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Stud game rules

Stud rules

Stud is considered as one of the oldest type of poker. 7 Card Stud is the most popular game. All the players are dealt seven cards in this poker type but combination consists of the 5 best cards. The standard poker combinations are used for determination of a poker winner.

Betting rules

The stud is played in 3 different bets formats:

  • Fixed-limit
  • Pot-limit
  • No-limit

The fixed-limit Stud is the most popular game. For example in a game with $4/$8 limit the small bet will be $4 and the big bet - $8. Before the start of a hand, all the players should post the ante. Usually, the amount of ante is 10% of a big bet ($0,80 in our example).

There are 5 betting rounds in the game. In the first two rounds the participants play with the small bets and in the remaining rounds, they make big bets.

Betting rounds

The game starts with a moment where all the players at the table should post an ante. As we have stated above the ante size is traditionally 10% of a big bet.

The first betting round (the third street)

Each player is dealt the 3 cards where 2 of them are face-down and one card is face-up. The player with the smallest face-up card should post the bring-in. If several players at the table have the same low cards then card suit is used for determination of player who must post the bring-in.

In the 7 Card Stud suits are defined from the lowest suit to the highest one this way: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.


Hero: х х 5♣

Opponent: х х 5♥

Despite the fact that the cards value is the same, Hero should pay the bring-in because his suit is weaker.

The round starts from the player who posted the bring-in in clockwise order. The player who should pay the bring-in has two variants:

  • Pay the bring-in that is equal to an ante size
  • Make the raise equal to a small bet level.

The players who act after the bring-in can fold, call or make a bet.

The second betting round (the fourth street)

Each player involved in the hand gets another face-up card. The player who has the strongest combination of two face-up cards is the first one to act.


Hero: х х 10♥ 7♣

Opponent: х х 8♣ 5 ♥

In this example Hero is the first player to act because 10-high is better than 8-high.

The third betting round (the fifth street)

The players who remained in the hand get another face-up card. The player with the strongest combination of three face-up cards is the first to act.

The fourth betting round (the sixth street)

Each player gets another face-up card. The player with the strongest face-up cards combination will be the first one to act again.

The fifth betting round/ River (the seventh street)

The players get the last card that is dealt face-down. And again, the player with the strongest face-up hand will be the first one to act.

It is important to know: in the game with eight players at the table the last card is a common one and it’s dealt in the middle of the table as a face-up card. This happens because of lack of the cards in the deck for all the players.


The player who took the last active action (raise/ 3-bet) is the first one to show the cards. If there were no bets in a fifth betting round/ the seventh street then a showdown is carried out in clockwise order from the first box. If several players have the same best hand then the pot will be divided between them. The suits are not considered at showdown.

7 Card Stud Hi/Lo

It is a variety of Stud where the combination strength is estimated not only by ranking but also according to a low combination principle (i. e. there can be two winners who divide the pot between each other).

In a 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo the low-combination should fulfill an “eight or better” stipulation, i. e. in order to get a share of the pot for a low-combination the highest card in it should not be higher than 8 (in this case an ace is considered as the lowest card). The flushes or straights in low-combinations are not taken into account, so the best low-hand is a wheel (A 2 3 4 5). If nobody hit a low-combination then the player with the best high-combination will take all the pot.

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Cardmates journalist, news editor and translator since 2018. Specialization: poker news and review of events.
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