Seven Card Stud Poker

If you unexpectedly find yourself at a Seven Card Stud table, the first thing that might go through your mind is: “Toto, we’re not in Texas Hold’em anymore!”

seven card studThere may be the same amount of cards dealt in Seven Card Stud and Hold’em Poker, but the two are night and day when it comes to game play. Seven Card Stud is one of the most complicated and demanding poker games that requires deception, patience and the memory of an elephant. And the betting can range from mild to full-blast with the turn of one card.

What are the most important skills to possess in Seven Card Stud Poker?

1.) Being able to put players on hands based on their history and betting pattern.

2.) Being able to recall exposed cards so you can figure out your drawing and pot odds.

Seven Card Stud uses antes instead of blinds, and there are two types of limits: Spread limits – like $1-$5 for example – which allow players to bet at any rate, anytime (as long as it falls within the $1-$5 range), and  Structured Limits – such as $5-$10 – which means the first two of Seven Card Stud’s five bets must be $5 and the final three rounds must be $10.

Play a variety of low rake Seven Card Stud games at

Seven Card Stud starts with three cards – two down and one up, with the “up card” being known as the “door card” or “third street.” Clearly, making three of a kind is the best possible hand you can be dealt at the onset of a hand– but with the odds at being dealt this gem are only one in every 425 hands, so don’t bet the farm on seeing trips right off the bat.

The high hand bets first in Seven Card Stud, with the exception of the first round. In the opening round, the lowest card has to initiate the “bring in bet.”  Before you bring it in, call, or raise, remember that a starting hand in Seven Card Stud is even more important than in Hold’em. Mediocre starters won’t suffice when you’re facing five rounds of betting and raising.

After three more up cards and three more rounds of betting, the final card, or “river card,” is dealt down with one more bet for those who have the cards or courage to hang around. When all the cards finally hit the board, the average winning Seven Card Stud hand is medium trips (three eights for example). Two pair is also a common Seven Card Stud hand.


Seven Card Stud strategy starts with knowing the odds. For example, if you have trips with three cards to come, you have a 40 percent chance to hit a full house or four of a kind. With three of a suit and four cards to come, you have a 4.5-1 shot of hitting a flush. The odds of being dealt a pair in the first three cards are 5-1. Studying all the possible odds is the key to being a stud at Stud Poker.

Seven card Stud strategy also involves having the ability to read your opponent.  With your opponents up cards staring you in the face, it’s easier to guess at what they’re holding by observing body language, betting patterns and whether there’s an increased amount of perspiration on his or her forehead.

For more information on Seven Card Stud refer the following:

Seven Card Stud Rules
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Rules