Stud Poker

Poker is a skill based card game played from as early as the 16th century. Over the years different variations of the game have been developed worldwide. Today, we’ll talk about a different type of poker variant called Stud Poker.

The origin of stud poker dates back to the 19th century during the American Civil War. Since then, it has earned widespread recognition among poker players. Right before Texas Holdem took off, Stud Poker was the go to choice for most poker players.


What is Stud Poker?

In poker, stud refers to a group of poker variants with similar characteristics. Stud poker is a non-positional card game where players are dealt a mix of cards faceup and facedown on the table. The player who makes the first bet keeps changing in different rounds of betting. Under stud poker, the Seven Card Stud is the most popular poker variant.

How to play 7 card Stud?

The 7 card stud poker is played with 2 to 8 players, with each player getting 7 cards in five rounds of betting – third street, fourth street, fifth street, sixth street and seventh street.

Stud poker has a limited betting structure, with bets limited increments. In a seven-card stud game with a 2/4 limited betting structure, bets will be in increments of 2 in the first two rounds and increments of 4 in the next three rounds.

7 Card Stud Rules

  • Like any poker game, all players have to pay a nominal amount before any cards are dealt. These are called forced bets or Antes.
  • The first round is called third street where players get three cards, 2 face down and 1 faceup on the table. The player with the lowest rank faceup card will start the betting, also known as bring-in. The players need to make a nominal bet or full bet to the lower betting increment.
  • The second round is called fourth street. Here the dealer hands one card face up on the table. The player with the highest rank of exposed card will start betting.
  • After fourth street, one more card is dealt face down in the third round, called fifth street. Again the player with the highest value of exposed cards will bet first. From this round, the bets are placed in predetermined increments (For eg 4 in a 2/4 game).
  • The fourth round is called sixth street where another card is dealt face up. The final round is seventh street or the river, where the final card is dealt.

By the fifth round of betting, if there are more than one active player, the game moves to showdown. Here the remaining active players have to reveal their five card poker hand. The player with the best five card combination wins the pot.

Order of Hand Rankings in Stud Poker

The order of hand rankings in 7 card stud poker is slightly different from Texas Holdem or Omaha poker. Here there is no Royal Flush and the strongest possible hand is called ‘Five of a kind’.

Like Royal Flush, this poker hand is very rare because at least one wild card, such as a joker, is required to make this hand. The order of remaining hand rankings are the same as Texas Holdem – Straight Flush (highest), Four of a kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Two pairs, One pair, High Card (lowest).

Additional Stud Poker Rules

  • For the purpose of determining the bring-in bet in the third street, if there is a tie in card rank, it is broken by a suit. The rank of suits are as follows – clubs (lowest), diamonds, hearts and spades (highest). Please note that the rankings of equal hands at showdown is not determined by this rule.
  • During the third street, if a player goes all-in for the ante, but is unable to place the required bring-in, the action will move clockwise to the next player, irrespective of the value of the exposed card.
  • If a player shows a ‘pair’ on fourth street, the betting can be opened or raised for one big bet. If any player makes the big bet in this situation, the bigger betting amount will continue for the entire round.
  • Since Stud poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, there is a possibility of running out of cards before seventh street is dealt. In such a situation, the dealer will throw one card faceup on the table, which can be shared by remaining players.

Other Stud Poker Variants

Apart from 7 card stud, there are many other variants in stud poker such as 5 card stud poker, mississippi stud poker, caribbean stud poker, razz etc.


What is the meaning of stud in poker?

In poker, stud refers to a group of poker variants with similar characteristics.

Why is it called 7 card stud?

The name 7 card stud originated from how the hands are dealt. Each player is handed 7 cards over several rounds of betting. However, the objective of the game is to make the best five hand card.

How to play Mississippi Stud poker?

Mississippi Stud is a five-card poker game where players compete against a paytable and not the dealer. A pair of Jacks or better is enough to win in Mississippi Stud, and pairs of 6s to 10s to push.

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