Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud: A Guide to the Classic Poker Game Rules, Instructions, Strategy


Seven Card Stud is a classic poker game that has been around for a long time. It used to be the most popular form of poker before Texas Hold’em took over the casino floors. In this game, each player gets their own individual hand, with some cards that are hidden from other players and some that are shown to everyone.

The goal is to make the best five-card hand out of the seven cards you are dealt. It’s a game that requires memory, strategy, and the ability to read other players. Dive in to the world of Seven Card Stud with me and see what it’s all about.

If you like Seven Card Stud but prefer playing against the house with similar game dynamics. I recommend checking out Mississippi Stud, which I’ve also written a guide on. In Seven Card Stud, players compete against each other, while in Mississippi Stud, players play against the house.

Quick Tip for Seven Card Stud

Always pay attention to the cards that have been folded. This can give you a big advantage in knowing which cards are still in play.

Rules for playing Seven Card Stud

The game starts with each player putting an ante into the pot. Then, each player is dealt three cards – two face down and one face up. The player with the lowest face-up card starts the betting. After that, more cards are dealt face up with a round of betting after each new card. The seventh card is dealt face down, and there’s a final round of betting. The best five-card hand wins the pot. There are no community cards like in Texas Hold’em, so remembering which cards have been played is crucial.

Equipment and Setup for Seven Card Stud

To play Seven Card Stud, you need a standard deck of 52 cards and chips for betting. Players sit around a table, and the dealer button rotates around the table, indicating the order of dealing and betting. Each player gets their own hand, and there’s no shared board of cards.

How to Play Seven Card Stud

Playing Seven Card Stud involves several key steps:

  1. Ante: All players put a small bet into the pot.
  2. Dealing: Each player gets three cards, two hidden and one visible.
  3. First Betting Round: The player with the lowest face-up card starts.
  4. Fourth Street: Another card is dealt face up, followed by betting.
  5. Fifth Street: Same as Fourth Street.
  6. Sixth Street: Same as Fifth Street.
  7. Seventh Street (River): The final card is dealt face down, followed by the last betting round.
  8. Showdown: Players reveal their hands, and the best five-card hand wins.

How to Win at Seven Card Stud

To win at Seven Card Stud, you need a good strategy. Pay attention to the cards that have been played and try to remember them. This can help you figure out what hands your opponents might have. Also, watch the other players and see if you can pick up on any tells. Betting wisely is also important. Don’t be afraid to fold if you think you’re beaten.

Best Strategies for playing Seven Card Stud game

Some of the best strategies for Seven Card Stud include starting with good opening hands, like three of a kind or three cards to a straight or flush. Playing aggressively with strong hands can also be effective. But you also need to be able to change your strategy based on what cards come up and how your opponents are playing.

A lot of what you decide to do in the game is going to be dictated by other players (especially when playing with a full group). Their upcard, temperament and run of the table is something you’ll have to get a feel for. I’ve linked a free to play simulator at the bottom of this page.

However, I can provide a simplified strategy reference that covers some general guidelines for starting hands in Seven Card Stud:

Starting HandAction
Rolled-Up Trips (Three of a Kind on Third Street)Raise
High Pair (Aces through Tens)Raise
Medium Pair (Sixes through Nines)Raise if your pair is higher than any up cards of opponents, otherwise call
Small Pair (Fives or lower)Call or fold depending on up cards of opponents
Three to a Flush or StraightCall if your cards are live and there’s action in front, fold if your cards are dead or there’s heavy action
Three High Cards (Ten or higher)Raise if your cards are live and there’s action, otherwise call
Three Low CardsFold unless they’re consecutive or suited
Two Pair (on Fourth Street)Raise if you have the highest two pair showing
Rolled-Up High TripsRaise
High Pair with Low Kicker (K or lower)Call or fold depending on the up cards of opponents
Any Flush Draw or Open-Ended Straight DrawCall if the price is right, considering pot odds and your chances of hitting
Any Up Card with a Big Pair in the HoleRaise
Basic strategy table

A lot of the fun and engagement for 7CS comes from the actual table play, so always remember to adjust your play based on your reads and the dynamics at the table.


There are several variations of Seven Card Stud, including Stud Hi-Lo, Razz, and Mississippi Stud. Each has its own rules and strategies, but they all start with the basic Seven Card Stud format.


In Seven Card Stud, you might find yourself with a strong starting hand that doesn’t improve, or you might start with a weak hand that gets better as more cards are dealt. Knowing when to keep betting and when to fold is key. If you’re in a bad spot, sometimes the best move is to wait for a better hand.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Seven Card Stud game

Q: How many people can play Seven Card Stud?
A: The game is best with 5-8 players.

Q: What’s the best starting hand?
A: Three of a kind, also known as ‘rolled up’ in Seven Card Stud, is the best starting hand.

Q: Can you bluff in Seven Card Stud?
A: Yes, bluffing is a big part of the game.

Q: How important is memory in Seven Card Stud?
A: Very important. Remembering which cards have been played can give you a big advantage.

Q: What’s the ‘door card’?
A: The ‘door card’ is the first visible card dealt to each player.

Additional Tips

Here are some extra tips for playing Seven Card Stud:

  • Don’t play too many starting hands. Be selective to increase your chances of winning.
  • Pay attention to the upcards of your opponents. This can tell you a lot about what they might be holding.
  • Control the pot size. Bet enough to stay in the game but not so much that you risk too much on one hand.

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