How to Play 7 Card Stud Poker: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Content Team 1 year ago
How to Play 7 Card Stud Poker: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

As a classic form of poker, Seven Card Stud is one of those games that takes a lifetime to master. Seven Card Stud involves each player being dealt seven cards throughout the hand, with the best five-card poker hand for each player determining the winner. Seven Card Stud is a game where the bets are placed in fixed increments, unlike Texas Hold’em and Omaha, which are usually played with a limited betting structure. Please take a moment to check out our guide on how to play 7 card stud now.

History of 7 Card Stud

Stud poker took its inspiration from European games like Poque, Nas, and Bragg during the American Civil War. When The American Hoyle published its first edition in 1864, 5-card stud became an official poker game.

New Orleans and riverboats on the Mississippi River became popular venues for the game, where con artists convinced tourists to bet a lot on games that they rarely understood. In their belief that poker is a game of chance, they would lose to those who understood that poker is a game of skill.

Servicemen frequently played stud poker during both world wars, including 7-card stud.

7-card stud games are still available in casinos today, but they’re not as common or popular as NLHE. Among all the poker games, stud is regarded as the hardest by most players. It’s impossible to follow charts, and you can’t replace experience. Therefore, new professionals and amateurs rarely commit to stud, and stud pros have a difficult time making a living playing their preferred game.

Nevertheless, Stud Poker always makes an appearance at the World Series of Poker, and there has been some big wins that will go down in the game’s history. Tom Koral, for example, ended a 13-year losing streak when he won the 2017 WSOP stud event. That’s a lot of dedication to the game!

On the East Coast, 7-card stud continues to be more popular than elsewhere. That is because, since Hold’Em was developed in Texas, that game is much more popular in the West. A regional and generational divide characterizes today’s 7-card stud poker scene, and we’ll have to see how it shakes out as we continue to play.

Seven Card Stud Rules

7 Card Stud poker can be quite a change if you have previously only played community card games. However, there is no reason to be worried about this as the game’s rules aren’t too complicated on their own and are quite simple to learn.

The first round of dealing cards begins with the player to the dealer’s left and proceeds clockwise. It is common for players to be dealt three cards at a time (one at a time), with the first two being dealt face down and the third being dealt face up. Third street refers to this round.

All players still active in hand receive a fourth card after the first betting round (the fourth street). Then, the same process is repeated for the next two cards (fifth and sixth streets). Finally, after a single card is dealt face-up, there is a round of betting that follows.

After the sixth street, if players are still left, they are dealt one final card, face down. Thus, at the end of a 7 Card Stud hand, you will likely have up to seven cards, three being face down and the remaining four facing up.

The dealer button may or may not rotate around the table according to 7 Card Stud Poker rules. In this game, being on the button has no inherent advantage, so even if the deal began with the same player every time, it would have no effect.

How To Play 7 Card Stud

When it comes to misdeals, the following situations are to be considered:

    • Each player receives three cards after the dealer burns one card from the deck. Face down will be dealt to the first two cards, while face up to the final card. Third Street is commonly known as this.
    • After the third street is dealt, the player with the lowest upcard will begin this first betting round. First, the player must place a forced bet at the table with at least the low bet limit. Then, the game continues to that player’s left, with subsequent players raising, calling, or folding.
    • After the first round of betting is completed, the dealer will deal a second round of cards to players face up, called Fourth Street. The betting order is determined, in this round and the remaining betting rounds, by the player showing the highest exposed hand. In both cases, the round betting proceeds clockwise around the table, with each player betting as the round continues.

During the second round of betting, the minimum stake is set at the table’s lower limit stake; during the third round, the maximum stake is set at the table’s higher limit stake.

  • During the second round of betting, if one of the players has a pair with their two face-up cards, players can bet in multiples of either that table’s lower or higher limit stake. After a player bets at the table’s higher limit stake, all following players must also bet there.
  • Players will be dealt an exposed card in the next two rounds, and a betting round will follow the deal. It is generally referred to as Fifth Street and Sixth Street.
  • In the final round of dealing, players will receive a seventh card face down. Following the River, another round of betting will take place, with the player showing the highest hand starting the game.
  • The “Showdown” will begin following the final round of betting. If no betting had taken place in the final round, the player with the high hand will reveal first. If no one has placed a bet or raised it, the last player will reveal his cards first. As the first player reveals his cards, the rest of the players will reveal their cards clockwise. In the “Showdown,” any remaining player can reveal their cards or “muck” their hand, folding their hand without revealing their cards. When all five cards are revealed, the player with the best five-card poker hand receives a pot of money.

Seven-Card Stud Poker Variants

7-Card Stud Hi/Lo

7-card stud hi/lo variants are commonly found in online poker rooms; however, the pot is split only at the end of the game. There is an equal pot split between the highest and lowest-hand players.

Mississippi Stud

Due to the removal of the fourth and fifth street rounds, Mississippi Stud has only four betting rounds. As a result, the betting structure and number of down and up cards in Texas Hold’em are quite similar.


Razz is a lowball version of a 7-card stud. It is the goal of the game to get the lowest hand possible.

Down the River

As one of the most basic variants of 7-card stud poker, down the river, it is quite common in most poker rooms and is one of the most played variants of the game.

Queens and After

All Queen cards in this variant are wild cards, as is the face-up card dealt after the Queen card. All cards are changed to the card that follows the Queen if the following card is also Queen.

Roll Your Own

There are four rounds in the Roll Your Own variant, and two cards are dealt face-down in each round. Then, a face-up card is rolled, and the betting round begins.

Low Chicago

Low Chicago is played with a low spade in the hole covering half of the pot. A low spade becomes a high spade in High Chicago.


Wild cards in this variant are the 3s and 9. In addition, a player gets an extra card if they receive a 4 face-up.

Acey Ducey

Wild cards are all Aces and deuces in this variant.

Tips for Seven-card stud

Despite Hold’em’s reputation as the “Cadillac of poker,” there are many strategic elements to stud games.

If you want to become a winning player and succeed in the game, then it will be necessary for you to learn some fundamental 7 Card Poker strategies.

What are the best hands to play?

Your first and most important step is to learn what 7 Card Stud hands you want to play. When you get involved with weak starting hands in Hold’em, you are in for a world of hurt later.

As you gain more experience, you can add more hands to your repertoire.

  • A total of three trips (three of a kind)
  • Pairs from AA to 88 (big and medium)
  • You will need three broadway cards, including a 10 (preferably suited)
  • Connectors of moderate suitability

Even though this is quite a narrow range, it is recommended that you go this way when you are just beginning to learn the rules of 7 Card Stud and getting accustomed to the game. It’s also important to pay attention to your kicker card when starting with a pair since the higher the kicker, the more playability you’ll have on the later streets.

Pay Attention to Discarded Cards

A skill crucial to Stud’s success is your ability to memorize the cards that are being discarded at any given moment if you want to be able to play Stud well.

The importance of this can be attributed to two factors. In the first place, if you’re on a draw, but you’ve seen four of your eight outs being mucked, then you should know your chances of actually making the hand are greatly reduced.

Secondly, if your adversary attempts to represent a certain hand, it will be much easier to guess if they are actually holding that hand.

Sometimes you might even find yourself up against an opponent trying to represent a hand they cannot hold. If, for example, they’re betting as if they’ve got a straight, but you actually have a face-down nine in your hand. Many amateur players don’t bother to pay attention to what’s happening during a hand, even though this kind of thing will not happen to an experienced Stud player.

As a player, you will need to memorize as many mucked cards as you can and use this information to your advantage to earn a lot of money playing this game.

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Work on Your Board Reading Abilities

The following piece of advice is related to the previous one. The key to 7 Card Stud games is to pay attention to your opponent’s discarded cards and the cards they show in order to find out what they are chasing.

While this may seem simple, developing the skillset required to do it well will take some time. It is best to think through all the possibilities in every situation and not make rash decisions. Then, if you make a mistake, at least you will know about it, and you will be able to learn from it, so the next time you find yourself in the same situation, you are better prepared to make a better decision.

Play Your Big Hands for Value

Seven Card Stud is a strong starting holding, consisting of big pocket pairs (pocket aces through JJ) and rolled-up trips. In order to maximize your chances of winning, you should play these hands as much as possible for value and avoid being too tricky with them.

There will be times when you have to slow down and pull back because things will simply seem too obvious at the time. For example, you will know if you come in for another raise showing a 4 when a player with a King bet, then another player raises with an Ace.

The strength of your hand won’t need to be hidden too much in lower-limit games, though. Due to the fact that fixed-limit games are “just another bet,” people tend to call a lot, even in situations where they are ahead.

Observe Your Opponents

Almost all poker variations follow this advice, and 7 Card Stud poker is no exception. Even when you’re not playing a hand, you should pay attention to what other players are doing. You will benefit from the extra information here at some point in the future.

Even when the opponent’s board clearly indicates that they are never good, you can detect someone who calls too much. As these players don’t have a fold button, you’ll want to value bet against them relentlessly.

This will help you improve much faster if you wish to learn how to play 7 Card Stud properly. Of course, if you want to boost your progress, you can always join Mixed Games Masterclass, but even these tips can help.

As you think about the game and come to some conclusions, you’ll be able to understand more complex ideas later in your career.


There is a great deal of importance that you pay close attention to the cards of your opponents as you play seven-card stud. When you have, for example, a straight draw with K♣Q♦J♥10♠, and you already see three aces on the table, you are only able to draw to one ace and the rest of the nines on the table. As a result, you may incorrectly estimate your odds of winning if you are unaware a player folded the case ace.


What are the rules for 7 Card Stud?

Before the first betting round, a pair of downcards and one upcard are dealt, followed by three more upcards and one more downcard. There is a final round of betting after the last downcard is dealt. The pot is won by the best five-card poker hand.

How many cards do you get in 7 Card Stud?

Starting-hand selection is critical in seven-card stud, as in every poker game. Each player is handed seven cards, three of which are dealt face down and four of which are dealt face up. The player must select his finest five-card combination from these seven cards.

How do you win at 7 stud poker?

Firstly, be more cautious with starting hands and pay close attention to any discarded cards. Try memorizing as many mucked cards as possible. Play your big hands for value, and choose your bluffing moments with caution, but don’t be scared to bluff.

Is 7 card stud the same as Texas Hold’em?

The flop is not used in seven-card stud; in most circumstances, neither are community cards. This is the main distinction between seven-card stud and other popular poker variants like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Read our guide to learn how to play 7 Card Stud, with its rules and tips.

What are the odds of getting a straight flush in 7 Card Stud?

A royal flush probability can be calculated using the number of royal flushes divided by the number of poker hands. As a result of our division, we see that a royal flush is indeed rare. The probability of being dealt this hand is only 4/2,598,960 = 1/649,740 = 0.00015%.

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