7 Card Stud used to be the most popular variety of poker, until Texas Hold’em took its crown. It is quite different from both Texas Hold’em and Omaha and it requires a certain amount of patience. However, it’s an exciting game that can be very rewarding!
Before a game starts, each player must post an ‘ante’, a mandatory amount that ensures there is some money in the pot. In stud poker games, there are no community cards. Instead, the dealer begins by dealing clockwise until each player has three cards. The first two cards are dealt face down (‘hole’ cards), the third face up (the ‘door’ card).
7 Card Stud is divided into five rounds of betting, and the betting moves clockwise around the table.
If two or more players tie by holding equally-strong winning five-card hands, the pot will be split between the tying players. If there is an odd chip, it will be given to the player whose hand has the higher suit.
Opening the Betting
The player with the lowest-ranking up card starts the game with a token bet called the ‘bring-in’. (If two or more players have the same lowest card, the bring-in is determined by suit in alphabetical order: clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades.)
Once the bring-in bet has been made, each player (starting with the player to the left of the bring-in) can fold, call, or raise to the betting limit.
Everyone is dealt another up card. At this point, the player with the highest two up cards starts the betting. On this round of betting only, if a player gets an open pair, he or she can make a double bet.
Everyone is dealt another up card. The player with the highest combination of up cards starts the betting.
Everyone is dealt another up card. Again, the player with the highest combination of up cards starts the betting.
Seventh Street or The River
Everyone is dealt their final down card. The same player who started the last round starts the betting.
The player with the best hand wins.