How to Play 7 Card Stud: Strategy and Rules

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7 Card Stud poker is a classic or traditional variant of poker that has remained immensely popular despite the rise of other poker games such as Texas Hold’em. It stands out among all the other types of poker games in many ways, something that makes it a top choice for people looking for something different. 7 Card Stud rules are pretty straightforward, which makes them relatively easy to grasp and understand. However, the game itself is very challenging and can take time to truly master.

Why is it such a big deal? Players are assured of endless fun and exciting gameplay as they build out their strategies and poker skills.


Whether you are player 7 Card stud online or at a land-based venue, the rules are pretty much the same. As mentioned earlier, getting started is going to be a breeze for most players. All you need to do is to get acquainted with a few basic 7 Card Stud rules, and you should be ready to indulge in some of the action.

Detailed below are some of these basic rules:

Most times 7 Card Stud is played with an ante, and every player who wishes to participate in the game is required to pay before the cards are dealt. The amount usually varies depending on the stakes at the 7 Card Stud table or the casino your playing at. Usually, the game has a maximum of 8 players.

The game further uses the standard poker hand rankings with the royal flush being the best hand – the high hand is the one that wins in this game. We have also come across other variations of 7 Card Stud where the low hand is the winner – this is known as Razz. There are also variations where the pot is split between the high and low hands, that is, High-Low.

Play begins after the cards have been dealt with one of the players making a bring-in bet, after which the game proceeds in a clockwise manner. What happens if there is a tie with high hands? In this case, another round of betting will kick-off. Ties are broken by the position that is nearest to the dealer. The other players will be able to fold, call, or raise when it is their turn. The best five-card poker hand determines the winner.

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How to Deal 7 Card Stud

Perhaps one of the most notable features of this game is the fact that there is no designated dealer. That said, it is also essential to know how to deal 7 Card Stud poker since you may be needed to take up the role ever so often.

Once every player has placed their ante, the dealer will deal three cards to each player on the table with the first two cards being dealt face down while the third is dealt face up. The first two cards are referred to as hole cards while the latter is the door card.

In case the game is at full capacity with the maximum number of 8 players, a single deck of cards will not be enough when everyone remains in the hand until the River. If this happens, the dealer turns a single community card up as the River. This will enable the players to share the last card and use it to finalize their hands.

Starting Hands

There are several starting hands that you could land during a 7 Card stud poker game. You will need to pay attention to these as they will often have an impact on your chances of emerging victorious. The popular poker hands from the highest in a game of 7 Card Stud include:

  • Five of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  •  Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of Kind
  • Two Pairs
  • One Pair
  • No Pair
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Building a great 7 Card Stud strategy is an excellent way of bettering your odds of winning. Fortunately, we have some pointers for you in that regard. For a start, one of the things that we recommend that you use to your advantage is your ability to influence the size of the pot. The goal is to either:

  • Put as much money as you can in the pot when you are the favorite
  • Or as little as possible when you are not likely to make the most out of your hand.

Also, since the number of available cards in 7 Card Stud keeps changing, it would be very beneficial to try and memorize as many already played cards as possible. You will, of course, need to be very keen for this to work to your advantage. Reading your opponents is also a great but rather daunting way of getting an idea about the cards they are holding.

One other thing that we found to be a great strategy was the table selection. This is especially important for beginners. You should pick a table where you are likely to be the best player or at least stand a chance of winning. This is an excellent way of building up your skills in preparation for joining the more challenging and more competitive tables.

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7 Card Stud ‘Hi Lo’

In 7 Card Stud ‘Hi Lo’ the pot is split between two hands – the high hand and a qualifying low hand. All but a few of the regular 7 Card Stud rules apply to this variant of the game, which means that it should not be too hard to switch to even for newbies.

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How to Play 7 Card Stud ‘Hi Lo’

The game starts with three cards being dealt, two of which are hole cards. This is followed by a ‘bring in’ and betting rounds. Since there are no blinds, the player who starts is determined by the strength of the hands.

Players have the option to fold, check, bet, call, or raise just like in other poker games. There is a final betting round where the last card is dealt face down. After that, all the cards are turned up. Then the pot is divided between the best high hand and the best low hand. In case there is no low hand, the best high hand takes the pot.

Starting Hands

As you began playing, you should pay attention to the 7 Card Stud Hi Lo starting hands. These hands are likely to have an impact on your chances of winning. Some of these starting hands include:

  • Trips
  • Totals
  • Aces with a low kicker
  • Aces with high kicker
  • Low connected-suit
  • Low suited
  • Low connected
  • High pair
  • Low pair with kicker
  • Flush with high cards
  • Low pair with a high kicker
  • Low cards
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A 7 Card Stud Hi Lo strategy is also quite crucial if you want to win. Just like in 7 Card Stud, you will need to try to:

  • Select the best tables possible
  • Memorize the cards that have been played
  • Control the size of the pot.

If you already know how to play regular 7 Card Stud, the same skills can be beneficial here.

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There are lots of 7 Card Stud tips that can make your gaming experience more enjoyable, and one of the most notable ones is bankroll management. This works for nearly all casino games, with the primary aim being to protect you from losing more than you can afford to.

For anyone who is looking to play 7 Card Stud ‘Hi Lo’ we recommend starting by mastering and honing your skills at the standard version. This will make things much more comfortable when you switch over. To top it all off, make sure that you select the best possible tables.