Seven-card stud is played with two downcards and one upcard dealt before the first betting round,
followed by three more upcards (with a betting round after each card). After the last downcard is dealt, there is a final round of
betting. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In all fixed-limit games, the smaller bet is wagered on the first two betting
rounds, and the larger bet is wagered after the betting rounds on the fifth, sixth, and seventh cards. If there is an open pair on the
fourth card, any player has the option of making the smaller or larger bet. Deliberately changing the order of your upcards in a stud
game is improper because it unfairly misleads the other players.
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Rules of Seven Card Stud
1. The first round of betting starts with a forced bet by the lowest upcard by suit. On subsequent betting rounds, the high hand on
board initiates the action (a tie is broken by position, with the player who received cards first acting first).
2. The player with the forced bet has the option of opening for a full bet.
3. Increasing the amount wagered by the opening forced bet up to a full bet does not count as a raise, but merely as a completion of
the bet. Example: In $15-$30, the lowcard opens for $5. If the next player increases the bet to $15 (completes the bet), up to three
raises are then allowed when using a three-raise limit.
4. In fixed-limit games, when an open pair is showing on fourth street (second upcard), any player has the option of betting either
the lower or the upper limit. For example: In a $5-$10 game, if you have a pair showing and are the high hand, you may bet either $5
or $10. If you bet $5, any player then has the option to call $5, raise $5, or raise $10. If a $10 raise is made, then all other
raises must be in increments of $10. If the player high with the open pair on fourth street checks, then subsequent players have the
same options that were given to the player who was high.
5. If your first or second holecard is accidentally turned up by the dealer, then your third card will be dealt down. If both
holecards are dealt up, you have a dead hand and receive your ante back. If the first card dealt faceup would have been the lowcard,
action starts with the first hand to that player's left. That player may fold, open for the forced bet, or open for a full bet. (In
tournament play, if a downcard is dealt faceup, a misdeal is called.)
6. If you are not present at the table when it is your turn to act on your hand, you forfeit your ante and your forced bet, if any. If
you have not returned to the table in time to act, the hand will be killed when the betting reaches your seat.
7. If a hand is folded when there is no wager, that seat will continue to receive cards until the hand is killed as a result of a bet.
8. If you are all in for the ante and have the lowcard, the player to your left acts first. That player may fold, open for the forced
bet, or open for a full bet.
9. If the wrong person is designated as low and that person bets, the action will be corrected to the true lowcard if the next player
has not yet acted. The incorrect lowcard takes back the wager and the true lowcard must bet. If the next hand has acted after the
incorrect lowcard wager, the wager stands, action continues from there, and the true lowcard has no obligations.
10. If you pick up your upcards without calling when facing a wager, this is a fold and your hand is dead. This act has no
significance at the showdown because betting is over; the hand is live until discarded.
11. A card dealt off the table must play and it is treated as an exposed card.
12. In all games, the dealer announces the lowcard, the high hand, all raises, and all pairs. Dealers do not announce possible
straights or flushes (except for specified low-stakes games).
13. If the dealer burns two cards for one round or fails to burn a card, the cards will be corrected, if at all possible, to their
proper positions. If this should happen on a final downcard, and either a card intermingles with a player's other holecards or a
player looks at the card, the player must accept that card.
14. If the dealer burns and deals one or more cards before a round of betting has been completed, the card(s) must be eliminated from
play. After the betting for that round is completed, an additional card for each remaining player still active in the hand is also
eliminated from play (to later deal the same cards to the players who would have received them without the error). After that round of
betting has concluded, the dealer burns a card and play resumes. The removed cards are held off to the side in the event the dealer
runs out of cards. If the prematurely dealt card is the final downcard and has been looked at or intermingled with the player's other
holecards, the player must keep the card, and on sixth street betting may not bet or raise (because the player now has all seven
15. If there are not enough cards left in the deck for all players, all the cards are dealt except the last card, which is mixed with
the burncards (and any cards removed from the deck, as in the previous rule). The dealer then scrambles and cuts these cards, burns
again, and delivers the remaining downcards, using the last card if necessary. If there are not as many cards as players remaining
without a card, the dealer does not burn, so that each player can receive a fresh card. If the dealer determines that there will not
be enough fresh cards for all of the remaining players, then the dealer announces to the table that a common card will be used. The
dealer will burn a card and turn one card faceup in the center of the table as a common card that plays in everyone's hand. The player
who is now high using the common card initiates the action for the last round.
16. An all-in player should receive holecards dealt facedown, but if the final holecard to such a player is dealt faceup, the card
must be kept, and the other players receive their normal card.
17. If the dealer turns the last card faceup to any player, the hand now high on the board using all the upcards will start the
action. The following rules apply to the dealing of cards:
(a) If there are more than two players, all remaining players receive their last card facedown. A player whose last card is faceup has
the option of declaring all-in (before betting action starts).
(b) If there are only two players remaining and the first player's final downcard is dealt faceup, the second player's final downcard
will also be dealt faceup, and the betting proceeds as normal. In the event the first player's final card is dealt facedown and the
opponent's final card is dealt faceup, the player with the faceup final card has the option of declaring all-in (before betting action
18. A hand with more than seven cards is dead. A hand with less than seven cards at the showdown is dead, except any player
missing a seventh card may have the hand ruled live.
[See "Section 16 – Explanations," discussion #4, for more information on this rule.]
19. A player who calls a bet even though beaten by an opponent's upcards is not entitled to a refund. The player is receiving
information about an opponent's hand that is not available for free.
Stud HiLo Eight or Better
Seven-card stud high-low split is a stud game which is played both high and low. A qualifier of 8-or-better for low applies to all
high-low split games, unless a specific posting to the contrary is displayed. The low card initiates the action on the first round,
with an ace counting as a high card for this purpose. On subsequent rounds, the high hand initiates the action. If the high hand is
tied, the first player clockwise from the dealer acts first. Fixed-limit games use the lower limit on third and fourth street and the
upper limit on subsequent betting rounds, and an open pair does not affect the limit. Aces may be used for high or low. Straights and
flushes do not affect the low value of a hand. A player may use any five cards to make the best high hand, and the same or any other
grouping of five cards to make the best low hand.
Rules of Seven Card Stud High Low
(Tournament Seven Card Stud HiLo Strategy)
1. All rules for seven-card stud apply to seven-card stud high-low split, except as otherwise noted.
2. A qualifier of 8-or-better for low applies to all high-low split games, unless a specific posting to the contrary is displayed. If
there is no qualifying low hand, the best high hand wins the whole pot.
3. A player may use any five cards to make the best high hand and any five cards, whether the same as the high hand or not, to make
the best low hand.
4. The low card by suit initiates the action on the first round, with an ace counting as a high card for this purpose.
5. An ace may be used for high or low.
6. Straights and flushes do not affect the value of a low hand.
7. Fixed-limit games use the lower limit on third and fourth streets and the upper limit on subsequent rounds. An open pair on fourth
street does not affect the limit.
8. Splitting pots is only determined by the cards and not by agreement among players.
9. When there is an odd chip in a pot, the chip goes to the high hand. If two players split the pot by tying for both the high and the
low, the pot shall be split as evenly as possible, and the player with the highest card by suit receives the odd chip. When making
this determination, all cards are used, not just the five cards used for the final hand played.
10. When there is one odd chip in the high portion of the pot and two or more high hands split all or half the pot, the odd chip goes
to the player with the high card by suit. When two or more low hands split half the pot, the odd chip goes to the player with the low
card by suit.
Also see Pokerstars Seven Card Stud Rules