7 Card Stud is a classic poker game and a popular choice for home games. It's known as being easy to learn but incredibly difficult to master. Players are dealt seven cards throughout the hand, but must make the best five card poker hand possible. 7 Card Stud is almost always played with a limit betting structure; in a $2/$4 game the bets are each worth $2 in the first two betting rounds, and worth $4 for the final three betting rounds. 7 Card Stud uses the standard poker hand rankings.
Every player puts in an ante to join a game of 7 card Stud. In online poker the ante amount will always be displayed in the name of the poker table.
Every player is dealt three cards, two private hole cards and one face up card. Whichever player has the lowest value face up card is the bring-in and must start the betting action. That player will have the option of either betting the smaller of the two stakes, or even half of the smaller stake. This is the only time a bet will be played that is smaller than the stakes. Action continues clockwise around the table.
Another card is dealt to each player, face up. Now the first player to act is the one whose cards have the highest value. This player can either check or bet the smaller stake. Action continues clockwise around the table.
Another card is dealt to each player, face up. Just like on Fourth Street, the player with the highest value cards acts first. On fifth street the larger betting stake is used for all bet increments. In a $2/$4 game the $2 stake is used for the first two betting rounds, and now $4 is used on Fifth Street, Sixth Street, and Seventh Street. Action continues clockwise around the table.
Another card is dealt to each player, face up. The first player to act is the one whose exposed cards have the highest value. A round of betting occurs.
Seventh Street (The River)
A final card is dealt to each player, face down. This is the third private card that players will receive. The player whose exposed cards have the highest value starts the betting round. This is the final betting round and if more than one player is left after betting is finished then it's time for the showdown.
If there was no betting during the final round then the first player to the left of the button shows their cards first. If there was betting then the last player to bet or raise will show his or her hand first. The best five card hand wins the pot. If there are identical hands then the pot is split between the winners.
When determining the bring-in, ties in card rank are broken by suit. The suits are ranked in alphabetical order; clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades - the lowest suit breaks a tie.
On Third Street, if the player with the lowest card value showing is all-in for the ante then the bring-in moves clockwise to the next player at the table.
In the extremely rare instance that all eight players are still in the hand on Seventh Street, a community card will be placed face up for everyone to use instead of players getting a private card dealt face down to them personally. This is because the deck only has 52 cards and there wouldn't be enough to deal one last card to each player.