Before the 2000s surge of popularity of Texas hold 'em, seven-card stud was one of the most widely played poker variants in home games.

Seven-card stud

Rules

Stud is poker with seven pocket cards, three of which are not visible to opponents. At the showdown, five cards are used to make classic poker combinations, just like in Hold’em. In Stud Hi-Lo, the pot is halved between the best and worst hand. Cards are distributed in several stages of trading, which are called streets. The streets are numbered according to the number of cards in hand: from the third to the seventh.

The Poker game starts with each player receiving two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the lowest-ranking up-card pays the bring-in, and betting follows clockwise. If two players have equally ranked low cards, suit may break the tie. If there’s no bring-in, the betting starts with the player showing the highest-ranking up-card, who can check.

After the initial betting round, another up-card is dealt to each player, followed by subsequent rounds of betting. Straights, flushes, or full houses don’t count since fewer than five cards are face up. The player with the best face-up cards acts first in each betting round.

The game proceeds with additional up-cards and betting rounds until each player has received a down-card, followed by a final betting round and showdown if necessary. Each player forms the best five-card poker hand out of their seven cards.

Streets of trade and turn order

  • Third Street is the first stage of betting according to the rules of seven-card poker, players receive three cards each. Only they can see two of them, and one is visible to everyone at the table – it is called a door card. At this stage, all players bet Ante – 10-25% of the small bet, depending on the rules of the table. The trade is opened by the player with the lowest door card. He must bet at least the bring-in, but he can raise. Bring-in – the bet is 2-2.5 times the Ante.
  • Fourth-sixth streets – one more card is dealt openly. From fourth street until the end of the hand, the first to act is the one whose open cards make up the strongest combination. In this case, it is not necessary to bet – you can check.
  • Seventh Street – the last seventh card is dealt, but already closed.

As a result, four of the seven pocket cards will be visible to opponents. During each round of betting, play moves clockwise and players can take turns calling, raising or folding.

The popularity of seven card poker

Stud appeared long before Hold’em and Omaha, back in the early 20th century. Later, due to simpler rules and entertainment, Hold’em replaced Stud from the position of the most popular poker.

In today’s online poker, Stud and its variations are not as popular formats as most other limit games. It is mostly loved by Americans, so cash tables are recruited in rooms with players from the USA.

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