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How to Play 7 Card Stud for Dummies

Jonn Seo | August 7, 2020 | Updated on: January 7th, 2021

7 Card Stud Poker7 Card Stud (also known as Seven Card Stud) is one of the most popular online poker variations played today. As with pretty much each form of poker, your aim the highest hand possible to beat your opponents’ hands. The player with the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.

In a regular game, all players will be given seven cards through the course of the game (which is why it is called 7 Card Stud). With these cards, you will need to build the strongest five-card hand possible, while discarding two cards.

Seven Card Stud poker is considered one of the more exciting and strategic poker games, which is why it is so popular with players in the United States. In fact, it is up there with Texas Hold’em in terms of tournament games. So, if you would like to find out more about this poker variation, make sure to stick around.

We’ve created the ultimate guide to the game for new players. In teaching you how to play, we go over the following topics:

  • The rules of the game
  • Standard five-card poker hands
  • The best 7 card stud strategy to use

We also walk you through a standard game so that you will know exactly what you are in for when you play online. So, what are you waiting for?

Play 7 Stud Poker Online

7 Card Stud Poker Rules

Before we get into the walkthrough of how this game works, perhaps it would be better to explain some of the game’s rules.

  • As mentioned above, the objective of the game is to build the best possible five-card combination with the seven cards you are dealt with throughout the game. The player with the best hand wins after the final round of betting.
  • Players must ante in this form of poker. This means that players bet before the game even begins. The size of the bets placed at the table is dependent on the group of players and house rules regarding betting limits.
  • Seven Card stud is generally a game in which the highest hands wins the pot. However, there are variations in which the player with the lowest hand could earn a payout too. So, make sure of the rules of the game you are playing because it will impact your strategy significantly.
  • Players hoping that the pot is split in the case of a tie in Seven Card Stud will be disappointed. In this game, ties are broken by position nearest the dealer.

Seven Card Stud Poker – Game Walkthrough

An average game of seven-card stud plays out as follows:

  1. Players place an ante.
  2. They then receive two cards face down, and a third card is facing upwards. (With regards to poker jargon, this play is traditionally referred to as the third street. The face-down cards are referred to as hole cards, and face-up cards are called door cards.
  3. This is where the action starts. After you have received your cards, you need to decide on your next move. You can cut your losses and drop out of the game or remain an active player by raising the bet amount or calling (matching) bets others have made.
  4. Following this, you are dealt one more card face up. This is known as the Fourth Street play.
  5. Players are then given another opportunity to bet or drop out of the game. Betting starts with the player who received the highest Fourth Street card.
  6. The Fifth Street play commences. Players are given a fifth card also dealt face up.
  7. After the other rounds, there is another opportunity to bet or fold.
  8. After betting has finished, the play continues with Sixth Street. A sixth card is dealt with players face up.
  9. You’ve probably caught the pattern – there is another opportunity to bet or fold.
  10. Finally, we have reached the river. A seventh card is dealt with players but faces down this time.
  11. Players get an opportunity to build a five-card hand with their cards during another betting round, which starts with the player with the highest visible hand. The two cards you discard can’t be called back into play, so choose wisely.
  12. Hands are revealed, and a winner is declared!

7 Card Poker Hands

So, there really isn’t any variation with regards to accepted poker hands in 7 Card Stud. It uses all the standard hands. If you are unsure of what those are, here is a summary:

  • Royal Flush – This is hand featuring 10, J, Q, K, and A all in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush – any five sequential cards in the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind – four cards of the same value. So, for example, four Aces.
  • Full House – a combination of a three of a kind and a pair.
  • Flush – five cards of any order all in the same suit.
  • Straight – five cards of different suits but in sequential order. For example, a hand of 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value. For example, three aces.
  • Two Pair – Two sets of two cards of the same value. For example, two Aces and two Kings.
  • Pair – two cards of the same value.
  • High Card – you have no combination. So, the strength of your hand is based on the highest cards in it. The best you can hope for in such a situation is an Aces high.

Best Seven Card Stud Strategy

So, we have got a few tips that you should keep in mind while playing this poker variation. They are sure to help you win more games.

Pay Attention to All Hands

This should really go without saying, but you can make a lot of deductions regarding your hand by watching other players’ hands. For example, if you are dealt a pair of Aces at the beginning of the game, and two other players are also visibly dealt Aces, you already know you will never be able to get a four-of-a-kind.

seven card stud poker how to play

Adjust Your Strategy to the Number of Opponents

If you are playing poker against a single person, a low hand has a better chance of winning than it would in a game featuring more people. In games featuring a larger number of players, it is more likely that a person was able to build a better hand than a high card or pair.

So, in such cases, we don’t recommend sticking with such hands.

Don’t Play Every Hand (But Don’t Be Too Cautious Either)

Playing every single hand is never a good idea. You should be able to tell whether or not a particular hand is worth going for from the beginning. Don’t go for stupid plays because often, this will just lead to you losing your bankroll quickly.

However, with this state, also don’t be too strict on what hands you do play. If you are only going to play hands when you are dealt with a starting three-of-a-kind, you aren’t going to be playing any games.