One of the most popular variations of Poker, the 7 Card Stud Poker game is played at every Vegas casino and in all internet casinos. The popularity of 7 Card Stud Poker is eclipsed only by a variant of the game called Texas Hold Em, which is the main format of the World Series of Poker, the largest professional tournament in the world.
Once you know how to play 7 Card Stud Poker, it is an easy step to learn Texas Hold Em, Omaha, or other popular variants.
The hand ranking order is the same for 7 Card Stud as it is for just about every one of the hundreds of Poker variations played around the world. The highest possible hand is a Royal Flush, and after that in descending order are the Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, and Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and High Card. The odds of being dealt a high hand in 7 Card Stud are lower than those in Texas Hold Em because you must construct the hand using only the cards you receive. There are no community cards in traditional 7 Card Stud.
As with every Poker game, play in 7 Card Stud begins with the ante: each player pays a small amount to the pot in order to participate in the game. There are six stages in 7 Card Stud Poker; known as third street, fourth street, fifth street, sixth street, the river, and the showdown. After the ante, each player is dealt two face-down cards (called hole cards) and one face-up card. This initial deal is third street. The player with the highest card showing initiates the betting, and will either check (not raise the pot), or bet. Then, each subsequent player can either call (match the first players bet), raise (increase the bet amount), or fold (withdraw from the hand). Three more face-up cards are dealt to each player, one at a time, with a round of betting after each deal pass–these stages are fourth, fifth and sixth street.
The seventh card is known as the river, and is dealt face-down. One final round of betting ensues, after which those players who have not folded enter the last stage, called the showdown. At this point, beginning with the last player to call the bet, each player shows their respective cards and names the best five-card hand they can make with their cards (full house, two pair, etc.). The pot is given to the player with the highest ranking hand, and then the next hand begins. Now you know how to play 7 Card Stud Poker!