The poker term “stud” refers to games where each player’s hand is made up of non-community cards that are visible to all players as well as hidden “hole” cards. Since there are no community cards, it is important to pay attention to the cards of your opponents. They may have already been dealt cards that you’re looking for, meaning your chances of being dealt those cards are slim to none. Read our Seven Card Stud poker rules and tips below.
Seven-Card Stud is played with two to eight players.Generally, the table will inform players of the fixed betting limits. The game starts with every player posting an ante, a stipulated amount which must be posted by each player before cards are dealt, and continues through five rounds of betting. Before the round starts, each player antes. Ask your dealer for the ante at the table you are playing at. After all players have posted an ante, the dealer deals two pocket cards face-down to each player, as well as one exposed card. This is called third street. The player with the lowest exposed card must then ‘bring in’ and has to bet half of the small bet (in a fixed-limit game). Each player then has the option to raise, call or fold in the first round of betting. After all bets are made, the dealer then deals another exposed card to each player (fourth street). Then, another round of betting occurs with the player with the best exposed two-card hand starting the betting. Another exposed card is dealt to each player (fifth street), followed by a round of betting. In a fixed-limit game, fifth street is when the big bet kicks in. Play then moves to sixth street, and another exposed card being dealt to each player, with a round of betting afterward. Seventh street is the final round. In this round, each player gets another pocket card face-down. The final round of betting then follows. After all bets, the showdown occurs. The best five-card poker hand wins, made with any combination of the seven cards each player has.
If you start with a high pair of pocket cards, try to eliminate as many other players as possible with fast play. Your pair may not be as strong in later rounds. On the other hand, if you have the makings of a high straight or flush in your first three cards, play it slow. This will increase the pot odds in your favor. Try to study your opponents, especially if you’ve folded early and are not playing and can pay full attention. Look for traits, or tells. Note whether they play more hands than they fold. How often do they bluff, or are they easily bluffed? Watch for their ‘poker face’. Many players reveal the strength of their hand in the way they react to seeing it. The first four cards you are dealt will tell you a lot about the strength of your hand. Get out early if nothing good is developing at this point. Seven-Card Stud can be costly if you lose in the later rounds.