7 Card Stud is one of the oldest and most interesting variants of poker. It was the forefather of all the flop games we have now, such as Hold'em and Omaha (Hold'em is said to have been invented to enable cowboys to have more than eight players in a game), with the invention of the flop in these games stemming from wanting some kind of communal information about the likely strength of your opponent's hand, which you get in 7 Card Stud through having three cards face down, and four face up.
7 Card Stud starts with three cards being dealt - two of which are face down. There is then a 'bring in' (more on that later) and a betting round. Another card is dealt to the remaining player(s) face up. In 7 Card Stud the betting rounds are typically referred to as 'Streets' from this point onwards, so the fourth card would be 'Fourth Street', and the Fifth card 'Fifth Street' and so on until the final card. Each street is followed by a betting round.
Play continues until a total of six cards have been dealt, with the initial two still face down, and the other four face up. The final card in stud is always dealt face down. There is one final betting round after this last face down card. After this the cards are turned up and the best hand takes the pot.
Unlike Hold'em, you do not have blinds. Instead, all players put in a equal amount of money before the cards are dealt, called the 'ante'.
Once all players have posted their antes, they are all dealt three cards, with the first two being dealt face down. The final card is dealt face up, and the lowest one showing is forced to make a bet to start off the action. This 'bring in' bet is typically a quarter of the size of the early street betting, and the bring in player also has the option of just making a standard raise if they so choose.
Stud is a limit game, which means your betting is restricted to certain amounts on each street (in stud players typically refer to the action in 'streets', so if on the fifth card players would be on 'fifth street'). Usually the betting will be in small units for the first two streets, and will then double for all subsequent cards.
As Stud has no blinds, the position is dictated by the strength of the hands showing. Although the low card showing has to bring in on the first round of betting, all subsequent streets of betting are kicked off by the high hand showing.
7 Card Stud is also frequently played as a High/Low split game. As in all the High/Low games, a hand that has five different cards under and eight can qualify for half of the pot, with the other half going to the high hand. All of the above rules concerning the structure of the game remain the same, only that if you have five cards below an eight, you can qualify for the low half of the pot. If no one has a low hand, all of the money simply goes to the best high hand.
7 Card Stud is one of the deepest and most intricate of all poker games. It has truly survived the test of time in card rooms around the world, and remains one of the games that is always played in the big mixed games in Vegas. It's combination of luck, skill, and a large amount of information make it one of the most exciting and interesting games available, and Betfair is proud to be offering it on our new platform.