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Seven Card Stud Poker Rules

Seven Card Stud Poker Rules

In seven-card stud there are five betting rounds, unlike other poker games that traditionally have four. There is no community cards in stud meaning every player gets their own cards, which cannot be used by any other opponent. Stud games are always played with a limit poker structure. This game can have two to eight players.

At the start of the game, antes are posted, which are a fraction of a bet and there is no use of the blinds, and then every player is dealt two hole cards face down and one card showing. The player with the lowest exposed card is the ‘bring-in’, and must make a bet of half the small bet or a full small bet. So, in a $5/$10 stud game, $5 would be the small bet and $2.50 would be the minimum ‘bring-in’. In the case of there being the same lowest exposed card, the lowest ranked suits are used to determine the bring-in with the order being spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs (in descending order). Following the bring-in the action goes clockwise and players may choose to fold, call, or raise the bet until the betting round is finished.

Next, a fourth card is dealt face up to each player. Action starts with the player who has the highest ranked poker hand may check or bet. In the case of there being two players with the same highest ranked hand, the betting round starts with the player closest to the left of the dealer. A bet is equal to the amount of the small bet.

Each player then receives a fifth upcard and another betting round starts with the player showing the best hand and now all bets are equal to the amount of a big bet. For example, in a $5/$10 stud game all bets would be in $10 increments.

Each player still in the hand now receives a sixth upcard. Again action is on the player showing the best hand.

Each player then receives the last card, which will be dealt face down. Like in previous rounds, the action starts with the player showing the best hand, which is made up of the four exposed cards.

After the final round of betting is complete in a game of Seven Card Stud the player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. If two or more players show the same winning hand, the pot will be split evenly between them.

Here are the hands in descending order starting from the best.

Ranking of hands

1. Royal flush (the best hand possible in Stud: A-K-Q-J-10, all of the same suit.)

2. Straight flush (the second best hand in the game: 8-7-6-5-4, all of the same suit.)

3. Four-of-a-kind (the best four-of-a-kind hand: A-A-A-A-K)

4. Full house (the best full house hand: A-A-A-K-K)

5. Flush (the best flush hand: any Ace-high flush)

6. Straight (the best straight hand: A-K-Q-J-T)

7. Three-of-a-kind (the best three-of-a-kind hand: A-A-A-K-Q)

8. Two-pair (the best two-pair hand: A-A-K-K-Q)

9. One-pair (the best one-pair hand: A-A-K-Q-J)

10. No-pair (the best high hand: A-K-Q-J-9)

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo (aka 7 Card Stud 8 or better)

This version of seven-card stud uses the same standard rules but is a split pot game with a high and low pot to be won. The winner of the high pot is the player with the highest ranked poker hand (royal flush being the best) while the winner of the low pot cannot have any cards higher than an 8 with no pairs to qualify. The best low hand in stud is 5-4-3-2-A for the wheel. When playing a low pot, flushes and straights are not considered. If there is no qualifying low hand then the whole pot goes to the high winner.

Here are examples of low hands in Seven Card Stud 8 or better:

6-5-3-2-A (six high)

7-6-4-3-A (seven high)

8-7-6-4-2 (eight high)

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