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Seven Card Stud

How to Play Seven Card Stud
by Staff

Anyone who has played in a home poker game knows that Seven Card Stud is a very popular game. It has been surpassed with the sudden growth in Texas Hold’Em but it is still a good game to know how to play. The game is played with 2-8 players.

The first thing you must do as a player is to buy your chips. The buy-in is generally 10 times the minimum bet. If you are playing in a casino you the low stakes game will usually be a $2-$4 game. This means the minimum bet is $2 and the big bet is $4. Online games can be found for lower amounts.

Everyone in the game is required to ante, the ante is usually around 10% of the small bet so in this case we will use 25 cents. After each player has put their ante in the pot the game begins. The dealer deals 2 cards down to each player and then 1 card up to each player. The player with the lowest card is required to make a bet called the “bring in” bet. This bet is for twice the amount of the ante so in our example it is 50 cents.

Each player must then call the 50 cent bet, fold their hand or raise the bet in the amount of the small bet ($2 in our example). All bets and raises are fixed at the small bet level for this round.

After all bets are made then a 4th card is dealt face up to each player that has not folded. The player with the highest hand showing (the result of the 2 face up cards) will be the first player to act. They can check or bet, if they have a pair then they can bet the higher bet amount ($4) or the low bet amount ($2) otherwise they must bet the low amount.

If they bet the higher amount then all bets and raises must be at that amount for this round. After all bets are made, a 5th card is dealt face up to all players who have not folded. The player with the highest hand (from the 3 face up cards) will begin the betting. All bets and raises in round 5 and 6 are at the higher bet amount ($4 in our example).

The 6th round is proceeds like round 5.

The final 7th card is dealt face down to each player who has not folded. All bets in this round are for the higher amount. After all bets are made there is a showdown with the best ranking hand winning the pot. Here are the hand rankings that determine the winner of the pot:

1. Royal Flush (A,K,Q,J,10) of the same suit)
2. Straight Flush (5 cards in a row of the same suit)
3. Four of a kind
4. Full House (3 of a kind and a pair)
5. Flush (5 cards of the same suit)
6. Straight. (5 cards in a row)
7. Three of a kind
8. Two pair
9. One Pair
10. High Card

If during the course of play you run out of chips, the dealer will move the chips to the side and you will be playing for that portion of the pot. The are many different ways to play 7 card stud but as with most poker advice the best advice is to play conservatively until you get a good hand and then get as much money as possible in the pot.

Related: How to Play Seven Card Stud Eights or Better.

Stud Strategy Articles:
Keeping Track of the Cards in Stud Poker - Daniel talks about the importance of knowing what the other players at the table are showing.


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