Seven Card Stud Poker – The Basic Rules

Rules Index:
Seven Card Stud Description
Betting Rounds
standard rules
Exceptions of betting
Poker Winning Hands

Seven Card Stud Description

A maximum of eight players can play at a Seven Card Stud table. There are five betting rounds in a complete game of Seven Card Stud, not including the ante. Each player, starting from seat 1 (the seat to the left of the dealer), is dealt two cards face down, then four cards face up, and the final (river) card is dealt face down. Each player must put an ante into the pot before he receives his first three cards. The initial deal consists of two cards dealt face down, called the hole cards, and one card dealt face-up, called the door card.

The player with the lowest exposed (door) card (using suits in reverse bridge order—clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades—if there is a tie) is required to initiate action by betting a minimum of half the lower limit. This starting bet is called the bring-in. When you have the bring-in, you always have the option of betting either half the lower limit or the lower limit for the table designated. For example, in a $2-$4 game, the player with the lowest door card must make a forced bet of either $1 or $2.

After the initial round of betting, which is initiated by the lowest card “bringing-in”, all subsequent rounds start with the player with the high hand on board initiating the betting action. In cases of a tie, the player to the left of the dealer initiates the betting action. Examples:

After each player has two upcards, one player has an ace showing, no other player has an ace and no player has a pair, the player with the ace has first action (initiates the betting).

After each player has two upcards, two players have ace-king and no other player has a pair, the player with the ace-king sitting closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting. Suits have no bearing here.

After each player has two upcards, two players each have king-king and no player has ace-ace, the player with the pair of kings sitting closest closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting.

Seven Card Stud – Betting Rounds

The Ante Ante in Stud is mandatory and changes depending on the betting limits. The low games usually require a 10% Ante, so a $5-$10 game will have a $0.50 Ante. The high games get up to 25% on the Ante: that’s $25 on a $100-$200 game. The percentages may vary somewhat but 10% is the typical minimum.

Dealing I will use a $10-$20 game as the working example, so the Ante is $1, 10% of the low limit.

The dealer deals clockwise starting on their immediate left. They deal one card at a time around the table until each player has two pocket cards (face down) and a single up (the “door” card).

At this point the dealer indicates which player will open the betting, determined by the lowest door card. If there’s a tie for low door, suit resolves it: spades over hearts, followed by diamonds, and finally clubs is the lowest.

Betting Once the initial cards have been dealt, the game begins. At this point we’ve got three cards on the table per player and that’s called “Third Street”.

Third Street The player holding the lowest door card must “bring it in” by opening with a bet equal to twice the ante ($2 in our example game). If the low door player doesn’t make this bet, they’re forced to Fold and the opener passes to the player on their left.

The next player clockwise from the opener can Call by matching the opener, Raise by betting the low betting limit ($10) or Fold. Throughout third street all Bets and Raises are fixed at the low betting limit ($10).

Fourth Street The dealer gives each player another open (up) card. Unlike third street, the opener in the fourth and remaining streets is the high hand as determined by the open cards. They may Check (Pass) or Bet. It they Bet it’s at the low limit ($10) and that fixes all raises in this round to the same.

If the high hand is an open pair, the opener can Bet at the upper limit ($20) and this fixes all Raises in the round to the same.

Fifth and Sixth Street Again, the card is dealt up and high hand opens. All Bets and Raises are at the upper limit ($20).

Seventh Street The last card, called the “river”, is another pocket card (face down). All bets and raises are at the high limit ($20).

Showdown After the Bets and Raises have been resolved, the remaining players enter the Showdown. The opener reveals his pocket cards. If a player wishes to compete with this hand they too reveal their pocket cards, or they can yield and muck out (Fold).

At the casino it’s the dealer’s responsibility to call the winner, as determined by the best 5-card hand under normal Poker rules. In online poker games, the software will choose the winner and the pot go to him.

It is any player’s right to request to see any final hand that has been mucked, though this is primarily intended for casino play.

Hint: Most online poker rooms (like Empire Poker and Party Poker) offer the option of automatically mucking your losing hands, so the other players won’t see what you played. It’s generally a good idea to select this.

Standard rules

A maximum of four bets, which includes one bet, and three raises are allowed for each betting round per player. To continue to play, players must take an action from what is displayed to them on each “street” or betting round (unless they are all-in). The term cap is used to describe the final raise in a round since betting is then capped and no one can make another raise. Once capped, players will have the option of calling or folding only. Folding can be done at any stage of the game. The action of folding basically shows the player cards being moved to the dealer. The player from then on would not be considered as part of the game. He/she would not have any rights over any pots created on the table.

Poker is typically played “table stakes”, meaning only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. This means that the player cannot get additional funds from the cashier while he is in the midst of a game. The table stakes rule has an application called the “All-In” rule, which states that a player cannot be forced to forfeit a hand because the player does not have enough chips to call a bet.

Exceptions to the value of betting in each round:

A player who does not have enough chips to call a bet is declared “All-In”. The player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager. All further action involving other players takes place in a “side pot”, which is unavailable to the player who has already gone all-In. When a player goes all-in, the pot currently at the center of the table, which has contributions from him/her as well, is treated as the main pot, over which the all-in player has rights. After the player goes all-in, all the new bets are placed in a side pot, over which only the contributing players have rights. The all-in player does not have any rights over the side pot. The side pot is then given to the next winning combination.

As this is a multiplayer game, the players are expected to play within a set time frame, the actions during their turn. Players have approximately 30 seconds to play (at Party Poker). Initially the player is given 10 seconds, after which there is a timer countdown, which is displayed on the table for 20 seconds. The user goes all-in if he has contributed some money to the pot; otherwise his hand is folded in case he/she does not respond in time. The system is intelligent in detecting if the player has got disconnected or not. This means if a players gets disconnected and reconnects back and he has some seconds left for his turn, then he is given an additional 20 seconds to play his turn. But if the player is not able to connect back to the table before the time elapses, then the player goes all-in. All-in basically means that the player is in the game, but would not be an active player (placing any bets). Whatever pot is collected till this time is referred as the main pot, and the all-in player has rights (if he wins) to this pot only. After this the money that is bet on the table is added to a side pot, over which the all-in player does not have any rights (if he wins).

Upon completion of the final round of betting, the best hand wins the pot. (The pot may also be won by someone who bets without being called at any time during the hand.). Your “hand” is determined by using the best five of seven cards. A combination of the following may be used – Five cards from the seven dealt to you

One board (community) card and four of the cards dealt to you.

On the final round of betting, the player who bets first (or checks first if no one else bets) is required to show their cards first at the showdown. If they have the best hand, the remaining players may/may not show their cards as they wish. The aggressors’ hand is only turned over first if he was the last to initiate action on the river.

There is a set rank of cards, which is used for deciding the winning combination. To view the possible ranks, click here.

If two or more hands are the same ranking, the winner is the one having the higher cards. For example, a Flush with an Ace high beats a Flush with a King high. If the poker hands remain tied, then the highest card not being held in common (the kicker) determines the winner.

The suit order of the cards is not taken into account while deciding on the winning cards. Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the rule of poker pot distribution will be split evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, the winning player to the left of the button/dealer will receive it. This applies to both play money and poker for real money.

For all the five rounds of betting, the house based on set rules collects a rake (commission).