Seven Card Stud

The Ante in Seven Card Stud

Playing seven card stud starts before the hands are dealt. Choosing the correct table can be just as important as good strategy. The first thing we need to look at is the ante size.

Unlike most Holdem games we have an ante in Seven Card Stud. The ante can range from very high to low. Tight players would benefit from a low ante game and vice versa if you style is forceful. Check out your opponents. If your style is going to be aggressive that night then choose the tight table with low card “bringing it in.

Basic Rules of Seven Card Stud

Betting rounds occur after each round of cards are dealt. Here is how the cards are dealt.

  • Two cards are dealt face down to all players and one is dealt face up
  • One card dealt face up to all players.
  • Another second card dealt face up to all players
  • A third card dealt face up to all players
  • Fourth card dealt face down to all players.
  • Players now have a total of seven cards with 4 showing and 3 hidden
  • The showdown commences with the best hand winning.

Bringing it In

In Seven Card Stud we have something called “Bringing it in”. This is where either the low card or high card showing must bring in the first bet. If you are playing low card brings it in then they must be the first to put money into the pot. This forces the low card to get involved in the pot.

On the other hand the high card can be chosen to bring it in. These two types of games are favored among certain styles. Tight players choose the high card bring in while aggressive players should choose the low card bring in game.
Best Starting Hands in Seven Card Stud

Starting off with big pairs or trips are the best. Second in line are drawing hands such as flushes and third are small pairs. In later sections we will discuss strategy for these types of hands but for now let’s introduce you to them.

Premium Pairs

Good starting pairs can be valuable because many times your opponent will be drawing against you and one big pair will hold up to win the hand. Seven card stud Premium pairs are paired Aces, Kings, Queens , Jacks, and even Tens.

Drawing Hands

Flush draws provide you with more outs than straights. It is also preferable if the flush draw includes higher cards. This will give you a couple more chances to win with a big pair if your flush doesn’t pan out. Here is some detailed information on Seven Card Stud drawing hands.

Small Pairs

Anything without face card paint is considered a small pair. Some people consider pocket tens as a premium hand because you can make a high straight. The kicker is very important when valuing your hand. Here is an example. A pair of threes with an Ace kicker will have more value than a pair of fours with a bad kicker. Chances are your small pair won’t hold up anyway so the big kicker card gives an edge when drawing for two pair. This is very important to understand.

Concealed and Split Pairs

There are two types of pairs. Pairs that are “concealed” are your hole cards and are exactly that, concealed. A “split pair” is when one of your cards is face up and the other one is face down to make your pair. The concealed pairs are more powerful because it is harder for your opponent to put you on a hand.


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