Stud Poker Online

Stud Poker was one of the most popular poker games until a few years ago where it has taken a backseat to the likes of Texas Holdem and Omaha Poker. But that’s slowly changing with the rising popularity of mixed games such as HORSE & HOSE. 7-Card Stud, Hi/Lo and Razz are all included in those games. So players are now taking the time to learn them.

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If you’re brand new to 7-Card Stud, I got to be honest with you — it can be slightly confusing when you’re first learning how to play. Most of this confusion will stem from posting the antes and bring-in, determining who starts the action on each street and the betting limitations. Once you get these Stud basics down, the game will get a little bit easier.

So to help you get started, I have outlined the basic rules of 7-Card Stud below along with an explanation of how the betting works. This should be enough to get the ball rolling so that you’re comfortable sitting down at a real Stud poker game.

7-Card Stud Rules

The Deal & Third Street

Third street is one of 5 streets that you are going to see in a full round of 7-Card Stud.

Before the cards are dealt, an ante will need to be posted by each player. Unlike many other poker games, Stud doesn’t use blinds. So antes are used instead to create some action. The size of the antes will vary from game to game, but on average, it’ll be around 5-10% of the big bet. So in a $.50/$1 game, the antes would be around $.10.

Once the antes are posted, then everyone is dealt 3 cards. The first two cards are dealt faced down and the last card is dealt face up. The face up card is also known as the door card.

After the cards have been dealt, one last forced bet is made. This is known as the bring in. The player who has the lowest door card will be the player to post the bring in. Again, the amount will vary from game to game, but you can expect it to be around half of the small bet. In a $.50/$1 game, it might be around $.25. This player is also the first to act, so he will have the option to raise as well.

In the case that two or more players have the same door card, suits will be used to determine who brings in. Suit rankings from strongest to weakest are clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. The person with the strongest suit will be the bring in.

The action will continue clockwise around the table until everyone has acted. The options are to call, raise or fold. If there are more than 2 players remaining after this betting round, then 4th street is seen.

4th Street

As the name suggests, 4th street is the 4th card dealt to each player. This card is dealt face up.

The action will start with the player who has the highest up card. Each player will have the option to check, bet, call, raise or fold.

5th & 6th Street

5th and 6th street will be the 5th and 6th card that each player receives. These two cards are the last to be dealt face up. The player with the biggest showing card will be the first to act — each player will have the option to check, bet, call, raise or fold.

I separated these two streets from the 4th street info because the betting amounts will change starting with 5th street. I’ll explain how the betting works further below.

7th Street

7th street is the last card players are dealt. This card is dealt faced down.

Action will begin with the player who has the best showing poker hand. Once again, players have the option to check, bet, call, raise or fold.

If there are more than two players remaining than there will be a showdown. The player who was aggressor on 7th street will be the first player to flip over his or her hand. Action will continue clockwise around the table until each player has either shown or mucked their hand.

The player with the best 5-card poker hand will win the pot. Cards will then be reshuffled, antes re-posted and a new hand will be dealt.

** In the scenario that all 8 players are still in the hand on 7th street, there might not be enough cards left in the deck for everyone. So instead of everyone receiving a 7th card faced down, it will be dealt in the middle of the table face up which will serve as a community card.

Betting in 7-Card Stud

One of the most confusing aspects of learning 7-Card Stud for me was the betting. Once I got the betting down, the rest of the game was much easier for me to pick up.

7-Card Stud is played exclusively in the fixed limit format. That means that all the betting and raising is structured or “fixed.” I’ll show you what I mean by example.

Say you’re playing in a $4/$8 Stud game. The first two rounds, 3rd and 4th street, will be played using the small bet or in this case $4. All raises will be in increments of $4 as well.

On 5th street, the betting increments change. From here on out, all players can make bets and raises in increments of the big bet, or in this case $8.

On all streets, betting will be capped after one bet and 3 raises have been made. After the third raise, the only option is to call or fold.

7-Card Stud Variations – Stud Poker Variations

One variation that you’ll frequently see of 7-card stud is 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo also known as 8 or Better.

In this variation, players can win one of 3 ways. They can win with the best 5-card hand, best low 5-card hand or have the best hand period and scoop the pot. For a hand to be considered low, it must be 5 cards all 8 or lower. The best low hand would be a wheel (A-5).

Since two winning hands may be possible, the pot may be split between two players. Pots can be split multiple ways if more than one player qualifies for the best low/high hand.

Other Stud Poker Variations

There are other Stud poker variations too, although you never hear of most of them. Here is a list of other Stud variations.

Razz: Razz is the most popular Stud game next to 7-Card Stud. We actually discuss the rules and variations of Razz Poker on this site too.

5-Card Stud: 5-Card Stud is one of the oldest Stud games. Unlike 7-Card Stud, there is only one card dealt faced down. There are only 5 cards total too.

Mississippi Stud: In this variation, there are 5 up cards instead of only 4. 4th street is dealt with 5th street face up.

Mexican Stud: This variation is played often with wild cards and even a stripped deck. A deck may contain a joker and will have the cards 8 thru 10 removed. Mexican Stud is also known as Stud Loco.

Caribbean Stud: Caribbean Stud is a casino game that uses general rules of 5-Card Stud.

There are many other lesser-known variants of Stud. You can check them all out here on the Stud Wiki page.