Playing a game of 7 card stud

7 card stud is considered the third most popular poker game in the world after Texas Hold’em and Five Card Draw. It’s a game with a long history, with lots of variants – lowball games, high-low variations – and lots of betting rounds that can be found in most online poker establishments, online casinos and real-life casinos as well.

The rules of 7 card stud are quite different from the ones the other two popular poker games have, starting with the number of cards to be dealt up to the way the first betting player is chosen.

7 card stud is played with a standard deck of 52 cards by a number of 2 to 8 players. Each player receives a number of seven cards, part of them dealt facing up. Sometimes there is one community card involved – only when the dealer runs out of cards in case of eight players.

First of all, there are no blind bets in 7 card stud, instead the players need to ante up to be able to play. After all players have placed their initial bet on the table, the dealer gives each of them three cards – two of them facing down, another one facing up. This is called the ‘third street’. The first round of betting begins.

The first player to bet is not determined by his position, instead the player with the lowest value card facing up is the one who begins betting. If two players have cards with the same value, suit decides which one is weakest – clubs is the strongest, followed by diamonds, hearts and spades. The players place their bets, and the dealer continues to deal.

The next three cards are all dealt face up, each one followed by a round of betting. After the first one of these three – the ‘fourth street’ – another betting round follows, starting with the player showing the strongest poker hand. The next card is called the ‘fifth street’, dealing this one is followed by one more betting round similar to the previous one. The sixth card – you guessed right, the ‘sixth street’, followed by another betting round.

The ‘river and the showdown’ marks the last card received by each player, this time again facing down. Sometimes, when there are eight players at the table, the dealer can run out of cards – this is the case when the ‘river’ is dealt face up on the table, becoming a community card. The final round of betting begins, followed by the ‘showdown’.

Betting amounts are fixed at the beginning of the game. Let’s take an example: a game with a small betting amount of $2 and a big betting amount of $4. In this case, the ante is half of the small betting amount – $1. Up to the fourth street bets and raises are made with the small betting amount – $2 – and starting with the ‘fifth street’ they are made at the big betting amount – in this case $4 – until the showdown.

The last player to bet or raise is the one who has to reveal his cards first. Other players can choose to drop their cards or challenge the revealed hand with their own. The dealer determines the highest ranking hand and awards the player with the pot.

This being said, nothing remains but to say ‘Good luck’ at the Stud table.

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