Seven-card stud is played with two downcards and one upcard dealt before the first betting round, followed by three more upcards (with a betting round after each card). After the last downcard is dealt, there is a final round of betting. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In all fixed-limit games, the smaller bet is wagered on the first two betting rounds, and the larger bet is wagered betting rounds on the last three. If there is an open pair on the fourth card, any player has the option of making the smaller or larger bet.
Rules of the Game
- The first round of betting is initiated with a forced bet by the lowest value upcard. A tie is broken by suit, with the lowest suit being forced to bet. On subsequent betting rounds, the high hand on board initiates the action. Ties are broken by position, with the player who received cards first acting first.
- The player with the forced bet has the option of opening for a full bet.
- Completing an opening forced bet does not count as a raise, but merely as a completion of the bet. For example: In $15-$30 stud, the low card opens for $5. If the next player to act brings the bet to $15 (completion of the bet), three additional raises are then allowed.
- In all fixed-limit games, when an open pair is showing on fourth street (second upcard), any player has the option of betting either the lower or the upper limit. For example: In a $5-$10 game, if you have a pair showing and you are the high hand, you may bet either $5 or $10. If you bet $5, any succeeding player has the option to call $5, raise $5, or raise $10. If a $10 raise is made, then all other raises must be in increments of $10. If the player who makes the open pair on fourth street checks, then all other players still have the same options.
- In all games, the dealer announces the low card, the high hand, all raises, and all pairs. In limits of $10-$20 and higher, dealers do not announce possible straight or flush.
- If your first or second hole card is accidentally turned up by the dealer, then your third card will be dealt down. If both hole cards are dealt up, you have a dead hand and receive your ante back. If your hand would have been the low card, as a result of the first card dealt faceup, action will start with the first hand to your left. That player may fold, open for the amount of the forced bet, or open for a full bet.
- If you are not present at the table when it is your turn to act on your hand, you forfeit your ante and your forced bet, if any. If you have not returned to the table in time to act on your hand, the hand will be killed in turn.
- If you fold a hand after making a forced bet, or fold when there is no wager, your seat will continue to receive cards until a bet is made.
- If you are all in for the ante and you have the lowest card, the player to your left may come in for the forced bet, make the maximum bet, or fold the hand.
- If the wrong person is designated as low and that person bets, the action will be corrected to the proper low card, if at all possible. The true low card must bet, and the improperly designated lowcard may take back the incorrectly forced wager.
- If the dealer burns two cards for one round or fails to burn a card, the cards will be corrected, if at all possible, to their proper positions. If this should happen on a final downcard and the cards intermingle with a player's hole cards or a player looks at the card, the player must accept the card.
- If a dealer burns and deals one or more cards before a round of betting has been completed, the card(s) must be eliminated from play, along with an additional card for each remaining player still active in the hand. After that round of betting has concluded, the dealer re-burns, and play resumes. (The removed cards are held off to the side in the event the dealer runs out of cards.) If the prematurely dealt card is the final downcard and has been looked at or intermingled with the player's other hole cards, the player must keep the card. If there is further betting on sixth street, a player who has seven cards may not raise.
- If there are not enough cards left in the deck for all players, the dealer will deal all the cards except the last card, which is mixed with the burn cards and any cards removed from the deck, as in the previous rule. The dealer then scrambles and cuts these cards, burns again, and delivers the remaining downcards, using the last card if necessary. If there are not as many cards as players remaining without a card, the dealer does not burn, so that each player can receive a fresh card. If the dealer determines that there will not be enough fresh cards for all of the remaining players, then the dealer announces to the table that a common card will be used. The dealer will burn a card and turn one card face up in the center of the table. This card plays in everyone’s hand. The player who is now high using the community card initiates the action for the last round.
- If you pick up your upcards without calling a bet when facing a wager, and by doing so cause someone to act behind you (even in a heads-up situation), your hand is dead.
- You must have seven cards to win at the showdown.
- A card dealt off the table must play and it is treated as an exposed card.
- If the dealer turns the last card face up to any player, the following rules apply:
- If there are more than two players, all remaining players receive their last card facedown. Prior to action for the round of betting, a player whose last card is exposed will have the option of participating in the wagering or being declared all in.
- If there are only two players remaining and the first player's final downcard is dealt face up, the second player's final downcard will also be dealt face up, and the betting proceeds as normal. In the event the first player's final card is dealt facedown and the opponent's final card is dealt face up, the player with the exposed card will have the option of declaring all in. This decision must be made prior to any action on that round.
- In any of the above situations, the player who is now high on the board using all the upcards will start the action.
- If you call a bet even though you are beaten by an opponent’s upcards, you are not entitled to a refund.