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How To Play Seven-Card Stud Online

Home » Guides » How To Play Seven-Card Stud Online

How To Play Seven-Card Stud Online

Playing cards with black and red casino chips on a wooden surface.

Prior to the poker boom, most films and books depicting poker games used Stud or Draw variations. War films and written historical accounts in particular recounted games of Five-Card Stud played among the ranks of soldiers enjoying a break from the American Civil War in the 1860s.

Five-Card Stud evolved into the more popular Seven-Card Stud that carried through to modern-day poker games, especially in casino settings. Both versions of Stud were popular in the days of the American Old West, and it was the game in play when Wild Bill Hickok was murdered during a Dakota saloon poker session in 1876. In the fictional world, theater buffs may recall that the original final scene in “A Streetcar Named Desire” depicts Stanley Kowalski playing Seven-Card Stud with friends.

Today, Seven-Card Stud is common in its various forms at major notable poker tournament series and in mixed cash game settings. If you want to play Seven-Card Stud, learn the basics below and register at BetMGM Poker.

What Is Stud Poker?

Hands on a table with casino chips and playing cards in view.

Any poker game of the Stud variety simply means that there are face-up and face-down cards. There are five cards for each player in 5-Card Stud and seven cards per player in Seven-Card Stud. There is also a Six-Card Stud version that is much less common. Razz is a variant of Stud that has become a part of many mixed game lineups.

Seven-Card Stud can be played in its standard form or as a high-low split game. This may be written as hi/lo or hi-lo, high/low or high-low, Stud-8 or Stud 8, Eight-or-Better or 8-or-Better. This allows players to compete for a regular pot with a high hand and/or a low hand (eight-high) if there is a qualifying one. 

Seven-Card Stud Rankings

Play involves no low hand, as the poker hand rankings for the basic Seven Card-Stud game are the same as any basic poker game.

From best to worst:

  • Royal flush: A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit
  • Straight flush: Five cards in order and of the same suit, i.e. 9-8-7-6-5 suited
  • Four-of-a-kind: Four of the same number or rank, i.e. 8-8-8-8-3
  • Full house: Three cards of one rank and two of another, i.e. 8-8-8-3-3
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit, i.e. K-J-8-5-2 suited
  • Straight: Five consecutively ranked cards, i.e. J-10-9-8-7 of any suit
  • Three-of-a-kind: Three of the same number or rank, i.e. J-J-J-3-2
  • Two pair: Two pairs, i.e. K-K-8-8-3
  • One pair: One pair, i.e. K-K-7-5-2
  • High card: Highest card plays with no higher rankings made

Another set of rankings important in Stud is the suits. This is important when determining the player who will perform the bring-in. If two or more players display the same ranked cards, such as kings, the suits will determine the rank:

  • Highest ranked suit: Spade
  • Second-highest ranked suit: Heart
  • Third-highest ranked suit: Diamond
  • Lowest-ranked suit: Club

Seven-Card Stud Play

There can be two to eight players for a basic Seven-Card Stud game. The betting cycle is two cards down, four up, and one final card down. The goal is for a player to make the best five-card poker hand, at least better than any opponent.

A hand plays as follows:

  • The dealer gives each player two face-down cards and one face-up card (third street).
  • The player with the lowest-ranking face-up card pays the bring-in, an opening bet that is normally half of the minimum bet.
  • The first round of betting continues clockwise.
  • The dealer then burns a card and deals the second face-up card (fourth street).
  • The player whose face-up cards make the best poker hand begins the second round of betting with a check or bet.
  • The dealer then burns a card and deals the third face-up card (fifth street).
  • The third round of betting begins with the player showing the best face-up poker hand.
  • Each player receives a fourth face-up card (sixth street) after the dealer burns one.
  • Fourth-round betting begins with the player showing the best face-up poker hand.
  • The dealer burns a card and then delivers one face-down card (seventh street) to each player still in. 
  • The fifth and final betting round begins, again, with the player showing the best face-up poker hand.
  • The player holding the best five-card poker hand wins.
A hand holding seven playing cards in front of a green felt table with blue, red and black casino chips on the table.

There can be a unique situation in Seven-Card Stud when playing a full table. With only 52 cards in the deck, the dealer may run out of cards toward the end of the action. In that case, the dealer can use the burn cards. In the rare occasion that there are still not enough cards, the dealer can provide the fifth card as a face-up community card instead of a face-down card for each player.

Top Stud Poker Game Tips

There are some pieces of advice that even first-time players should consider.

First, take mental notes of all face-up cards that are folded. This information is helpful when calculating outs and odds.

Second, don’t worry about position. This is a difference between Seven-Card Stud and poker games like Hold’em. The position may change after every betting round.

Third, a bet on third street can be looser than on subsequent streets. Many times, however, representing a hand with a bet on third street may necessitate betting all the way through to seventh street. 

Fourth, flushes on third street are usually worth betting, as are straights on third street that beat opponents’ face-up cards.

Fifth, remember that betting options double on fifth street, so pots can build and become expensive more quickly.

BetMGM Poker offers Seven-Card Stud games. Learn the basics and how to Improve stud play.