Play 7 Card Stud Poker Online – Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

Jonathan Askew profile picture
Sports Editor Fact Checked by Neil Roarty

7 card stud has benefitted from the increases in popularity of Texas Hold’em. The game is now accessible across a range of online poker and casino sites, and in this article, we’re going to take a deeper looker at how the game works.

We’ll also be addressing 7 card stud rules, strategy, odds and where the best online poker rooms to play the game are.

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The Best 7 Card Stud Poker Sites to Play for Real Money

We’ve extensively reviewed some of the best online poker site on the market and included what we believe are some of the standout names below. 7 card stud is a game that not all that many poker rooms cater for, but the list below includes your best chances of finding the game.

  1. BetOnline – Best overall online poker room for playing 7 card stud
  2. Bovada – Best for online poker bonuses for new and existing players
  3. Everygame Poker – 200% poker welcome bonus
  4. Ignition – Best Rakeback deals for online poker players
  5. – Huge range of tournaments and freerolls

Comparison of the Best 7 Card Stud Poker Sites

The table below highlights what we consider to the best online poker rooms to play 7 card stud in. Within the table we’ve not only included a snapshot of if they currently include 7 card stud, but also other online poker variations that might be accessible as well.

On top of this, our comparison table of the best 7 card stud poker sites include information on the poker bonus you can claim. This will be applicable for new accounts, and most are incredibly easy to both claim and clear.

Poker Room Poker Welcome Bonus 7 Card Stud Texas Hold’em Omaha Freerolls Min/Max Stakes
BetOnline 100% deposit match up to $1,000 $0.01/ $100NL
Bovada 100% deposit match up to $500 $0.01/ $100NL
Everygame Poker 200% deposit match up to $2,000 $0.01/ $100NL
Ignition Poker 200% deposit match up to $2,000 $0.01/ $100NL 100% deposit match up to $1,000 $0.01/ $100NL

How to Play 7 Card Stud Poker Online

7 card stud is a relatively easy game to play and if you’re familiar with any other “stud” or hold’em variations then you should be able to get to grips with the game very quickly.

If you’re totally new to poker then fear not, by following this guide we’re going to highlight every step of the game and include betting strategies that you can apply as you get more confident with the rules.

1)   Table Limits

The first part of 7 car stud is to decide on the stakes. This a fixed limit poker format, meaning that the amount you can wager for each betting round is fixed.

There are two blinds, which are the small blind and the big bling. The small blind is half of the big blind and these stakes will not change for the entirety of the game.

For example if the table limits are $1/$2, then bets are capped at $1 for the first two betting rounds and then $2 for the next three betting rounds.

2)   Place the Ante

To signify that you’re in the hand, you need to place an ante bet before any cards are dealt. This is an obligatory bet that all players need to make.

The ante is another cost that is fixed at the start of the game. This amount will vary depending on where you are playing, but it’s usually around 10% of the big bet. For a $2 big bet, this would set the ante at 20c.

3)   First Round of Cards are Dealt

Once the ante has been placed the dealer will deal three cards to all players in the hand. The first two cards are dealt face down and the third card is dealt face up, so the whole table can see.

The player can look at the two cards that are face down at any point, but obviously other players get to see these cards until the hand is over and there is a showdown situation.

As each card is dealt, they are referred to as a street. The first card is 1st street, second card is 2nd street, third card is 3rd street and so on.

4)   First Round of Betting

The first bet that is made is called the “bring in” bet. This amount is usually somewhere between the small blind and ante, but again, it will differ based on table rules.

A bring in bet is mandatory and kicks of the action for the game. The player with the lowest ranked hand will have to make this bet.

Cards are ranked from deuce being the lowest, to Ace being the highest. If there are two cards of the same value, then it goes based on suit. These are ranked in alphabetical order with clubs being the lowest, then diamonds, hearts, and spades as the highest.

If players want to play after the bring in then they must either match that amount or make a bet which matches the lower amount of the table limits.

For example, if the table limits were $1/$2 and the bring in was 20c, the next player could fold or they could match the initial 20c bring in or raise to $1 which is the same as the small blind.

Action goes clockwise until all players have been able to bet or fold.

5)   Second Round of Betting (Fourth Street)

The next card to be dealt is called fourth street and this card is also face up. The player with the highest poker value of their exposed cards is the first player to act.

They may check or bet the lowest amount in the structure of the game. For example, in a $1/$2 game, the lowest amount for this would be $1.

A round of betting takes place where players can now either check (assuming all those in front have checked), bet (assuming no player in front has bet), call or raise.

6)   Third Round of Betting (Fifth Street)

All players will now receive another card which is face up. A round of betting will incur.

At this point in the game the minimum bet jumps from the lowest value (small blind) to the biggest (big bling). So, for a $1/$2 game, the minimum bet would now be $2. This is now the minimum bet for the remainder of the hand.

7)   Sixth Street

Another card is dealt to each player face up and then a round of betting takes place.

8)   Seventh and Final Card is Dealt (The River)

All players are now dealt a seventh and final card face down. Only the player to whom the card is dealt can look at this card. It’s referred to as the “river” in a game of 7 card stud.

A final round of betting starts with the player whose hole cards have the highest poker value. Players can check, bet and call at this point of the game and this is for the final time.

9)   Showdown

If the betting has got to a point where the final round of betting is complete are there are two or more players in the hand, then we get to a showdown. This is where both players will turn their cards face up to see who have the best poker hand.

At this point the winner is deemed to be the best poker hand from five of the seven cards that both players will have received. Check out the hand ranking from the section below.

In an event where there are two or more players with the same strength hand, then the pot will be equally divided between these players.

There is a caveat to how the final section might play out of the game includes eight players who all get to the final round of betting. Given that there are only 52 cards in the deck it means that there will not be enough cards for everyone to get a final (river) card.

When this happens, the dealer will turn a single card face up and place this in the middle of the table. All players are the table are then able to use this as their seventh and final card to make up their hand.

Play Free 7 Card Stud Poker Online

One of the best ways to learn the game is to play free 7 card stud online. This is basically playing without the use of real money and instead playing for free chips.

We advise this for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that 7 card stud does include quite a bit of skill. A good player will, over the course of a significant sample of hands, win more often than a poor player.

You can use the free versions to practice your strategy, get used to hand rankings and learn how the betting processes work on each street. This is the best way to learn 7 card stud without having to financially invest real money.

It is worth noting that while the rules are the same, generally you find that the free money 7 card stud games will play a little looser and softer than the real money games. As with any free money game, the removal of monetary value will alter how opponents play against you, so bear this in mind.

7 Card Stud Poker Hand Ranking

To be successful at 7 card stud you need to know how the hands rank. If you’re familiar with hold’em poker, then the same process will apply but if you’re new or linked to other mixed games, then the rankings may differ slightly.

The list below ranks the hands from the weakest to the strongest. Don’t forget that to highlight the player who “brings in” and for early betting rounds, suits may be used as a ranking. This works in alphabetical order, with clubs being the lowest, then diamonds, hearts and spades a the highest. This does not apply to any showdown value at the end of the hand!

  • High card – The highest card in the deck is Ace and the lowest is 2.
  • One pair – Two cards of the same numerical value. 3-3, 4-4, J-J, etc.
  • Two pair – Two separate one pair hands. 3-3 and 8-8 or T-T and A-A.
  • Three of a kind – Three cards that are all the same rank. 5-5-5 or Q-Q-Q.
  • Straight – Five cards in sequence but from different suits. 3c-4s-5h-6h-7h
  • Flush – Any five cards all from the same suit. 4d-7d-9d-Kd-Ad
  • Full house – Three cards of the same rank and two cards of the same rank. 5-5-6-6-6.
  • Four of a kind – Four cards of the same rank
  • Straight flush – All five cards in rank and of the same suit. 2c-3c-4c-5c-6c
  • Royal flush – Ace, King, Jack, Queen, Ten all the same suit

What are the 7 Card Stud Odds?

7 card stud is a game that you play against other players, so unlike online casino games, there are no odds in terms of a house edge. The house will make money by taking a rake from the pot. This is usually a nominal fee and might work out between 2.5% to 10% per hand.

There is quite a lot of math that you can apply to the game and odds will play a part when it comes to getting value to call or raise a hand.

An easy way to look at this is to work out the amount it is to call based on the amount already in the pot. Then you need to work out what you need to improve. You then take these numbers and see if they align. If they are close then it offers good value, if not, then it offers poor value, and you should consider folding.

The Best 7 Card Stud Poker Strategy

In this section we’re going to look at some basic poker strategy that is going to allow you to be more successful at 7 card stud. Given that the game is almost exclusively played with cash games, we’re going to concentrate on this, but you can adapt each section to work with tournament play as well.

Note Your Opponents Face Up Cards

One of the biggest flaws that we see with people who are playing 7 card stud for the first time is the lack of awareness for their opponents face up cards. It’s huge that you can see these cards at all, but it also gives a lot of information about why a player might be playing the way they are.

Take the time to see what’s on the table. Even from the first three cards that are dealt (only one face up) you can begin to pain the picture for later streets. Try and get a feel as to how a player’s process has changed in terms of check, call, bet or raise, and then see what card has influenced that change.

By the end of the hand, you will see a maximum of four cards that are face up and three that are face down. It’s possible that even in the face up cards that this beats your best combined.

Buffing Medium-Strength Face Up Hands

When you show strength towards opponents who have strong cards showing face up, then a lot of players will start to worry. They know that you can see they are strong, which would decrease their likelihood to fold, so when you show strength at that time, it starts to throw players off.

The latter rounds where you’re betting the big blind are the best place for this as the monetary value reduces the pot odds for these players to call. You need to time these right and don’t just do it with total air, instead pick spots where you’ve got potential for big hands yourself.

We’d also limit this play toward better players. You need them to be aware of the possibility that they can lose, whereas weaker players will just keep playing regardless of how strong your hand might be.

Compare Hands for Live Cards

When we talk about live cards, we mean those that still haven’t been dealt yet or at least, cards that you haven’t seen be dealt. This plays a huge role in how your hand (and your opponents) might turn out and you can use this information to your strength.

For example, let’s say that you’re holding (5d, 6h, 7h). This would give you both a straight and a flush draw and would be a strong starting hand.

However, let’s assume that three of the 8s are already dealt and there are 4 hearts also shown. You’ve now only got one card to a straight and only 7 hearts left in the deck at best. Your odds of improving have drastically reduced.

This is not to say that you need to fold here, but you need to be much more cautious given the reduced number of live cards in the deck.

Limit Your Starting Hands

With limit games the reduced amount of how much it costs to see another card makes it very appealing. However, by doing so purely based on pot odds, means that you’re going to lose a lot of money in the long run with this approach.

You need to reduce the range of starting hands that you use, especially when you’re new to the game. We’re going to reel off five combinations below and we would suggest that if you stick with this, you’re not going to go too far wrong.

  • Trips – Three of a kind are about as good as you’re going to get to start. This means a pair in the hole and the face card completing the hand. If this hand improves then you’re looking at four of a kind or a full house. But even on its own, it’s going to be very under repped and has great showdown value, even at an early stage.
  • Big Pairs – Most players would class “big pairs” to be that of JJ through to AA. Ideally you want a strong kicker with this as if you were to make two pair, then it would be a high two pair.
  • High Suited Connectors – Any sort of picture card combination here like Ah, Kh, Qh or Qc, Jc, Tc are high suited connectors. You will have a harder time concealing these as the hand progresses, but they have a lot of live cards that you can hit which creates very strong hands at showdown.
  • Medium Pairs and Suited Connectors – These follow on from 1 and 2 in this list and while still strong hands, we would be a little less aggressive with these when starting out. Pairs can range from 77-TT and suited connectors from around 6 upwards are fine.
  • Big Suited Semi-Connectors – This include a mix of Broadway cards that are suited. Ideally if you can get two that are linked this will be better, so A, K, T but even A, Q, T all the same suit would be considered a bit starting hand.

If you’ve starting out in 7 card stud then if you just stick with these starting hands, then you’re going to get off to a great start. You’re only putting money in with strong hands or hands that have huge potential, given you great odds to draw to those bigger hands.

Top 5 Tips on How to Win at 7 Card Stud

We wanted to include some pointers on the best way to win long term at 7 card stud. You can combine this section with our strategy section above, but here we’re looking at general things that you could link to all forms of poker.

Read Up on the Game

One of the best ways to start is to read up on the game. It’s not just a case of learning how the game works but see if you can tap into the minds of other poker players who’ve been successful at 7 card stud.

Barry Greenstein is one of the most decorated poker players in the world and is also one of the best mixed players. 7 card stud was a game that he grew up on and is widely regarded as one of the best resources for improving your game.

There are several books that he’s written which are all great, but a standout for us would be Ace on the River. The bulk of this is aimed at Hold’em, but there are parts on 7 card stud and even the Hold’em advice can be applied here.

It’s also worth noting that you can never get too much info on 7 card stud. In fact, seeing how different players attack the game will make you question each play and then become a better player as a result.

Start Small

7 card stud is a limit game, which means that you’re always capped at how much you can bet at any one time. It’s for this reason why a lot of players play too high, too soon and it’s best to play at low limits to get started.

One player’s definition of “low” will differ from another, so it’s all relative. However, if you’re on a small bankroll then start as small as you can or even better, get access to free 7 card stud games to learn your trade.

However, don’t get stuck at the smaller limits as you start to improve and increase your bankroll. Take your shot but do it in a manner that allows you to afford to do so.

Apply Your Strategy

We’ve spoken a lot in this article about what sort of strategy you need to progress and get better. We’ve included a lot of the basics, but it’s important that you stick to this.

The more you derail from what you know is a winning formula, the harder the game will be to make money from. This is going to be exaggerated still as you move up the stakes and generally play with better players.

Even the best players in the world come into the game with a general strategy. You will need to adapt based on the other players at the table, but don’t deviate too much as it starts to get harded to make the correct plays often enough.

Bankroll Management

One of the most obvious strategies that you apply to any form of poker is that of bankroll management. This is where you control the stakes that you play with the money that’s in your bankroll at the start.

The main reason that we have bankrolls is that no matter how well you play, there will be times where you lose money. Variance plays a big part of poker, and 7 card stud is no exception to this.

How big a bankroll you need for 7 card stud is a tough question to answer. This will change from player to player.

A professional is going to have a large bankroll and they are going to need it as they are going to have long periods where they may be losing. A recreational player could likely get away with less as they are going to be able to top up their bankroll as it’s not their main source of income.

With no hard and fast rules, it’s tough to say how much you need, but anywhere between 30 to 100 buy ins for a limit is going to be a good place to start.

Playing 7 Card Stud on Mobile

Most mobile poker rooms are going to have the ability to include 7 card stud. The game is a lot more niche than the likes of Hold’em and Omaha, so there might be some issues surrounding how the game works on the smaller screen.

What 7 card stud does have in its favor is that it’s fixed limit. These game types means there is only one raise size (for the most part) and therefore you don’t have to scroll or choose your bet size, which can be frustrating on mobile poker apps.

You’re going to get access on both iPhone and Android devices. There’s not much difference between the two, but given that there are lots of Android platforms, you’re likely going to get a wider range of how the poker tables render on these devices.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of sites simply give you access to mobile poker sites. This means that there is no downloadable app, but instead you get access to the mobile site via your phones browser.

More on poker…

We’ve got a ton more articles all liked to both online poker and online poker casino game littered throughout the site. Below we’ve included a range of interesting articles that you might enjoy alongside this 7 card stud article.

Best 7 Card Stud Site in the US

One of the only downsides to 7 card stud is the range of online poker sites that currently offer the game. It’s a very niche poker game and this means that it’s not always that easy to find the best 7 card stud site in the US.

However, our number one pick for the best overall online poker site is that of BetOnline. We’ve been using this platform for years now and they continue to lead the line in terms of both the range of games on offer and the sheer volume of poker promotions that you can claim.

Use the link below and register a new account to claim the BetOnline poker welcome bonus worth up to $1,000.


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Jonathan has been working within the iGaming sector since 2007. After graduating with a BA Hons in Marketing from Northumbria University, he's been able to set up his own online content business, working with some of the biggest brands in the iGaming sector. Outside of work he enjoys any type of sports, especially cricket, golf, football and darts.