Seven Card Stud Rules
Seven Card Stud is one of the oldest forms of poker in the world. It is the game many players grew up playing before Holdem became popular. Let’s take a quick look at the rules to this old classic.
First, in most games players must put in an ante before receiving a hand. For the sake of this introduction, we will set the stakes of this game at $2-4 limits with a 50 cent ante. After the ante is posted, each player receives three cards. Two cards are face down while the others are face up. The player with the lowest up card puts in a bet known as a bring-in bet. In the event that two players have the same low card, the player with the lowest suit must bring it in. Suits are rank alphabetically, with the order as clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. The bring-in bet in most games is double the ante. In the case of our game, the bring-in would be $1.
A player that has the bring-in bet may also complete the bet to the small bet amount. In our game, the small bet is $2. If the bring-in player does not complete the bet, then any other player that chooses to remain in the hand may complete the bet. A completion is not considered a raise. Once a bet is completed, subsequent raising may be done in the small bet amount.
After betting is completed, each player receives another card face up. Another round of betting occurs. Betting starts with the player that shows the highest hand. This is how betting is determined on all subsequent streets. On Fourth Street, any player at the table may make a double bet, which is twice the small bet amount. If a player bets out $2, then the next player may raise the double bet amount. Once the double bet amount has been bet, then subsequent betting and raising must be in that amount.
A third card is dealt to everyone face up after betting is completed. This is known as Fifth Street and betting from this point until the end occurs in the big bet amount. In our example, betting is in $4 increments. After betting is concluded on this street, every player receives a fourth card face up. This is Sixth Street. There aren’t any special rules on 6th street. After this round of betting is concluded, a final card is dealt to everyone face down. This is Seventh Street. Many players will refer to this as the river. A final round of betting occurs and then the remaining players showdown their hands. The player holding the best five card hand takes the pot.
Seven Card Stud is primarily found in cash games, and is more prevalent in Atlantic City and Los Angeles. Elsewhere, Stud games are tough to find live. Stud tournaments are even harder to find. However, Stud is one of the five elements in an H.O.R.S.E. tournament and those are beginning to become wildly popular throughout the country.