Seven Card Stud Poker

After Texas Hold ‘Em, Stud Poker is one of the most popular poker variants found in the casino. Despite being fairly similar to the better-known Hold ‘Em, Stud has a couple of differences that make it popular with players who are looking for a version of poker with more action that hopefully translates into more fun and more winnings. Here’s a breakdown of the stud poker rules and a few tips to get you going.

How to Play

Object of the game

The aim for each player is to win the pot, which contains all the bets which have been made by players in any one deal. Players make bets in the hope that they have the best pot, or by bluffing to give rival players the impression that you have.

The play

The game starts with 2-8 players at either a physical or virtual table, with each player taking dealer duties using a dealer token. Before any cards are drawn, a round of bets is made by all players at the table. Seven Card Stud uses fixed bets, so any raises need to match the small and large bet set out by the table rules. Each round also uses either a small or large bet, so read the rules properly so you don’t try and raise by a large bet in the first round of betting.

Betting Rounds

  1. Players must place an ante into the pot
  2. Players are dealt two cards face down (hole card) and one card face up (door card)
  3. The first round of betting commences
  4. Players are dealt one card face up (fourth street)
  5. The second round of betting commences
  6. Players are dealt another card face up (fifth street)
  7. The third round of betting commences
  8. Players are dealt another card face up (sixth street)
  9. The fourth round of betting commences
  10. Players are dealt a final card face down (river)
  11. Final round of betting
  12. Showdown (every remaining player show their hand)

Round one: Third Street

The player to the left of the person with the lowest card can now bet. They can either match the bring, or complete. This means that they raise the bet by betting the large bet. If this is the case, everyone around the table must either match this, or fold their cards if they don’t think their hand is strong enough to compete.

Round two: Fourth Street

After everyone has decided if they are folding or playing, the dealer then deals everyone still in the game another face up card, next to their other face up card. This time around, the player with the highest face-up hand acts first, which makes Fourth Street a pretty interesting round.

Each player still in the game has the option to:

  • Check, if no other bet has been made
  • Call to match any bet that has been made
  • Raise again with a small bet
  • Fold their cards, and lose any chips they have put in

Round three and four: Fifth Street and Sixth Street 

These two rounds are identical to Third Street, except all bets are made using the large bet. Each time, the dealer puts another face up card next to the other face up cards, and the player with the best poker hand makes the first betting decision.

Fifth and final round: Seventh Street (river)

Another card is dealt to each player except this time it is dealt face down. Once everyone has decided if they are playing or folding, it’s on to the showdown. The players left around the table collect their cards and make their best five card poker hand from the seven cards in front of them and lays it on the table. Whoever has the best hand wins the round, and the pot. But, player

Seven Card Stud Poker hands

Just like every other game, poker hands are made up of the best selection of cards available. Here are the best hands available, in order or strength:

  1. Royal flush – A,K,Q,J,10 all in the same suit
  2. Straight flush – five cards in a sequence, all of the same suit
  3. Four of a kind – four cards of the same rank, i.e. four aces
  4. Full house – one three of a kind and one pair
  5. Flush – five cards of the same suit, not in a sequence
  6. Straight – five cards in a sequence, but not in the same suit
  7. Three of a kind – three cards of the same rank, i.e. thee jacks
  8. Two pair – two different pairs, i.e. two threes and two fours
  9. Pair – two cards of the same rank, i.e. two queens
  10. High card – when no hand can be made from the hands above, then the hand with the highest card in it wins.

Now that you’ve got the basics of the seven card stud poker, it’s time to lay down some chips!


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