Before the advent of online casinos and gambling sites, Seven Card Stud was the most popular variant of poker.  This game is also known as “Seven Toed Pete” or “Down the River” in different parts of United States of America.  Seven Card Stud is the most favored choice of people who like to get together on weekends as well as for those players who like to visit land based casinos.

This game can be played by two to eight players.   During special circumstances, which involve experienced players with a tendency to fold often, it is also possible for nine players to participate in this game.   The biggest difference which can be noticed between this game and the other variants of Poker such as Texas Hold’em or Omaha is the absence of “flop” and “community cards”.

The idea behind Seven Card Stud involves creating the best five card combination from the seven cards dealt by the dealer.  The hand rankings are similar to that of Texas Hold’em and Omaha.  The best possible combination created by the player is the Royal Flush while the least one is the High Card hand.

Game Play of Seven Card Stud

This game begins with each player being dealt with two face down cards and one with face up.  Usually the face up card is dealt as the third card and is known as “Third Street”.  A player decides whether to continue further into the game after reviewing the face down or “hole cards” and face up or “door card”.

During the course of the game, a total of seven cards are dealt to each player. Out of these seven, three are hole cards and four door cards.  Instead of blinds as the forced bets in Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud has “antes” as the forced bets.  The antes require that each player must lay down the bet on the table before receiving cards.

Common Rules for Seven Card Stud Poker

Some of the most common rules followed by players throughout the world include

  • In case of first or second hole card dealt with face side up, the third card will be dealt down.
  • The first round of betting takes place with a forced bet by the player with lowest up card.
  • A player can open the forced bet with a full bet.
  • If the first player is all-in, the second player sitting on the left side of that player has to act first.
  • If a wrong person gets designated for forced bet and next player still has to act, then the action can be corrected.
  • Increasing the amount wagered for the forced bet to the extent of full bet is not considered as raise.
  • Absence of player on the table on his or her turn to act leads to forfeit of ante and forced bet.
  • The seat of the player will continue to receive cards even if he or she folds the hand and makes no wager. The cards get dealt until the hand is killed.
  • Picking up of face up cards without calling a wager leads to the fold.
  • If there are not enough cards to be dealt for all players, in order to complete the betting round the last card is mixed with “burn cards” and then dealt.