Stud was, by far, the most popular form of poker until the Hold’em boom of recent years. Almost all casinos have stud games going at all times, and, since it is studied much less than Hold’em, these games are very profitable. Seven Card Stud is played similar to traditional poker games, such as draw, as it uses the ante structure and everyone receives their own cards. Unlike Texas Hold’em or Omaha styles of poker, Stud requires players to post these antes before every hand.
Before each hand of stud is dealt, every player must post the ante, which is a required bet. The size of the ante differs according to the limits being played. The ante is usually 10% of the highest limit, so in a $5-$10 limit game the ante would be $.50.
The dealer begins by dealing clockwise around the table. Each player receives two down cards, and then a final up card that everyone can see. The two down cards are called ‘hole’ cards while the up card is called the ‘door’ card.
After the cards are dealt, the person with the lowest ranking card begins with a ‘bring-in’ bet. If two people hold the same card, then the suits play with spades being the highest, and then hearts, diamonds, and finally clubs being the lowest suit. The ‘bring in’ bet must be at least twice the ante, so in our $5-$10 limit game the ‘bring in’ is $1. If this player chooses to fold, play continues to the left.
Play continues clockwise from the initial bettor and people can either call, raise to the low betting limit ($5), or fold. During this initial round of betting, limits are fixed at whatever is the low betting limit, or $5 in our example.
Everyone is dealt another up card. The person with the highest showing up cards begins the betting. They can only bet the minimum ($5) unless they have a pair showing, and then they can bet the upper limit ($10). All other players can bet or raise whatever the opener is allowed to bet or raise.
If they check their option, or fold, play continues to the left.
Another up card is dealt to remaining players. Betting continues in the same pattern as forth street, and all betting is done at the highest betting limit
Again, an up card is dealt to all players. Betting continues around the table in the same manner as Fifth Street.
This is the last street of Seven Card Stud, and all remaining players are dealt a down card. The player who began betting on Sixth Street starts the betting on Seventh Street.
After all betting and raising have been completed, the player who opened last reveals their hole cards. All other players can either reveal their hole cards, or muck (fold) their hand facedown. Whoever has the best five-card hand wins the pot.