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7 Card Stud Rules


Seven-card stud can be played with 3 to 8 players and in most games each player must put an ante into the pot before the game is dealt. (In low betting games such as $1/$3 or $1- $5 no ante is required). The initial deal is two cards faced down and one card face up (total of three cards). A betting round follows and then one by one three additional up cards are dealt with betting rounds following each card dealt and then a final seventh card dealt face down with a final round of betting before the "showdown". The best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In all fixed-limit games (such as $5/$10), the smaller bet ($5) is wagered in the first two betting rounds, and the larger bet ($10) is wagered in the rounds following the fifth, sixth and seventh dealt cards.

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Game rules as followed step-by-step:

First round:

Each player first puts in an ante and then each player is dealt two cards face down (known as the hole cards) and one card face up (know as the"door" card). The first round of betting occurs with the lowest dealt face up card putting in a forced bet (usually 1/3 to 1/2 the full bet). Cards that are equal in value are then ordered in suit with the Spades being the highest and Clubs being the lowest. (Suit by decreasing order: spade, heart, diamonds, then clubs) Others follow with the option to fold, call, or raise. If the bet is raised, the low card that put in the initial bet must either call (complete the bet) or re-raise the bet, or fold. (The betting is capped at one bet and three raises per player.)


In a $15/$30 game, the low card opens with a $5 forced bet. If the next player (s) increase the bet to $15 (completes the bet), up to three raises are then allowed. The low card then has the option to complete the bet, raise over the bet, or fold giving up the $5 initial bet.

Accidental card dealt up:

In the case of the first or second hole card being accidentally turned up by the dealer, then the third card is dealt down. If both hole cards are dealt up, you have a dead hand and will receive your ante back or in some cases, a misdeal will be called. (Sometimes in tournament play, if a down card is accidentally dealt face up, a misdeal is called and the hands are re-shuffled and dealt.)

Out of order bet (wrong Low card designated):

If the wrong person is designated as the low and that person bets, the action will be corrected to the true low card, if the next player has not acted. The person who bet out of order will then not be obligated for the force bet and can take back their money and when it becomes their turn can either fold, call, or raise. If the next hand has acted after the incorrect low card wager, the wager stands, action continues from there, and the true low card has no obligations.

Other rules before the next round of betting:

A card dealt off the table is played and is treated as an exposed (face up) card.

In all games, the dealer announces the low card, the high hand, all raises, and all pairs. Dealers are not obligated to announcing possible straights or flushes.

Second round:

Each player remaining is dealt one card face up (fourth street). A second round of betting then ensues. In this round and the following subsequent betting rounds, the high hand on board (the face up cards) initiates the action. (A tie is broken by position, with the player who received cards first acting first.) In all fixed limit games, the smaller bet is enforced on this round of betting. However, if a pair is showing on the board (fourth street), any player has the option to bet either the lower or the upper limit.


In a $10/$20 game, if you have a pair showing on fourth street and are the high hand you can either bet $10 or $20 dollars. If you bet $10, any player after you has the option to call $10, raise it to $20 (by raising $10) or raise to $30 (by raising $20). If a $20 raise is made, then any subsequent raises must be in increments of $20. If you had checked your high pair, then the subsequent players have the same options that were given to you, either check, $10 bet or $20 bet. If no pair is shown on the board for this round, then only the smaller limit bet (in this case $10) is allowed with increase raises of increments of $10.

Folded hand without a wager made:

If a hand is folded even though there is no wager (everyone checked), that seat continues to receive cards until the hand is "killed" as a result of a monetary bet.

Third round:

Each player remaining is dealt another card face up (fifth street). A round of betting ensues.

Fourth round:

Each player remaining is dealt another card face up. (sixth street). A round of betting ensues.

Fifth and final round:

Each player remaining is dealt a final card face down. (The "river"). If more than 5 players are remaining, it may be necessary for the dealer to deal a community card since there may not be enough cards remaining to deal each player their own card. If this occurs the community card can be used by each player to make their five-card poker hand, but it is not necessary to use the card if it does not help your five-card hand. One last round of betting occurs.

The "showdown":

All players show their best five-card poker hand (with the first bettor or last raiser showing first). The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot.

Dealer's action/mistakes in dealing:

There are a few more rules in the event of an action by the dealer that was a mistake or not enough cards are left to deal to each remaining player.

If the dealer burns two cards for one round or fails to burn a card, the cards ARE CORRECTED, if at all possible, to their proper positions. If this should happen on a final down card, but are mixed into a players two other hole cards, then the player accepts that card and no correction is made.

All players should receive their final card face down, however, if a player receives his final card face up, the card will be kept and the other players will receive their normal hole cards down. If the player with the five exposed cards happens to now have the "high hand on board", the player will start the action (betting).

If there are only two players remaining and the first player's card was accidentally dealt up, then the dealer will deal the second players card up and the betting proceeds as normal. If the first player's final card is dealt correctly, but the second player's card is dealt up, the player with the face up final card has the option to declare all in before the betting starts which will cause the action to cease and the showdown to occur. Otherwise, the betting will go on as normal.

A hand with more than seven cards is dead. A hand with fewer than seven cards at the showdown is also dead, unless that player missing the seventh card request the dealer to asked for the hand to remain live. (Permission must be granted by a"boss".)

Finally, if there is not enough cards left to deal the seventh card to each remaining player, then the burn cards are mixed with the remaining cards and these cards are scrambled and cut, one card burned again and the last cards delivered face down. If there are only enough cards to deal to each player, then no cards are burned and each player gets a fresh down card. If there is still not enough cards to go around, then the dealer will announce to the table a common card will be used. The dealer will burn a card and turn one card face up on the table. Every player has the option to use that common card to make a five-card high poker hand. The player also who is now high with the community card can start the action. The common card does not have to be used to make a five-card poker hand if it does not help increase the value of the hand.

Some of these rules may vary in different casinos, therefore if something happens that you do not think is right ask the dealer or the"pit boss" for a ruling to clarify the problem.

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