The best-known and most played form of Stud is 7 Card Stud. The game however, is different from other variants of poker which are played "open" (with community cards dealt face up).
Seven-Card Stud, is a very difficult game to master, requiring a finely-tuned strategy and a good memory for cards. Bluffing is a key part of the game.
As its name suggests, players are distributed seven cards, namely three closed and private cards and four up cards, visible to all.
The principle of 7 Card Stud
Although each player has seven cards available, the aim of the game is the same as with most traditional poker games: to make the best combination of five cards out of the 7 dealt.
Possible winning hands are the same as traditional hold'em poker. However, the suits have a special ranking: the Spade has the highest value, followed by the Heart and the Diamond and then the Club.
Rules of 7 Card Stud
Seven-card stud can be played with 2-10 players. The basic rules are the same as in traditional hold'em poker games except that there is the hierarchy of suits mentioned above.
Analysing a round of of 7 Card Stud
Dealing the cards
Before the cards are dealt, each player must place an ante, that is to say an agreed amount bet by all players. There is no dealer "button", as is the case for hold'em poker, to designate the dealer.
In 7-card stud, there are no common cards. Each player receives two private cards called "hole cards" and one exposed card, called a "door card" which is visible to all players.
First round of betting
The player with the lowest exposed card must pay a forced bet. Always remember that the suits also have different values.
The betting continues in a clockwise direction. Each player has the choice of calling, raising or folding. Each player still in the game then receives another exposed card, called "Fourth Street".
Second round of betting
Unlike the first round of betting, the player with the best combination of two up cards starts the action. The betting continues as is customary, players choose to call, raise or fold.
Each player receives another exposed card, called "Fifth Street".
Third round of betting
We proceed in the same way as the previous betting round: the player who has the combination of the three strongest open cards must act first. Clockwise, each player then chooses to call his bet, raise or fold.
Each player is dealt a fourth upcard.
Fourth round of betting
Same process as described above. Finally, the seventh and final card, "the river" is dealt to each player, although this time it is closed, so only the player sees his card.
The player with the highest visible hand begins the fifth and final round of betting.
The players now have three hole cards and four up cards. It is time to reveal to the remaining players, their best 5-card hand.
The best combination wins the pot.
Seven Card Stud can also be played as hi-lo. In this case, it plays the same way as classic 7 card stud with two exceptions. First, the pot is split between the highest hand and the lowest. In addition, the lowest hand must not contain a card higher than an 8.
Note that the seven-card stud in low mode is called "Razz".