The game of poker requires a unique level of patience, discipline, and intelligence. Of course, confidence is key, especially if you’re thinking about giving up your day job to make a living at a card table. 

Those with the highest level of skill often develop an appetite for shifting probabilities and play Texas hold ‘em. But before this poker variant exploded in popularity, 7 card stud was the game of choice for many players. Although there are fundamental differences in how these variations are played, 7 card stud rules are pretty straightforward and easy to master. The following article will walk you through the rules of this classic game”

The Basics

The ultimate objective with every poker variant is the same: grow your bankroll one pot at a time. But there are significant differences in how the variants are played. For starters, unlike Texas hold ‘em and Omaha, 7 card stud doesn’t involve a flop, and in most cases, there are no community cards. 

It’s important to note that 7 card stud, which can be played with two to eight players, allows for more creativity and offers more possibilities for strategizing than other variants. Also, it can be a little more intimidating for those who are beginners at poker precisely because of these characteristics. Of course, the game can be played online at many of the most popular casino sites. A lot of these sites are bitcoin believers and allow members to use digital currency during any poker card game

If you’ve already chosen the venue, but you’re still trying to figure out how to play 7 card stud, here are the rules divided into four key categories:

  • Setup
  • The Bring
  • Betting Rounds
  • Showdown

Setup Details

The first thing to do is determine the bet size. Each player at the table will post an ante, which is typically between 5% and 10% of the big bet. To begin the game, each player is dealt two face-down cards (hole cards) and a third facing up (door card). The player with the lowest-ranking door card is required to make a bring-in bet. As stud poker requires each player to get a total of seven cards, there are three more betting rounds with three face-up cards (streets) and one face-down card (seventh street, or the river).

When the seven cards are dealt, the player has to choose the best possible five-card hand, just like in any other regular poker game. Five of a kind is the highest possible hand that occurs when at least one card is wild. If a regular pack without any wild cards is being used in accordance with  7 card stud rules, the highest hand is a straight flush. Other possible hands include four of a kind, a full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and no pair. If more than one player ends up with no pair, the one with the highest card wins.

The Bring

In stud, suit ranking is applied in alphabetical order from the lowest to the highest: clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. The game’s limit betting structure, which allows for one bet and three to four raises, makes it easy to determine the ante and bring-in. The amount is usually lower than the small bet and higher than the ante. For example, in a $10/$20 7 card stud game, the bring-in would be a minimum of $5, with the possibility for the player to complete the bet by posting the full amount of the lower limit – $10.

The Rounds

The betting continues clockwise, and players get four more cards (three face-up cards and the last one face down). The players have the option to raise, call, or fold, depending on the cards they have. The betting in the first two rounds (third and fourth street) should be done in increments of the small bet. In the last three rounds, the bet should be raised to a higher limit after dealing. Our 7 card stud game example would look like this now: in the first two streets, the bet would be $10 and in the last three $20. The only exception is in case you pair your door card on the fourth street. Only then will you be allowed to open with the big bet.

We’ve already mentioned that there aren’t community cards in this poker card game. Players have a total of seven cards (two face-down cards and five face-up cards). After the first round of betting is completed, the first player to act is always the one whose show cards have the highest value, according to 7 card stud rules.

The Showdown

This part of the game is a special treat. Once the last betting round is over, the players still in the hand head into a showdown. They use any five of the seven cards to make their very best hand. The remaining cards have no value towards the hand and are considered dead.

The hands are revealed clockwise around the table, in accordance with basic poker instructions. In the game of 7 card stud, the one with the best five-card hand wins the pot. In case there is another player with the same combination of cards, they’ll divide the pot. From there, the only thing left to do is for the players to collect their cash.



  • What are the rules for a seven-card stud?

Each player that wants to be dealt in has to post an ante. Then, each one of them gets two upcards and one downcard, which is when the player with the lowest-ranked card has to post a built-in. From there, the 7 card stud poker rules get a bit more complicated. Players get an additional three face-up cards and the last one face down. With seven cards, they should pick their best five-card hand to reveal in the showdown. The winner gets the pot.

  • Do you burn cards in seven card stud?

Yes. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, to burn a card means to deal it right from the deck and then discard (or burn) it and leave it unused. In our variant, the play starts with the dealer burning a card before dealing the rest to others. 

  • What is the difference between 7 card stud poker and Texas hold ‘em?

The main difference between the two popular variants is that the first one doesn’t involve a flop nor community cards. Also, stud is played as a limit game, whereas hold ‘em is a no-limit variant. Stud has five betting rounds, whereas Texas hold ‘em has only four. 

  • Can you play seven card stud with 8 players?

Yes, you can. This variant is commonly played with two to eight participants. Advanced and well-experienced players, who are familiar with 7 card stud rules and fold often, sometimes include a ninth player.