Seven Card Stud Poker

This has become one of the most popular forms of poker. Each player is dealt a seven-card hand, some of the cards being face up, with several betting rounds during the deal. At the showdown players use any five of their seven cards to make the best poker hand. 

Players and Cards 

A standard 52-pack is used and from 2 to 8 players can take part. The game is best for 5 to 7 players. When 8 play there is the problem that the cards may run out towards the end of the deal.

The Play 

The sequence of events is as follows (as usual the cards are dealt clockwise one at a time):

  1. All players place an ante in the pot.
  2. Each player is dealt two cards face down and one face up. There is a betting round (third street).
  3. Each player is dealt a fourth card face up. There is a second betting round (fourth street).
  4. Each player is dealt a fifth card face up. There is a third betting round (fifth street).
  5. Each player is dealt a sixth card face up. There is a fourth betting round (sixth street).
  6. Each player is dealt one final card face down. There is a fifth betting round (seventh street).
  7. Surviving players have four face up and three face down cards. They show their cards and whoever can make the best five-card hand from their seven cards wins the pot.

    The concealed cards - the first, second and seventh card dealt to each player - are known as hole cards.

Order of Betting 

Traditionally, each betting round is begun by the player with the best hand showing. For this purpose pairs, triplets, two pairs and quads count in their normal poker order - so for example with three cards showing 3-3-3 is higher than 7-7-8, which is higher than A-K-Q. Incomplete straights and flushes do not count. If there is a tie it is resolved by comparing the suits of the highest cards in the tied hands using the ranking order clubs (low), diamonds, hearts, spades (high).

The first betting round starts with a compulsory (bring-in) bet by the player showing the lowest card. The subsequent betting rounds from fourth street onwards are begun by the highest hand showing as usual.

Running Out of Cards 

If there are eight players and after sixth street no one has folded, there will not be enough cards to deal everyone a seventh card. In this case a single "community" card is dealt face up to the table and this counts as everyone's seventh card. Everyone then effectively has five cards showing, including the community card, and seventh street betting is begun by the player for whom this makes the highest poker hand - straights and flushes not count. Ties are resolved by the suit of the highest card as usual.

Seven Card Stud High-Low

In this kind of poker the deal and betting are mostly the same as in ordinary seven card stud, except for the following differences:

  • At the showdown, each player selects five cards to make a high hand and five possibly different cards to make a low hand.
  • The pot is split equally between the highest and lowest hands, the odd chip going to the high hand if the amount cannot be divided exactly by two.

Since different selections of cards can be used for the high and low hands, it is entirely possible for one player to win both halves of the pot.