7 Stud Poker Video Poker

7 Stud Poker Video Poker

7 Stud Poker is a video poker version of 7 card stud. This game is aimed at poker players who don't mind being kept in the dark about what they've been dealt.

The probabilities for 7 Stud Poker are dramatically different than for most video poker games. Since there is no option to draw more cards, your chances of winning are different from most games, which are draw poker games like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild.

The betting rules are also different from most video poker games, but that's more because of the way 7 card stud poker is played than because of any special rules for this game.

You're playing with a 53-card deck in this game, which means you get a joker, which acts as a wild card. If you're unfamiliar with poker, this means that the card can replace any other card you might need to fill a hand.

Because it's a stud game there is no draw round.

This page is our stab at providing a complete guide to 7 Stud Poker. We've included details about the basics of gameplay as well as strategy advice.

7 Stud Poker Video Poker Basics

7 Stud Poker is available in multiple versions. The differences are minor, but you should be aware of them, anyway.

The first difference is one of payouts. Some versions of the game offer better payouts than other versions.

The second difference is the number of bonus bet options. Some versions offer one bonus bet, but other offers 2 bonus bets.

Game play begins with the player betting 1 to 5 coins. All subsequent bets must be equal to or less than the initial bet--if you bet 3 coins to begin with, you cannot increase your bet to 5 coins later.

Don't worry, though, because there is no special advantage to betting 5 coins on every round other than the potential of multiplying your prize. This is another significant difference between 7 Stud Poker and other video poker variations, where you get a bigger jackpot with a 5-coin bet.

The game deals you 7 cards. The first and third cards are face up. The remaining cards are face down.

You can then make a bet equal to or less than the previous bet.

Or you can request a "deal", where the next card is turned up.

During each round, you can choose "Deal All", in which case all remaining cards are turned up.

There are three additional betting rounds:

  • 1After the original deal
  • 2After the 3rd card is turned up
  • 3After the 4th card is turned up

After the third betting round, the remaining 3 cards are turned up. The game is scored for the best 5 card hand among the 7 cards.

There are two kinds of bonus bets. Each version of the game may offer only one or both.

Bonus Bet #1

Winning Rank, No Joker - When making this bonus bet the player chooses any one rank other than joker. At the end of the game the player wins the bonus bet if:

  • The final hand is four of kind, straight flush, or royal flush;
  • The final hand does not include a joker;
  • The final hand contains at least one card from the player's chosen rank;
  • The player has made a bet on every round (four bets)

Bonus Bet #2

Double or Nothing - The game may offer the player a chance to double the prize. If the player accepts seven cards are dealt. Six cards are turned face up. The player decides whether the last card is High (8 through king) or Low (ace through 6). The player loses if the last card is a "7" or if the player guesses wrong.

Most video poker games are based on draw poker. In these games, the player is dealt several cards. The player chooses how many of those cards will be held. The remaining cards, if any, are replaced by new cards from the draw. The final hand is scored according to the selected game's pay table.

The player always makes a bet before the cards are dealt. Bets range from 1 to 5 coins. Coin values may vary according to currency or a pre-determined value such as 5 cents, 25 cents, 1 dollar or Euro, etc.

The game automatically scores each hand.

The basic video poker game is called Jacks or Better. The goal of the game is to achieve a final hand that matches any of the pay table hands. The lowest hand requires a pair of jacks or anything higher than a jack (including aces).

Game variations usually introduce different types of winning hands, usually involving low cards but sometimes involving jokers. The basic game only uses a standard 52 card deck without any jokers.

Some game variations have slightly different pay tables for the same exact game rules. For example, one machine may pay 9 times the bet for a full house and 6 times the bet for a flush. By contrast, another machine may pay 8 times the bet for a full house and 5 times the bet for a flush.

The top one or two hands, typically a royal flush and a straight flush, almost always pay a premium for 5 coin bets. For this reason many players choose such machines and always bet 5 coins.

These premiums are usually substantial. To illustrate, a game may pay 100 coins for a royal flush on a 1 coin bet, 200 coins on a 2 coin bet, and so on but then pay 4000 coins for a 5 coin bet.

How Does 7 Stud Poker Video Poker Affect Playback Percentage?

No one outside of the game designers has successfully calculated the payback percentage for this type of video poker game. At best, players can only make some approximate assumptions based on comparisons with other video poker games whose payback percentages are known.

The first thing to understand about this game is that its pay tables are one hand short compared to most video poker games. The lowest paying hand in 7 Stud Poker Video Poker is 3 of a kind, whereas in most 5 card games two pair and jacks or better both pay a prize.

The next thing to know is that the 7-card game includes a 5 of a kind winning hand between the royal flush and straight flush. This is because there is a joker in play. Some 5 card games also pay for five of a kind if they allow wild cards or jokers.

The probabilities for the four low winning hands (full house, flush, straight, and three of a kind) may be similar to the probabilities for the 4 low winning hands in a game like Jacks or Better. Their payoffs are exactly the same.

The inclusion of the jack and the limit of 7 player cards mix up the probabilities. The game's pay table reflects a greater likelihood of the player being dealt a strong hand. Hence, there is no premium for ending with a royal flush or five of a kind. The lack of the premium suggests this game may pay more often than video poker games that offer premiums for 5 coin bets.

What the Pay Table for 7 Stud Poker Video Poker Looks Like

Depending on who designed the game, the higher hands may have different payouts. This table is provided only for illustrative purposes. Players should expect to see some variations in the pay tables depending on where they play this game.

Royal flush 125 250 375 500 625
Five of a kind 100 200 300 400 500
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 15 30 45 60 75
Full house 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
Three of a kind 1 2 3 4 5
Nothing 0 0 0 0 0

7 Stud Poker Video Poker Strategy Tips

Since there is no draw in this kind of game, any strategy you use is based on money management. Once the 7 cards have been dealt, the game's outcome has already been determined. You just don't know what that outcome is. You cannot change the cards. Therefore you cannot improve your chances of winning in any way whatsoever.

The odds will never be in your favor for any bonus bet. However, you have a better chance of winning "Double or Nothing" than you will have at "Winning Rank, No Joker". There are just fewer variables involved in the "Double or Nothing" game.

In "Double or Nothing" if most of your up cards are below "7" then bet high. If most of your up cards are above "7" then bet low. The more "7" cards you see in the first six the less likely the last card will be a "7". You are still betting against two variables in this game. In a 52-card deck there is a 7.7% chance of being dealt a "7" card. In a 52-card deck there is a 46% chance of being dealt either a high or a low card. The probability that all six up cards are low or all six are high is about 0.947% (just under than 1%). The chance that the 7th card is also high or low is about half that percentage.

In the main game if your first two cards are jacks or better, match your whole bet in the second round.

Continue increasing your bet as long as each new card improves your hand.

In this kind of game, since there is no premium for ending with a high hand, there is no need to play 5 coin bets. Your chances of burning through your stake are higher with high bets. Conservative play will keep you in the game longer but won't improve your chances of winning.

Since there are three extra betting rounds the optimum opening bet is probably 2 coins. If you bet on every round after that you'll have 8 coins in the game. Following the above tip that means your hand improved each round.

If your first two up cards give you nothing but you want to keep betting, drop from 2 coins to 1 coin on each successive round. If you still have nothing after the 3rd card the best you can hope for is five of a kind. If you still have nothing after the 4th card the best you can hope for is four of a kind.

If you don't see at least a pair of jacks or better with 3 cards face up. you should probably stop betting.


7 Stud Poker is just a crazy "shoot in the dark" kind of video poker game. Players who are accustomed to being paid better for a full house or four of a kind may make some mistakes in this game because they are conditioned to think those are good hands. They certainly offer payback but the longer you go without seeing any value in the hand the less likely your bets will pay off.

High rollers may enjoy this game more than most people. The maximum pre-bonus bet is a whopping 20 coins. That should be enough to intimidate the average player, especially one who isn't paying attention to how much money is being put on the table.

You are never betting on the next card. You are always betting on the final hand. The sooner you see the makings of that final hand the better. The longer it takes to see a winning hand take shape the worse it gets for you. Your only hope may be that the joker turns up as the last card. That's not the kind of video poker game most people expect to play.

Any win will be a good win if you get your money back but don't let the casino eat your stake with crazy bets. They are already getting their percentage, whatever that may be.

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