Seven Card Stud

It is tough to imagine any poker game as famous as the beloved Texas Hold’em poker, but not too long ago this coveted place was occupied by none other than the strategic Seven Card Stud.

Seven Card Stud is a trendy variation of poker, second only to the Texas Hold’em variety. Although very different from Texas Hold’em in the past, Seven Card Stud was the most played game of poker. It is played with up to seven cards on every player's board instead of the five community cards that are a staple to Hold’em and many other variants of poker.

This limits the number of players in a game of Seven Card stud to a maximum of eight at a table. Even though the players have seven cards available to them by the river only the best five-card hand from a player’s individual board, can win this intense game. So, one thing remains constant the best five-card hand sweeps the pot in this game, just like all other well-known ones.

Most commonly, Seven Card Stud is played in a fixed-limit format wherein the smaller bet is a wagered in the first two betting rounds. The larger bet is wagered in the later three betting rounds, and if there is an open pair on the fourth card then any player has the option of upping the stakes, i.e. increasing the stakes to the larger bet. For example, in a 2/4 limit game, the game bets are in increments of two dollars in the first two betting rounds and increments of four dollars in the subsequent betting rounds.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to educate our players about this exciting variant of poker so strap in as we dive right into the types of Seven Card stud played online and its game stages.

Game Stages

1. Ante

In Seven Card Stud we are introduced to an ante instead of blinds. Each player pays this ante at the beginning of a new hand. This happens even before the bets are introduced. All the players are dealt two cards face-down, called downcards and one card face-up, called an upcard. There is then a forced bet called a bring in. The player who is dealt the worst upcard has to post the bring-in at the start of each hand. 

2. Third street

The first betting round in seven-card stud is known as the third street. After the ante is collected from the players, the first two cards which are technically the first and second streets are dealt face down to the players. The third card or the third street is dealt face up to the players and the player with the worst upcard is the first to act. This forced bet must be at least the specified minimum, and if it is so, then it is called the bring in.

Another interesting twist in this game is that if two or more players hold the same rank of cards the lower card is decided by the suit. Although all suits hold the same value in poker, in this case, they follow a ranking order which follows a reverse bridge order. Thus, Spades are the best Hearts are second best, Diamonds fall below them, and Clubs rank last.

The first betting round signals the opening of the pot and the betting action goes around the table. Players can choose to check, bet, call, raise or fold.

3. Fourth Street

As a natural progression, the next betting round is the fourth street. Another card is dealt with the active players face up, and the table stakes are still set at the lower limit in this round. However, luckily for the player holding the worst upcard, they will no longer be forced to act first in this round. The right passes on to the one with the best upcard followed by clockwise action around the table. Options remain the same; check, bet, call, raise or fold. The raises are capped at four times the table stakes in a limited format game.

4. Fifth Street

Once the players have reached the fifth street the stakes get real. The minimum bet is raised to the upper table stakes limit, and it is now time to get serious and build the pot!

The next card is dealt faced, you guessed right, upwards. The first act belongs to the best upcard once again and the clockwise actions then complete the round. All the actions in this round depend on the actions in the previous rounds. Of course, even in this round, the raises are capped at four times the table stakes.

5. Sixth Street

At this point in the game, each active player at the table must have four cards face up, and two cards face down. These face-down cards are each players hole cards. When the sixth street is dealt face up the best upcard makes his act. The players with the weakest hands may choose to fold at this point to cut their losses before the final betting round and the soon approaching showdown. Options remain the universal ones, check, bet, raise or fold, with raises capped at four times the stake. The ball is in your court. 

6. Seventh Street

In this fifth betting round, often called the River, the seventh and the final card is dealt to the players, but this time around it in face-down. The card is known only to the player to whom it is dealt. The first player to act in this round is the one whose upcards have the highest poker value. The final betting ensues and if more than one player is left standing, we head straight into the showdown.

7. Showdown

This round only takes place if there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete. The last player to bet or the last one to raise shows their cards first. If no player had bet in the previous round, then the player in the earliest seat shows their cards first. The hands are exposed clockwise at the table.

In case there are any identical hands the prize money will be split but in case of a clear victory, the winner takes all.

Other Game Variants

Stud Hi-Lo

Also known as Seven Stud 8-or-better, in this variation of 7 Card Stud, the best high hand is entitled to half the pot and the other half is taken by the best low hand. This low hand must not be topped by more than an eight. In case the low hand is above that the highest hand claims the rights to the whole pot. 

The sames game rules are followed as the traditional Seven Card game with regards to the betting rounds and structure. The only difference is that two or more hands can win the prize money.


Razz is popularly played in many World Series of Poker tournaments It is an elusive version of Seven Card Stud in which the entire pot is awarded to the low hand.

A bad hand can make you money in this poker game for sure. It is half a lowball and half a Seven Card Stud game in which players aim to make the best five-card low hand from a total of seven cards available to them.

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7 Card Stud FAQ

1. In a game of Seven-Card poker, do suits have a ranking?

Yes, in Seven Card Stud suits do have ranks but this is applicable only when deciding the bring ins.

2. Can I play Seven-Card poker online?

Yes, Seven Card Stud is offered on many sites online and is played often. It is the second most popular game variant of poker after Texas Hold’em so you can find many new tables to join.

3. Is there a betting limit in Seven-Card poker?

Most often it is played in a limit format which allows for an upper limit for the stakes in the game. Limited format games are popular and meant to protect the players.

4. Is it possible to fold mid-game in Seven-Card poker?

Yes, if you feel that you do not have the makings of a good hand, you can fold mid-game and walk away.

5. Can I see all my opponents cards in Seven Card Stud?

No, although the betting rounds do expose some cards, each player still has their private ‘hole’ cards that the opponents cannot see and will only be revealed in the showdown.

6. How many betting rounds does Seven Card Stud have?

A total of five betting rounds are there in Seven Card Stud. These five betting rounds are followed by a final showdown, and the winner can take the pot home or in case of identical hands, the pot can be split.

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