7 Card Stud is the most popular poker game next to Texas Holdem.

The Basics of 7 Card Stud Poker that are provided here are purely for players who have never played 7 Card Stud before or who have just started playing.

Basics of 7 Card Stud Poker

The most popular of the stud poker games and a close second to Texas Hold'Em in popularity is Seven Card Stud. It is a high betting game that rewards skilful players who love a challenge. Each Player is dealt three cards, two face down (called hole cards) and one face up (called up or door cards). Rounds of betting precede the Dealer giving each player three more up cards and one more down card. A final round of betting occurs after the last card, and the Player with the highest five card hand wins using any five of their seven cards.

Seven Card Stud Poker has five rounds of betting. The higher limit bet starts in the third round of betting which then leads to large pots. Seven Card Stud Poker is a game that requires patience and skill in knowing when to fold or call.

The object of the game is to finish with the best poker hand, and win the pot.

The number of Players that can play Seven Card Stud Poker range from 2 to 8.

Seven Card Stud Poker Overview

To play Seven Card Stud Poker you must have enough chips to place an ante and a bet.

Seven Card Stud Poker plays as follows:

  1. Place an ante. (The ante amount is set by the card room)
  2. There is no ante amount when the game stakes are R0.50/R1.00.
  3. You are dealt three cards, two pocket cards and one visible card
  4. The Player with the lowest card showing by suit must bring-in the betting
  5. Note: Suits are ranked from low to high – Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades
  6. A round of betting begins. Players can either: Fold, Call, Raise or Check.
  7. After all the players have contributed the same amount into the pot, the Fourth Street betting begins.
  8. The bet amounts are raised to the high limit in the Fifth Street and Sixth Street.
  9. The last phase of Seven Card Stud is the Seventh Street. This phase is also known as The River. The outcome of the game is determined in this phase.

If seven or eight Players are still in the game in the Seventh Street and there are not enough remaining cards for each Player to be dealt a river card, then the river card is dealt as a community card. Players then use their pocket cards, visible card and the community card to make the strongest poker hand possible.


If the cards you need to help improve your hand are visible in your Opponents hands, consider them dead to you.

There are 13 cards in a suit. You need five of them to make a flush, if the cards you need happen to be in your opponents' hand you have no chance of them being dealt to you, however, if you can't see them there is a possibility you might still receive those cards.

A "big pair" is worth betting on, unless another Player is betting aggressively on what seems to be a very good hand.

Fifth Street is a make or break point. As the bet amount doubles each round, ensure your hand can produce a win at the end of the game. This will minimize your loss.

It is advisable to fold if another Player's exposed cards beat your entire hand.

If you are trying to complete a Straight, check to see if another Player displays the cards you need. You can then adjust your strategy accordingly.

Fold when necessary. Seven-Card Stud poker is a game of patience so do not bet all you money on losing hands.

Useful Poker Terms:

Ante - A small portion of a bet contributed by each player to seed the pot at the beginning of a poker hand. Most hold'em games do not have an ante; they use "blinds" to get initial money into the pot.

Board - All the community cards in a hold'em game - the flop, turn, and river cards together.

Post - To put in a blind bet, generally required when you first sit down in a card room game. You may also be required to post a blind if you change seats at the table in a way that moves you away from the blinds.

Pocket - Your unique cards that only you can see. For instance, "He had pocket sixes" (a pair of sixes), or "I had ace-king in the pocket."

River - The final visual card dealt.

Suited - A hold'em starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit. Example: "I had to play J-3 - it was suited."

Hole Cards - Cards dealt face-down to a player - most commonly used when describing the first two player cards in Hold'em and the first four player cards in Omaha.

Call - To put into the pot an amount of money equal to the most recent bet or raise.

Community Cards - Cards that are presented face-up in the middle of the poker table and shared among players in games like Hold'em and Omaha. These are also referred to as board cards or "the board".

Door Card - This is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a player's hand in Stud games.

Flop - The first three community cards, put out face up, altogether.

Fold - To forfeit any chance of winning the current pot in poker. To lay down your hand or throw your hand in instead of calling or raising a bet.

Bring-in - A small beginning bet required from the Player with the lowest value exposed card

Raise - To increase the amount of the current bet

No-Limit - A version of poker in which a player may bet any amount of chips (up to the number in front of him) whenever it is his turn to act. It is a very different game from limit poker. The best treatise on no-limit poker is in Doyle Brunson's Super/System

Pot-Limit - A version of poker in which a player may bet up to the amount of money in the pot whenever it is his turn to act. Like no-limit, this is a very different game from limit poker.

Spread-limit - A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round. A typical spread-limit structure is R2-R6, where a player may bet as little as R2 or as much as R6 on every betting round.

Burn - To discard the top card from the deck, face down. This is done between each betting round before putting out the next community card(s). It is security against any player recognizing or glimpsing the next card to be used on the board.

Turn - The fourth community card. Put out face up, by itself. Also known as "fourth street."

River - The fifth and final community card, put out face up, by itself. Also known as "fifth street."

Showdown - The point at which all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand - i.e. after the fourth round of betting is completed. Of course, if a final bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.

Split Pot - A pot that is shared by two or more players because they have equivalent hands.

Street - A name for the various stages of betting and receiving cards. Because the game beings with three cards, play starts in 3rd Street, and continues to 7th street.

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