How to Play Seven Card Stud Poker – 7 Stud Rules

Seven Card Stud Poker has been around for quite some time and is increasingly popular in the online casino world. Players now have the ease and comfortabley to enjoy cash games, sit n gos and Seven Card Stud tournaments from the privacy of their own home. The hand ranking for Seven Card Stud is the same is in Texas Holdem, so this should be familiar to a lot of poker players. Seven Card Stud Poker is also sometimes referred to as Seven Card Stud Hi.

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7 Card Stud is pretty straightforward and players semi-familiar with poker should find the differences quite simple to adjust to. Just like with any poker game, it is simple to learn the basics but it takes time, patience and practice to master.

7 Card Stud is played with antes instead of blinds. This is one of the differences from Omaha or Texas Holdem. The antes are used to build the pot and are required from each player prior to the hand being dealt.

Once the antes are placed in the pot, the hand begins. The dealer will give each player three cards. Two of them will be face down and one will be face-up. Face down cards are also referred to as hole cards. Since there are no blinds, the person to start the betting is determined by selecting the bring-in.

The bring-in is the player with the lowest card exposed. This player must make what’s called a forced bet. If you’re playing a $1/$2 game, the forced bet would normally be $1 or in some cases, $.50. This depends on the table and where you are playing. Each table and casino are slightly different in this regard.

The action or the betting goes in a clockwise pattern around the table. There are 7 streets in 7 card Stud Poker and each street is referring to the 7 cards that are dealt to each player throughout the hand. The first three streets are prior to any betting.

Between each street following 3rd street, there is a betting round. After 7th street there is a final betting round and players will go to a showdown if necessary. 4th, 5th, and 6th street are all one card that is dealt to each player face-up. 7th Street is the final card and this card is a hole card. In total, players will have 3 cards face down and 4 cards face-up.

In 7 Card Stud (Hi), the player with the highest hand wins. The hands rank with a Royal Flush being the highest and a pair being the lowest. If no player has a pair or better, the winner is determined by high card. If two or more players share the high card, the high card moves to the second highest card.

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In any poker game, it is essential that you not only know the rules but that you have a basic understanding of the strategy that is used to play the game. If you don’t have at least this basic knowledge, you’re guaranteed to just throw away your money. 7 Card Stud should be played with position in mind. You should also know the playable starting hands.

Position is a little different in 7 Card Stud versus Omaha or Holdem in regards to each player having their own exposed cards versus community cards. The observant player has a little advantage in 7 Card Stud. You need to be able to look at the other player’s hands, notice who has what showing and figure out how those cards impact the hand. If you are drawing for an open-ended straight and don’t realize that 4 of your outs are taken by other player’s exposed cards, you’ve just crippled yourself.

The later you are to decide or act, the better your position is. The person sitting in the dealer position or the last person to act has the best position on the table.

Starting Hands:

  • Trips (Three of a kind) – High trips should be played aggressively according to position. Low trips should be played a little slower until later in the streets to see how the hand formulates.
  • Pairs – Play but observe the board, watch out for over cards exposed.
  • High Over Cards – They should be higher than what’s exposed on the board.
  • Flush Draw (3 suited) – 2 of the 3 should be high cards.
  • Straight Draw (3 to the straight) – You should be drawing to a high straight, especially in middle-early position.
  • Straight Flush Draw – Must have 3 of the cards needed and be observant of the exposed cards. Make sure you are not drawing dead.

Don’t get in the habit of chasing draws to 7th street. If you’re risking too much and haven’t hit by 4th or 5th street, reevaluate. Calculate the pot odds, look at how many players are in the hand and determine if it’s even worth it.

7 Card Stud Poker can be a very fun game and can also be very rewarding. However, it takes practice and lots of patience to master the game. Calculate your odds, know your position and play hands that have good probabilities. Don’t be afraid to fold. You should be folding hands significantly more than you play hands. When you do play a hand, if it’s been awhile, don’t be afraid to fold halfway in. A lot of novice players have a tough time letting go once they’re slightly committed or have something invested. Don’t make that mistake – know when you’re beat.