Seven Card Stud games have been around for quite a long time and they are still very popular in casinos, home games as well as in online card rooms.
Every player is dealt a total of seven cards, the first two and the last being face up, the others face down. The best 5 card poker hand takes down the pot.
In Stud games, every player has to post a small amount at the start of each hand, called the ante.
After the antes were posted the dealer deals each player two cards face down (“hole” cards) and one card face up (“door” card).
This is followed by the first betting round. All remaining players are dealt another card face up (4th street) followed by the second betting round. A fifth card is now dealt to all players still in the hand (5th street). The third round of betting follows. Another card face up is dealt (6th street), which is followed by the forth round of betting. All remaining players are dealt the last card face down. The last betting round takes place and eventually the players show down their hands to determine the winning hand.
In a full hand of 7 card stud there are 5 betting rounds.
On the first round of betting – after the first three cards were dealt – the lowest card is required to initiate action with either a bring-in (usually a third or half of the lower limit) or a bet of the lower limit.
On subsequent rounds, the high hand on board initiates betting action. If hands are tied, the player to the left of the dealer acts first.
Each bet and raise during the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a €5/€10 game, all bets and raises are €5 during the first two rounds. Exception: if any player displays a pair with their 2 face-up cards on 4th Street, all players have the option to bet the higher limit immediately. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit.
Each bet and raise during the last three rounds of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a €5/€10 game, all bets and raises are €10 for the last three rounds.
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any particular betting round is four. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. Once the pot is capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding. There is no limit on the amount of raises once the hand becomes heads-up.
Difference between Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud High/Low
The only difference between the two games is that In Seven Card Stud High/Low the pot is split between the best high hand and – if there is one – the best low hand. To qualify for a low hand you need five cards of different ranks not higher than 8 (A counts for 1). Different low hands are compared starting with the highest card.
So, for example 8642A wins over 8732A, but loses to 85432. Players can tie for a low hand and in this case the low half of the pot is divided equally between the two low hand winners.