7 Card Stud is a stud game played between 2 and 8 players. The objective of the game is to make the best 5-card hand from any combination 7 hole cards, 4 of which are visible to other players and 3 of which are hidden.
7 Card Stud uses a dealer button to indicate which player is the dealer for that hand. The dealer button is only used to determine who gets dealt the first card. On subsequent rounds the first card dealt is determined by the cards already visible on the table.
Stud is played with antes and no blinds. The antes are the same for every player and are collected before the first cards are dealt. The first deal consists of each player receiving 3 hole cards, 2 down and 1 face up. Each betting round is called a street and the first betting round is called '3rd street' because 3 cards have been dealt. The lowest up card must make a mandatory bet called the 'bring-in'. The player who is the bring in has the option of making a full bet or just the amount of the bring in. The bring in is typically half the amount of a small bet. The action continues clockwise around the table. When the action has finished, the next card is dealt to each player face up. The next round of betting, '4th street', begins with the player who is showing the best 2 card hand. As before, betting action carries on in a clockwise direction.
A fifth card is now dealt to each player. 5th street betting begins with the player showing the best 3 card hand. The bet sizes double on 5th and subsequent streets. If $5 was the amount of the bet on the first 2 streets, the bet size now doubles to $10 and all bets and raises must be made in increments of this big bet size. The description of the table indicates the size of the ante, the small bet and the big bet. For example: $5 / $10 $1 Ante.
There is a further round of betting on 6th street, the action beginning with the player showing the best 3 card hand. Finally the last card is dealt face down to each player thus completing the 7 card hand. The is a final round of betting on 7th street before the hands are turned over if there is a showdown.
The bet sizes usually double on 5th street but if a player is showing a pair on 4th street, they may optionally make an initial bet of the big bet size. In this case the big bet amount is used as the betting increment a street earlier than usual. There is a limit of 1 bet and three raises on each betting round. A fourth raise is not allowed.
7 Card Stud is always played with a fixed limit betting structure. See the section on Betting Limits for more information on betting limits.