7-Card Stud rules

Seven-card Stud was once the most popular form of poker. Its prime has passed and now Stud is considered an “old timers” game. Stud can be played either high or as a split pot game. Seven-card Stud Hi/Lo, or Stud 8, is a game in which half the pot awarded to the high hand and the other half to the low hand, but only if it qualifies with five cards under 8 or better.

Introduction to 7-Card Stud

Mixed games have risen in popularity and Seven-Card Stud and Stud Hi/Lo are staples in games like HORSE, HOSE, and 8-Game Mix. Stud (high only) is known as the “S” in mixed games such as HOSE and HORSE. Stud Hi/Lo is known as the “E” as in “Eight or Better” for mixed games like HOSE and HORSE.

The most common form of Seven-card Stud you will find is Limit Stud. Pot-limit and No-limit Stud games are impossible to find and rarely played.

Although Texas Hold'em is the primary game in the film Rounders, there are several scenes involving Seven-card Stud hands.

How to play Seven-Card Stud?

The goal is to make the best possible five-card high hand. In Stud Hi/Lo, although it is a split pot game, your main goal is to scoop the entire pot and win both the high and the low.

In Stud, the first two cards are dealt down in the hole and the third card, known as Third Street, is exposed. The fourth, fifth, and sixth cards are dealt up, while the seventh and final river card is dealt down. Overall, three cards are dealt down (the first two and the last) and four cards are dealt up.

Stud is a game that requires excellent memory because after an opponent folds their hand, you have to remember what cards were thrown into the muck when determining potential outs.

7-Card Stud hand example

The game is Seven-card Stud (high only). The stakes are $10/$20 with a $1 ante. The bring-in is $5.

3rd street - 1st round of betting

Ante: everyone pays an ante of $1 and then the cards are dealt – the first two are down and the third is exposed.

 

Your hand: as of Third Street, you start with a pair of Queens, but your opponent can only see the 9 of spades:

 

Carte privée Dame de coeur Carte privée Dame de carreau Carte 9 de pique

Your hand

 

Bring in: There are no blinds in Stud, however, the lowest card in Third Street has to pay the “bring in”, which is usually half of the small bet. If multiple players are tied with the lowest card, then the bring in is determined according to suit rankings (from lowest to highest): Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades. So if four players are dealt threes, the player with the 3 of clubs will have the bring-in. If two players have the 2c and the 2h, then the deuce of clubs will be the bring in. Whoever has the bring-in must bet the minimum, in this case $5, or they have the option to complete the bet to $10.

Betting continues clockwise, with the bring-in player have the last option to act.

 

After the player with the lowest card pays the bring in, the betting round begins. Players have the option to fold, call, or raise. They can call the bring-in bet of $5, or double the bet with a raise to $10. Action proceeds clockwise. If everyone folds to an uncalled raise, then that original raiser wins the pot.

When the betting round is complete, the next card is dealt.

4th street - 2nd round of betting

The fourth card is dealt up so everyone can see two exposed cards. Our hand now improved to two pair – Queens and Nines.

 

Carte privée Dame de coeur Carte privée Dame de carreau Carte 9 de pique Carte 9 de coeur

 

The player with the best possible hand showing starts the betting. They have the option to check or bet $10. Action proceeds clockwise. If a player is facing a raise, they must call, fold, or re-raise. The player with the best hand is the last to act. If the pot is not raised and other opponents have only called, the initial player has the option of checking or raising. If the best hand checks, then the next card is dealt. If the initial player raises, then betting continues until the action returns back to them. If no one calls a raise, the last person to raise wins the pot without revealing their hole cards.

Once all remaining bets and raises have been called, the dealer puts out the next card.

 

Please note, that is a player has a pair showing on fourth street, then they have the option to double the minimum bet. In this case, you have the option to bet the minimum of $10 or bump it up to $20.

5th street - 3rd round of betting

The fifth card is dealt up, so now two cards are down and three are exposed. Your hand is still two pair – Queens and nines.

 

Carte privée Dame de coeur Carte privée Dame de carreau Carte 9 de pique Carte 9 de coeur Carte 2 de carreau

 

The player with the best hand showing starts the action. The minimum bet is $20. They must call or check. Action proceeds clockwise. If a player is facing a raise, they must call, fold, or re-raise. The player with the best hand is the last to act. If the pot is not raised and other opponents have only called, the initial player has the option of checking or raising. If the best hand checks, then the next card is dealt. If the initial player raises, then betting continues until the action returns back to them. If no one calls a raise, the last person to raise wins the pot without revealing their hole cards.

Once all remaining bets and raises have been called, the dealer puts out the next card.

6th street - 4th round of betting

The sixth card is dealt up. This is the fourth and final card that is exposed. You still only have two pair – Queens and Nines.

 

Carte privée Dame de coeur Carte privée Dame de carreau Carte 9 de pique Carte 9 de coeur Carte 2 de carreau Carte 2 de pique

 

The player with the best hand showing starts the action. They must call $20 or check. Action proceeds clockwise. If a player is facing a raise, they must call, fold, or re-raise. The player with the best hand is the last to act. If the pot is not raised and other opponents have only called, the initial player has the option of checking or raising. If the best hand checks, then the next card is dealt. If the initial player raises, then betting continues until the action returns back to them. If no one calls a raise, the last person to raise wins the pot without revealing their hole cards.

Once all remaining bets and raises have been called, the dealer puts out the final card.

7th street or river - 5th round of betting

The seventh and final card is dealt down. That completes your third hole card with four cards exposed. You still have two pair – Queens and Nines – but with a Jack-kicker.

 

Carte privée Dame de coeur Carte privée Dame de carreau Carte 9 de pique Carte 9 de coeur Carte 2 de carreau Carte 2 de pique Carte privée Valet de trèfle

 

The player with the best hand showing starts the action. They must call $20 or check. Action proceeds clockwise. If a player is facing a raise, they must call, fold, or re-raise. The player with the best hand is the last to act. If the pot is not raised and other opponents have only called, the initial player has the option of checking or raising. If the best hand checks, then the next card is dealt. If the initial player raises, then betting continues until the action returns back to them. If no one calls a raise, the last person to raise wins the pot without revealing their hole cards.

Once all remaining bets and raises have been called, then the players reveal their hands.

Stud (high) hand selection

If you are a beginning Stud player, you should remember that hand selection is the key to playing winning poker over the long run. Stud is also a drawing game, so although you might have a made hand early on, there is a very good chance that you are beat by an opponent's drawing hand. So you want to keep that in mind when selection a starting hand. Obviously the best possible starting hands are three of a kind or “rolled up trips.” Don't forget, your opponent can only see one of your three cards, so rolled up hands are powerful because they are concealed very well.

Other good starting hands include any big pair and three coordinated cards like three potential straight cards or three cards of the same suit. You're looking for high cards with strong drawing potential.

 

For example, good starting hands include:

 

Carte privée As de pique Carte privée As de carreau Carte As de trèfle

Carte privée Valet de carreau Carte privée Valet de coeur Carte 9 de pique

Carte privée Valet de pique Carte privée Roi de pique Carte Dame de pique

Carte privée Roi de coeur Carte privée Valet de coeur Carte 10 de coeur

Stud Hi / Lo hand selection

In split pot games like Stud Hi/Lo, your ultimate goal is to scoop the entire pot and win both the high and the low. So any starting hand that has all three potential Wheel cards (A-2-3-4-5) is considered a premium hand in Hi/Lo. Added bonus if your starting hand is the same suit so you have a potential to make a flush and a low draw. Because you are dealt seven cards in Stud Hi/Lo, you will not get quartered like what frequently happens in Omaha Hi/Lo.

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