The Rules of 7-Card Stud

What is 7 Card Stud?

Seven Card Stud High is a variation that can be played in some online poker rooms and World Series of Poker tournaments. Depending on where you are, you may also find it in a casino near you. The variant is less popular than Hold'em or Omaha, but is just as interesting. Please note that the rules for 7 Card Stud are the same as the rules for 7 Card Stud Poker Eight or better with the difference that the game will be played in Hi only

Before the cards are dealt

Some poker variants work with blinds (like Hold'em or Omaha), but Stud works with antes and bets. Tournament players will already be familiar with the concept; an ante is a bet paid by all players at the table before the start of all poker hands. In Stud, the ante will only be paid once, unlike the way tournaments are played. According to the game's limit, all players must therefore have paid their ante before the cards are dealt

Flow of a 7-card Stud hand (betting periods and streets)

Please note that not everyone agrees on the exact way to play this Stud variation, but in this article you will find the most common way to play

The first distribution of cards is done in two steps

  • Each player is dealt two hidden cards, one at a time, clockwise
  • Once all players have received their two hidden cards, each player is dealt a face-up card. In the first round of dealing, each player will therefore have 2 private cards plus one visible card

In Hold'em, we would have the preflop action here, but in Stud, this is the first betting round also called 3rd street

The player with the smallest visible card will open the bidding. That person will have to pay what is called the bring-in (some people also use the term "small bet" to refer to the bring-in) which is half the small limit on the pot. If two or more players have the same denomination, the player closest to the dealer will pay the bring-in. The player who pays the bring-in will not have to pay anything more to see the next card if no player raises in this round

If the player who must put in his bring-in is already all in and therefore cannot do so, the bring-in must be paid for by the next player clockwise

The player to speak after him or her will be determined by the clockwise direction. As is the case in all types of poker, you have to pay the down bet to continue in the hand. Players remaining after the first round of betting will move on to the 2nd round of bidding (4th street). Prior to this period, each player will receive one visible card. At this stage, the player with the best visible combination will open the second round of betting. If two players have the same combination, the player closest to the dealer will speak first

We will then proceed to the third betting round (5th street). If there are 2 or more players left in the hand, a third visible card will be dealt. As is the case for 4th street, the player with the best visible combination will speak first. In this round of betting, the bets must be equal to the big limit

The next round of betting will take place after the deal of a fourth card visible to all players (6th street). The principle remains the same as before, the bidding round will start with the player who has the strongest visible combination

The last card that players still remaining in the hand will receive will be hidden. We will talk here about the 7th street. Each player will have 3 hidden cards and 4 face-up cards. The bidding round will work as before. Note that some people will play a version of 7 Card Stud with this card (the 7th) which will be open, therefore visible to other players. But most of the time, in online poker rooms or in the casino near you, this card will be hidden

Note: If exceptionally all players are still in the hand and there are not enough cards left, the dealer will draw a card that is visible to all. This card will be the seventh card common to all players

The showdown

This is where players still in the hand will have to compare their hands. The player who opened last must present his hand first. After the first player has shown his hand, subsequent players will not be required to show their hand if they are beaten. Only players with a better hand will have to show their cards

IMPORTANT: If two players have the same hand, then the prize pool will be split between those two players

Rank of hands

The rank of hands in 7-Card Stud is the same as the rank of hands in Hold'em with the only difference being that you will have cards visible to all other players, which will bring a different dynamic

The rank of the hands in descending order will therefore be as follows:

  • Royal Straight Flush
  • Straight flush
  • Square
  • Full ("full house" or "boat")
  • Couleur ("flush")
  • Straight or straight ("Straight")
  • Brelan ("Three of a kind")
  • Two pairs
  • One pair
  • The highest card

Betting Rules

In Stud, the possible options are: fold, check, bet, call, raise. Your available options will depend on the previous actions. If no player has bet before you, for example, the check option will be available. If a player has bet before you, the check option will be absent. Your options will then be to folder, call the bet or raise