What I got for you here are the basics to 7-card stud. Below I give you an example hand of a round of 7-card stud played from start to finish, a few basic rules and what hands beat what.
A Hand of 7-Card Stud
Your first hand of 7-card stud might be a little confusing. Some cards are dealt face down, others are dealt face up and the betting will change halfway through the (entire) hand.
There’s a lot going on.
So I’m going to walk you through a complete example hand of 7-card stud. I’ll explain all the details you need to know along the way.
3rd Street (Ante and The Deal)
Despite the name, 3rd street is the very beginning of the hand. Before the cards are dealt each player will need to post an ante. The ante is a forced bet like the blinds in Texas holdem, but are much smaller. They are about 10% of the big bet. In a 2/4 game, the antes would be about .40.
Once the antes have been posted, each player will be dealt 3 cards. The first two cards are dealt faced down, and the third card is dealt face up. The third card is also called the door card.
After the cards have been dealt the first betting round will begin. This betting round will use the small bet. In a 2/4 game, all bets would be in increments of 2.
The betting round begins with the bring in. The bring in is another forced bet. Only one player has to pay it though – the player with the weakest (smallest) door card. The bring in is half the size of the small bet. So using our example of 2/4, the bring in would be 1. The bring in also has the option to make a full (small) bet.
The betting round will then continue clockwise around the table. Each player will have the option to fold, call or raise (in increments of the small bet). After each player has acted, the remaining players (2 or more) will be dealt 4th street.
4th street is the 4th card of 7 dealt. It’s dealt face up.
After each player has been dealt their card, there will be another betting round. The action will start with the player with the strongest hand (so far). This betting round uses the small bet.
If there are 2 or more players left after this betting round, each player will be dealt 5th street.
5th street is identical to 4th street. The card is dealt face up and the betting round starts with the player with the strongest (showing) poker hand.
The only difference is that this betting round (and all subsequent betting rounds) uses the big bet. Using my 2/4 example, all bets will be in increments of 4.
6th street is identical to 5th street.
7th street is identical to 6th street except that the card is dealt faced down.
Once the betting round on 7th street is finished, players will then flip their cards over in a showdown to see who has the best 5-card poker hand. The player with the best hand will win the pot. Tied hands will split the pot.
After the pot has been awarded a new hand will begin.
7-Card Stud Rules
There are a couple of rules to know before playing 7-card stud:
- If there is more than one player with the weakest door card for the bring in, then the tie will be broken using the card suits. From strongest to weakest: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
7-card stud uses the fixed-limit betting structure. That means:
- All bets or raises are in increments of the small or big bet (depending on the round).
- Each betting round is limited to 1 bet and 3 raises. This is known as capping the betting.
What Hands Win in 7-Card Stud
7-card stud uses traditional hand rankings to determine the best 5-card poker hands. In order from best to worse:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- 3 of a Kind
- 2 Pair
- 1 Pair
- High Card