The usual number of players involved in a seven card stud game is four to eight and a standard deck of 52 cards is used. Unlike other games like Hold’em and Omaha, Seven card stud uses antes instead of blinds. Before any cards are dealt every player has to pay an ante. This is a bet that is forced upon everyone, and you always have to pay it. The size of the ante changes from game to game but on average it is between 5% and 10% of the large bet of the game. Eg is a $5/$10 game, the ante will usually be $1.
Once everyone has placed their ante, the dealer can start dealing everyone cards. Every player received three cards, two face down cards and the third card placed face up. This part of the hand is given the name third street. A big difference with stud poker is there are no community cards. The face up cards dealt to you are yours and yours only.
Now that the cards have been dealt, the player who’s face up card is the lowest value now has to make a bring in bet. If two players tie for the lowest card then its settled by suit. Clubs is the strongest, then diamonds, then hearts and finally spades. Usually the size of the bring in bet is half the size of the small bet for the game being played.
Now that the bring in bet has been placed, play continuous in a clockwise manner around the table. As in all poker players have the option to fold, call or raise. Now any raise at this point of the game will be to the size of the small bet and in further increments of it. In the example above that will be $5. Play goes all the way around the table until everyone has acted.
Fourth street in 7 card stud
To begin fourth street the dealer continues and deals every player one more face up card. The play begins from there starting with the person with the highest ranking poker hand made from their face up cards. As per the previous betting round play continues clockwise around the table until all players have had a turn. Again the betting and raising on this street will be in increments of the small bet.
Fifth street and sixth street in 7 card stud
The play on fifth street is very much like that of fourth street in that everyone is dealt one more face up card the then play resumes from the person with the highest ranking face up card. The main change here is that the betting is now in increments of the large bet, so from the above example all betting is in increments of $10. Now play goes on until all players have again acted and the dealer deals all players one more face up card. This is the last face up card the players will get. Now again play start from the highest hand and moves round clockwise. Now the final section of the hand is the river and then showdown.
The river and the showdown
We are now into the final section of play in the hand, the dealer deals everyone a final card, but this time the card is face down. As usual the betting round starts on the player with the highest ranking face up hand. Once everyone has acted there is a showdown. The player that made the last aggressive action (bet or raise) shows their hand first and all other players can then muck the losing hand or expose their better hand to claim the pot. The dealer then decides the best hand from all exposed hands and the pot is awarded to the winner.
In stud there is a possibility that you will run out of cards. In this event the dealer will instead deal the 7th card into the middle of the table and it will be used as a community card that all players can use.