7 card stud
7 Card Stud Rules
The 7-card version of Stud is played much in the same way as 5 Card Stud. The major differences being that with 7 Card Stud there is one more round of betting and a lower percentage of your cards are dealt face up. Stud games do not have community cards so if you’re used to playing games like Texas Holdem and Omaha, you’ll need to adjust your thinking when playing stud.
Starting Play with 7 Card Stud
Play starts in 7 Card Stud with an ante from each player. When a player antes, it simply means that they have put money in the pot to indicate that they are in the hand. An ante is usually worth about 1/3 the small bet. In a game where the small bet is $6.00 and the big bet $12.00, the ante would be $2.00.
With all antes in, the dealer starts distributing cards from left to right. At first, each player in 7 Card Stud receives three cards—two down and one up.
The betting starts in 7 Card Stud with the player holding the lowest up card bringing-in. The “bring-in” is a bet that is either one-third to one-half the small bet. If two or more players have the same low card, the low card is designated by suit. In Stud, the ranking of suits is determined alphabetically, running lowest to highest as Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades. If the player does not bring-in, then they are out of that hand.
The player to the left of the bring-in has three choices. They may match the first wager, match the full amount of the small bet or fold. Wagering progresses around the table with players matching the latest bet, raising or folding. Usually raises per round are limited to three. The next card is dealt once all bets have been placed or players have folded.
Another face up card is dealt to each player as we enter 3rd Street. With 3rd Street, each player has two cards exposed and two in the hole. This time, the player with the highest up cards starts the betting. They may wager the small bet or check.
In checking a player decides to stay in the hand without betting. Often a player will do this to see what other players will do. If everyone checks during a round, then the next card is dealt without any additional money being wagered.
Once someone does bet or raise, wagering continues clockwise with players either matching the bet, raising again or folding. After all bets are made or players have folded, another card is dealt.
The fifth card is also dealt face up. Players now have three cards exposed and two in the hole. Once again, the player with the strongest cards showing begins the betting. However, from now on players must bet the big bet. In our game, this would be $12.00. Betting continues in the same manner as it did during 3rd Street.
If this were 5 Card Stud, the players would be at the showdown. But with 7 Card Stud there’s still a long way to go and anything can happen.
5th Street and Showdown
With 7 Card Stud, 5th Street is when the final up card is dealt. Players now have four cards showing and two face down. Once the cards are dealt betting commences as it did during 4th street. Once that round of wagering is finished, it’s onto the final card and the show down.
The last card is dealt face down. This aspect makes 7 Card Stud a very interesting poker game in two ways. First, players have seven cards from which they make the best five-card hand possible. Second, three of four cards are hidden from the other players, which makes bluffing a bit easier than it would be in 5 Card Stud.
Once the last card is dealt betting progresses in the same manner it did in the round before. Once all bets have been made or players have folded, the players reveal their best five-card hands. If there is a tie, the pot is split evenly.
A Good 7 Card Stud Hand
When the poker table has seven players at it and all stay in the hand the cards from a 52-card deck get spread very thinly. With everyone staying 49 or 52 cards would be used in a 7 Card Stud game. That means a pair or two make for a very strong hand. Thus, if you’re used to playing Hold’em or Omaha, where pairs are relatively weak and common, you’ll need to adjust your strategy when engaging in 7 Card Stud.
7 Card Stud is a game that can change rapidly. It takes sound analytical skills and a solid knowledge of game rules and strategy to win.
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