast. Stud can be played with two to eight players. Each player is dealt seven cards, three down and four up. The goal is to make the best possible poker hand from any combination of the seven cards you are dealt.

Forced Bets


Stud is normally played with an ante. Before each hand is dealt, each player puts out a predetermined amount of money, usually around 1/5 of the low bet. The ante does not count towards any future betting and if a player does not ante, they will not receive a card.


Once the antes are collected, the dealer will deal everyone three cards, in a clockwise manner. The first two cards will be face down, and the third will be face up. The player who has the lowest card face up will then have the option of putting in the bring-in bet (one half of the low bet) or completing the bet (putting in the full low bet). For example, if you are playing 4-8 limit stud, the bring must put in either $2.00 or $4.00. In the event that two players have the same rank of low card, the bring-inis determined by suit. Clubs are the lowest suit, followed by diamonds, hearts and spades. So the 2 of clubs will always be forced to bring it in, no matter what. The bring-in does count towards your bet. If no one raises, you will not have to put any further money in; if someone does raise, that bet will count towards calling the raise if you chose to call.

Betting Rounds

In Seven Card Stud, there are five rounds of betting. The game is almost exclusively played fixed limit. The first two betting rounds the bets and raises are of an X amount, and the final three rounds are 2X. Taking the example above, if you are playing 4-8 stud, the first two rounds of betting all bets and raises must be $4, and on the final three rounds, they must be $8. In most casinos and online, a bet and three raises are all that is allowed per round of betting.

Betting Round One (3rd Street)

In Stud, rounds of betting are commonly referred to as "Streets", starting with 3rd street and continuing until 7th street. Before 3rd street begins, every player is dealt four cards, two down and one up. The bring-in determines if he wants to put in a half bet or a low limit bet. Then, from clockwise of the bring- in, all players determine if they want to fold, call or raise. If the bring-input in the half bet, then the first raise can only "complete" the bet. So if the bring-inputs in $2, the first raise can only make it $4. How ever, if the bring-in opts to put in a full $4 to start action, all future raises must be in increments of four. If a player opts to fold, then he will turn his up card face down, and throw his hand into the middle of the table. Once all the bets and raises have completed, 4th street begins.

4th Street

Another card is dealt face up to every player. At this point, the highest hand showing is first to act. So whoever has the highest pair acts first. If no one has a pair, then whom ever has the highest two cards acts first. The player first to act then derides if he wants to bet or check. If he bets, the bet must be the full low bet. If he checks, the action will then move clockwise to the next person with a live hand. However, if the first player to act has a pair showing in their first two cards, they and all other players acting afterwards have an additional betting option, making a full high bet. For example, if someone was playing 4-8 stud and they were dealt AA in their first two cards, they may check, bet $4, or bet $8. Otherwise, all bets must be the full low limit bet size. If two players have identical 2 cards, then the suit of their highest card determines whom acts first, the order again is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. Once betting and raise have completed, play continues to 5th street.

5th Street

A fifth card is dealt face up to every remaining player. Play continues as in the previous round, with the new highest hand to act first. However, in this round and all subsequent rounds of betting, the bets and raises must be of the full high bet size. So if you are playing 4-8 stud, all bets and raises in remaining rounds will be in increments of eight. When betting and raises ends, the 6th street begins.

6th Street

A sixth card is dealt face up to every remaining player. Play is the same as in 5th street, with the highest viable hand having first action. All bets and raises must be of the high limit bet size.

7th Street

A seventh card is dealt face down to every player. The player who has the highest viable hand acts first. All bets and raises must be equal to the high limit bet size. If all eight players are still in the hand by 7th street, there would not be enough cards to deal each one a card face down. In this event, a single card face up that is used communally, and anyone may use in making the best five card hand. However, this is an extremely rare occurrence.


Anyone who has not folded by the time the betting ends on 7th street now has the option of showing their best possible five card hand, in attempt to win the pot. The last person to bet or raise has the first option to show their hand, and it continues clockwise to the remaining players in the hand, each player having the option of showing their hand or mucking. Who ever has the highest ranking hand is awarded the pot. In the rare event that two players have the identical hand, the pot is split.

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