Before the poker boom of the early 2000s and the Texas Hold’em craze it brought, Seven Card Stud was the most commonly played poker game in card rooms in North America and Europe.
Seven Card stud is related to Five Card stud and both games are played without any community cards or exchange of cards. As the name suggests, you will get a total of seven cards when playing Seven Card Stud. Your goal is to form the best possible five-card poker hand from these seven cards.
Playing Seven Card Stud
The dealer gives each player two face-down cards and one face-up card. The player with the lowest face-up card acts first. If two or more players have a face-up card of equal value, the one seated closets to the dealer (clockwise) starts. As usual in poker games, you each player can chose between folding, checking and raising.
After the initial betting round, each remaining player is given a face-up card. Each player now has two face-down cards and two face-up cards. A new betting round is carried out, and the player with the highest face-up hand starts it.
After the second betting round, each remaining player gets an additional face-up card and a third betting round is carried out. After this betting round, each player gets another face-up card and a new betting round commences.
Now, all remaining players get their seventh card. Only the player is allowed to look at this card; its face must remain hidden from the other players.
The player with the highest face-up hand starts the next betting round. If there are at least two players left after this betting round, a showdown takes place where all remaining players show their cards and the person with the best poker hand is awarded the pot.
If you have played Texas Hold’em, adjusting to Seven Card Stud can take some time. You have more known personal cards to take into consideration, and you must keep in mind that the other players will see your face up cards. Just like Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud is a poker variant suitable for players who like to make strategic decisions and are fond of games where skill is just as important as luck.
Seven Card Stud tips!
- Three of a kind is considered the best starting hand when playing Seven Card Stud. It is always playable, your only decision is weather to slow play it or not.
- The second best starting hand in Seven Card Stud is a pair of aces. This hand is playable in nearly all situations.
- On third place, we find the other high pairs.
- Third street, i.e. when all players have just three cards, is a crucial point when playing Seven Card Stud. Not folding a mediocre hand at this stage because “it’s more fun to stay in the hand” will cost you a lot of money in the long run. It’s tempting to stay in the hand and hope for it to improve, but its rarely a good idea.