Stud Poker Rules

Stud poker rules

Stud poker is considered one of the oldest types of poker game. The most popular variant is the seven card format. In this type of poker, standard poker combinations are used to determine the winner (from the highest card to the royal flush).

Many players have been playing only Texas Hold'em and Omaha for their entire poker career, and do not even know how many exciting poker disciplines there are in the world. 

In this article, we will tell you in detail about the stud poker rules and the features of this game, and also share basic recommendations for playing it at the poker tables.

7 Card Stud Poker: Game Features

First things first: what is stud poker? The rules differ from those usual for Hold'em and Omaha poker, since the number of cards in hand is much larger, there are new types of bets (for example, bring-in), and the procedure changes depending on the strength of the hands.

But in fact, everything is not so difficult. Once you carefully study the rules and features and play a few times in practice, this will open a new fascinating and unusual poker variant for you.

Seven stud poker is an important part of the so-called mix games, that is, a poker format that combines several different disciplines. HORSE is considered the most popular mix game, and the stud here is presented as two games out of five (regular seven-card option and hi-lo variant).

So, how do you play stud poker?

  • All players pay a mandatory bet called an ante.
  • The dealer deals the first three cards and the betting rounds begin.
  • All players receive one card. The one with the best cards goes first. This scheme works in all betting circles.
  • Then another card is dealt, and this continues until the seventh street of the betting round.
  • The game ends with a showdown, which determines the winner.

Stud is played in three different betting formats:

  • Limit (or fixed limit);
  • Pot limit;
  • No-limit (almost never used).

The most popular is seven stud poker with a fixed limit. For example, in a $4/$8 limit game, the small bet will be $4 and the big bet will be $8. Before the hand begins, all players at the table must post an ante. Typically, the ante is 10% of the big bet ($0.80 in our example).

There are 5 rounds of betting in the game, in the first two rounds players play with small bets, and on the remaining they put a big bet.

Betting Rounds in the Game

Let’s see how to play 7 card stud with an example. The game begins with the fact that all players at the table must post an ante ( traditionally 10% of the big bet).

First Round of Betting

Each player receives three cards: two closed and one open. The player with the lowest upcard must bet the bring-in. If several players at the table have the same low card, then suits are used to determine the one to bet.

It's important!
It's important!

7 card stud rules state that suits are arranged alphabetically from lowest to highest: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades.


Hero: x x 5♣

Opponent: x x 5♥

Hero should bet a “bring in” here because he has a weaker suit. This player has two options: to put in a bring in equal to the amount of the ante, or to raise to a small bet. Players who act after the bring-in can fold, call, or bet.

Second Round of Betting

Each player who remains in the hand receives another open card. The first word belongs to the player who has the strongest combination of two open cards.


Hero: x x 10♥ 7♣

Opponent: x x 8♣ 5♥

In this example, Hero has the first word because 10 is higher than 8.

Third Round of Betting

The remaining players in the hand receive another open card. The first action is made by the player with the strongest combination of three open cards.

Fourth Round of Betting

Each player receives one more open card. Again, the first word will be for the player with the strongest combination of open cards.

Fifth Betting Round/River

The last closed card is dealt to the players. The first word again belongs to the player with the strongest open hand.

How to play Stud poker with 8 players at the table?
How to play Stud poker with 8 players at the table?

The last card is the community one and is dealt face up in the center of the table. This is due to the lack of cards for all the players in the poker deck.


The cards are revealed. If several players have the same best hand, then the pot is divided between them. The suits at showdown are not taken into account.

Basic Recommendations

Key skills for successful 7 card Stud poker game:

  • Strict selection of hands;
  • discipline (in other words, patience means the ability to wait for a good hand without risking with combinations that have secondary strength);
  • reads on opponents;
  • the ability to memorize and take into account the open cards of the players.

It is worth saying that seven-card stud is a very interesting card game that will help you take your mind off the usual disciplines. There are regular and large poker tournaments in this discipline. There is also a variation of the game called 5 card stud poker, but it is much rarer to find.

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🎲 What does stud mean in poker?

Stud means the name of a type of poker. which is considered very popular in the world. This game can be played in several formats: 7 cards or 5 cards in the player's hand. There is also a hi-lo game option. A similar discipline can be found both offline and online. It is popular among poker professionals.

💡 What is the difference between poker and stud poker?

Poker is the general name for a card game that is played all over the world. Poker has its own varieties, among which the most popular are Hold'em, Omaha and Stud. Therefore, stud poker is a type of poker, with its own specific rules and features, as well as a special strategy.

🎯 Is Stud poker the same as Texas Holdem?

No, these are the names of different types of poker, the rules of which are different. These disciplines have a different game process and betting rounds. However, the combinations are the same. You can also play stud in the hi-lo format, but this option is not provided for hold'em.

💎 How do you play 7 Card Stud?

There can be from two to eight players at one table. Stud is played with a standard deck of 52 cards (no jokers). All players bet an ante and receive three cards each . Then there are betting rounds and additional cards are dealt. The mechanics of a stud poker hand up to the showdown are described in more detail in our article.

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