Seven-Card Stud, the classic poker game that will have you channeling your inner Chip Reese, is a thrilling and strategic form of poker that’s been played in saloons and casinos for over a century. Whether you’re a complete novice or a Texas Hold’em veteran looking to expand your repertoire, this comprehensive beginner’s guide will take you from a Seven-Card Stud spectator to a table-dominating dynamo. Ready to ante up? Let’s dive in!

The Basics of Seven-Card Stud

What’s that? You’ve never played Seven-Card Stud before? Well, my friend, you’re in for a treat! This game is all about skill and strategy, but a little bit of luck wouldn’t hurt. Here’s what you need to know:

Players: Usually played with 2 to 7 players.

Cards: A standard 52-card deck is used.

Goal: To have the best five-card hand at showdown.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to play this fascinating game. And don’t worry, I’ll be here with you every step of the way!

Antes and the Bring-In

Before the cards are dealt, players must place an ante into the pot. Think of it as your ticket to the Seven-Card Stud party. Once the antes are in, each player is dealt two face-down cards and one face-up card. The player with the lowest face-up card must make a forced bet called the “bring-in.”

hand picking up six chips from a stack

Betting Rounds

Seven-Card Stud is played over five betting rounds. Each round is a battle of wits, strategy, and poker faces. Here’s how it goes down:

Post Ante: After the bring-in, betting continues clockwise. You can call, raise, or fold.

Fourth Street: Another face-up card is dealt. The player with the highest hand showing starts the betting.

Fifth Street: Yet another face-up card. The stakes are getting higher!

Sixth Street: You guessed it, another face-up card. How’s your hand looking now?

Seventh Street: The final card is dealt face down. This is your last chance to make your move!

Remember, the goal is to make the best five-card hand. So choose your hand wisely!

Hand Rankings

What’s that? You’re unsure about hand rankings? Fear not! Here’s a quick rundown, from highest to lowest… they are the same hand rankings as in Texas Hold’em.

Royal Flush: A straight flush consisting of the five highest cards, Ace through Ten, all of the same suit.

Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.

Full House: Three cards of one rank and two of another.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in sequence.

Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits.

Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank.

Two Pair: Two cards of one rank and two of another.

One Pair: Two cards of the same rank.

High Card: The highest card in your hand if no other hand is made.

Got it? Great! Let’s move on.

7 card stud hand with 7 8 9 9 showing

Seven-Card Stud Strategy

Seven-Card Stud isn’t just about luck; it’s a game of skill and strategy. Here are some tips to help you become a Seven-Card Stud sensation:

Observe Your Opponents: Watch their betting patterns and try to read their hands.

Be Mindful of the Face Up cards: Keep track of the face-up cards. It’ll help you gauge what hands are possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fold: If your hand isn’t shaping up, it’s okay to fold and live to play another day.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So grab some friends, shuffle up, and deal!


And there you have it, a comprehensive beginner’s guide to Seven-Card Stud. From the basics to betting rounds, hand rankings, and strategy, you now have the tools to sit down at any Seven-Card Stud table with confidence. So what are you waiting for? Shuffle up, deal, and may the best hand win!

Oh, and one more thing: Have fun! After all, it’s not just about winning; it’s about enjoying the game and the camaraderie around the table. Happy playing!