Seven Card Stud is arguably one of the best-known poker variants – online and off. It lacks the popularity of Texas Hold’em and Omaha, but still commands a place at nearly every online poker room. There are poker fans who play the game exclusively, ignoring other variants.
Despite that, very few (if any) of the top-rated poker sites offer a no download Seven Card Stud game. This is likely due to the sparse table traffic. Without a constant flow of traffic to the Stud tables, it makes little sense to offer the game within an “Instant Play” environment. Even with no download Texas Hold’em, by far the most popular poker variant, most sites only offer single-table cash games.
This should not discourage you from enjoying the game. There’s plenty to like about 7 Card Stud, and you may discover playing it through a poker site’s software is worthwhile. With this in mind, we’ll explain the rules, including how to play the hi/lo variant. We’ll also give you a few quick “rules of engagement,” so you can hit the ground running.
How To Play Seven Card Stud
Playing 7 Card Stud is simple. The object of the game (besides taking the pot) is to make the highest-ranking 5-card hand.
Each player posts an ante at the beginning of a hand. Two cards are then dealt face-down and one card is dealt face-up to each player. The person with the lowest-ranking upcard posts an additional bet called the bring-in. Once the bring-in has been posted, the first betting round begins.
Next, “Fourth Street” is dealt. This is another card dealt face-up to each player. The person with the highest-ranking exposed cards starts the second betting round.
Another upcard, called “Fifth Street,” is dealt to each player. A third betting round begins, starting with the player holding the highest-ranking exposed cards (now three in total).
Next, “Sixth Street” is dealt to each player. This is another upcard (now four in total), which signals the beginning of a fourth betting round. As before, the action starts with the player holding the highest-value exposed hand.
The last card dealt is “Seventh Street,” also known as The River. It is dealt face-down and kicks off the fifth and final betting round. If more than one active player remains following this betting round, they go to a showdown, and reveal their cards. As noted earlier, the player holding the highest-ranking 5-card hand wins the pot.
You’ll notice there are two main differences between Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em games. First, holdem only has four betting rounds; 7 Card Stud has five. Second, Texas Hold’em uses community cards; Seven Card Stud does not. For this reason, it’s a lot easier to hide a winning hand.
An important side note: If two or more players are holding identical hands that outrank the hands of other active players, the pot is split evenly between them.
The Hi/Lo Variant Of 7 Card Stud
The Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo variant is played in the same manner as the conventional format. The difference involves the pot. Rather than the pot being awarded solely to the player with the highest-ranking hand, it is split. Half of the pot is awarded to the highest-ranking hand; half is awarded to the lowest-ranking hand.
Low hands are ranked according to the “Ace to Five” model used for Omaha Hi/Lo and Razz Poker. In order to qualify, the low hand cannot contain any card over eight. Nor can it contain a pair. If no low hand can qualify, the player with the highest-ranking hand “scoops” the entire pot.
A Few Rules Of Engagement
One of the biggest – and most expensive – blunders novice 7 Card Stud players make is to take too many mediocre hands through Fourth Street. As with seeing the flop too often in holdem, you’ll never be able to build your bankroll. If you’re starting with a high pair, play aggressive and weed the other players out quickly. Otherwise, be wary and willing to fold.
Also, take note of the table’s upcards. Most of the information you need in order to make intelligent decisions is on the board. For a given hand, there may be as many as thirty upcards. That offers valuable data regarding your chances of making a particular hand.
Lastly, look for reasons to fold. A lot of beginners take the opposite approach and rationalize staying in the hand. Doing so will gradually erode your bankroll. If you can justify throwing in the towel, fold.
Where To Find No Download Seven Card Stud
Because the game draws sparse table traffic, none of the big-brand online poker rooms offer no download Seven Card Stud. If you want to play the game, you’ll need to download the poker site’s software. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short list of our recommended poker rooms for playing 7 Card Stud. The following sites each have a great reputation with poker enthusiasts.
If you’d like to get started with 7 Card Stud, these rooms offer ideal playing environments in which to learn the game. Visit each site, register your accounts, and start building your bankroll.