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Seven Card Stud - Basics

Seven card Stud is the most popular of all the stud games, and has been since it first appeared sometime around the Civil War. Seven card stud is so popular you will be hard pressed to find the six and five card variants (which really do exist). Seven Card stud offers a lot of information on your opponent’s hands with the four up cards, while providing the surprise factor from Draw poker with the three hole cards.

The five rounds of betting in Seven Card Stud can create some very large pots. Skilled Seven card Stud players need an alert mind and good powers of retention. A skillful player has the ability to relate each card in his hand, or visible in the hand of an opponent, to once-visible but now folded hands, in order to be able to determine the likelihood of making his hand, as well as to estimate the likelihood that an opponent has made theirs.

Almost every hand is possible in Seven card Stud. This is very different than a game like Texas Hold’em, in which a full house, four-of-a-kind or a flush isn’t possible unless the board contains paired cards, or three cards of the same suit needed for the flush.

Seven card Stud is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, with nearly endless possibilities,. One must combine the knowledge of exposed and folded cards with previous betting patterns in order to determine the likelihood of any one of a variety of hands that your opponent might be holding. Because of the five betting rounds, challenging for a pot can become quite expensive, especially if your hand is the second-best hand.

Seven card Stud requires patience. It is important that the first three cards you are dealt are able to work together before you enter a pot. In fact, the most important decision you’ll make in a Seven card Stud game is whether to enter the pot on in the first round of betting, also known as third street.

At the third round of betting or Fifth Street is when you will have to make your next critical decision, as to whether you should continue playing. Fifth street is where the betting limits double (in fixed-limit betting games). There’s an old adage in Seven card Stud: If you call on Fifth Street, you’ve bought a through-ticket to the river card (the last card).

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