Rules for Playing Seven Card Stud Poker Online

Seven Card Stud Poker is one of the most popular poker games played online. The poker rooms featured in our poker sites guide offer a variety of Stud Poker variants and betting limits to choose from. Basic rules for playing Seven Card Stud are summarized below.

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Basic Seven Card Stud Poker Rules

There are five betting rounds in a game of Seven Card Stud, in addition to the ante. Each player is dealt two cards face down, then four cards face up, and the final ("river") card is dealt face down.

Each player must put an ante into the pot before he receives his first three cards. The initial deal consists of two cards dealt face down (the "hole cards") and one card dealt face-up (the "door card").

The player with the lowest door card (for ties, the suits are used in reverse order - clubs, diamonds, hearts, then spades) is required to initiate action by betting a minimum of half the lower limit. This starting bet is called the "bring-in". When a player has the bring-in, he always has the option of betting either half the lower limit or the lower limit for the table.

After the initial round of betting, all subsequent rounds start with the player with the high hand on board initiating the betting action. In the case of a tie, the player to the left of the dealer initiates the betting action.

Each bet and raise during the first two betting rounds is set at the lower value of the limit in effect for the game, with two exceptions:

(1) After all players have received two downcards and one upcard, the player with the lowest exposed card of the round can bet either half the lower limit or the lower limit (the "Low Card Must Bet" rule).

(2) If any player has an open (exposed) pair after the first two upcards have been dealt, ALL players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit.

The maximum number of bets per player during each betting round is four, consisting of the opening bet and three raises. Once the betting limit for that round has been reached, players have only the option of calling or folding.

During the showdown, if more than one active player remains, the pot is awarded to the holder of the highest hand (see Poker Hand Rankings).

Rules for Stud Hi-Lo Poker Games

Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo poker (also called "Stud 8 or Better") has the same rules as Stud Poker, except that there are special rules for the showdown.

In the showdown, if more than one player remains in contention for the pot, the pot is split between the player holding the highest hand and the player holding the lowest hand that qualifies. To qualify, a player's hand must contain five cards ranked 8 or lower (Aces can be high or low, or even both). Straights and flushes do not count against the low hand and can conceivably win both the high and the low halves of the pot. The same player can also win both the high and the low halves of the pot. If no hand qualifies for low, the whole pot goes to the player with the highest hand. If there is a tie for either high or low, the players with the tying hands split that half of the pot.

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