7 Stud Poker Video Poker

7 Stud Poker video poker rearranges some of the classic elements of video
poker to create something truly different and exciting. The game doesn’t rely on
a draw round and includes seven cards instead of five. Yet, your knowledge of
probabilities and betting skills will go a long way in determining how well you
will do in the game.

Most video poker variations stick to the core game, as can be found on

Jacks or Better
machines. In games like this, the player is dealt five
cards. They then have one chance to discard cards in favor of some others that
will ideally improve their hand. This is known as the draw round, and after it
is complete, the hand is over.

Other games spin-off that concept but are basically the same in terms of
gameplay. Bonus poker variations play the same but adjust the pay tables to
favor hands like four of a kind, giving players more chances at high payouts in
a single game. Wild card games also play the same but include a card (or cards)
that can be turned into any other in the deck to help your hand.

But 7 Stud Poker video poker is something else entirely. You are simply dealt
seven cards that cannot be changed. That means that there is no draw round to
improve your hand.

Ace Through Seven of Spades

7 Stud Poker video poker also includes multiple betting rounds, which is
different than normal video poker. In addition, your cards are revealed a little
at a time, making it difficult to discern what kind of hand you actually have.
Normal video poker does not hide your cards from you in that fashion.

Yet, many of the same principles apply with 7 Stud Poker video poker in terms
of gameplay. You will still be thinking about the probabilities of certain hands
turning up in a deck of 53 cards (52 plus the joker). But these probabilities
will govern how you play the hand in terms of making extra bets.

One of the most beneficial factors of 7 Stud Poker video poker is how you can
max out your winnings if the hand you receive is a good one. You can
significantly add on to your bet through those various rounds to multiply your
return. You can also minimize the losses from a bad hand by stopping your
betting if you don’t see good cards show up as they are revealed.

But 7 Stud Poker video poker can be a bit of a scary proposition for seasoned
video poker players because of the unknown factors surrounding it. Most video
poker games have a certain payback percentage which you can take to the bank.
Those who play 7 Stud Poker video poker have to live without that knowledge
since actual return is based on the unknown variable of how much the player will
bet at each turn.

The following article explains how to play 7 Stud Poker video poker. We’ll
compare it to the normal way video poker is played and explain how its pay table
works. Finally, we’ll talk about strategy and go over all the advantages and
disadvantages for this particular game to see if it is really for you.

Basic Video Poker

In this section of our video poker articles, we normally talk at length about
basic video poker gameplay, since most variations of the game adhere to that
formula. We will keep it brief in this case, however. That’s because 7 Stud
Poker video poker is different enough from basic video poker to require us to
simply throw out the basic video poker guidebook.

Still, it’s a good idea to quickly talk about basic video poker, if only to
show you how 7 Stud Poker video poker separates from it. Here is a quick,
step-by-step look:

  1. You insert money into the machine to set up your bankroll (or you create
    an online account if using a betting website).
  2. You make a bet, usually between one and five coins per hand, with five
    generally being recommended because of the proportions of payouts.
  3. You are dealt five cards from a simulated, standard 52-card deck (53 if
    the game includes a joker).
  4. You have the choice of replacing any or all of the cards in your hand
    with new ones from the deck in order to make the best winning hand possible.
  5. The computer makes the draw, adds coins to your account (if your hand
    was a winning one), and ends the hand.
  6. As long as you still have credits remaining, you can start the process
    all over again if you wish to play another hand, or you can cash out at any

Video poker is desired by many gamblers because it combines the best aspects
of both table games and slot machines. You can play the machine without any
pressure from other gamblers, as you would slot machines. But you also get the
benefit of being able to make strategic decisions that affect play and winnings,
like you would if you were playing table games.

7 Stud Poker Video Poker Gameplay

You might be able to tell that basic video poker is based on the card game
five-card draw. Well, 7 Stud Poker video poker closely resembles
stud poker
. If you’ve played that game at home or in a casino, you might
immediately be able to get the hang of this interesting video poker twist.

The key difference in 7 Stud Poker video poker from other forms of the game
is the fact that there is no draw round. Your strategy instead will be focusing
on what kind of bets you make throughout the hand as the seven cards are
eventually revealed. Let’s go through the process step-by-step, playing a sample
hand along the way.

Building a Bankroll

When you insert money into a 7 Stud Poker video poker machine, that money
will serve as your initial bankroll. It will rise and fall as you play, and be
rendered in terms of credits, or coins, with one credit being equal to the
denomination of the game.

In most cases with video poker, you can base your bankroll on the knowledge
that you most likely will be betting five coins per hand. But 7 Stud Poker
requires you to be much more flexible with how much you will be wagering per
hand. It might sometimes be equal to or lower than five coins, but it also might
be much more than that.

As a result, you should think long and hard when you decide on a bankroll (and a denomination). If you only plan to play for a short period of time, you
don’t need to put in too much. But, it is most likely going to take a solid
amount if you’re serious about grinding out a long session.

Making Your Initial Bet

Here is one of the first major decisions that you need to make when playing 7
Stud Poker video poker. In most video poker games, you would just play a max bet
on every single hand (if you were smart). It is a kind of autopilot response
that you don’t need to stop and think about each hand.

But you might want to consider adjusting the size of your bet with 7 Stud
Poker video poker. First of all, there is no advantage in the pay table to
betting five coins. Most video poker games award a royal flush more aggressively
with five coins played than with one through four, but that isn’t the case with
this game.

In addition, you might choose to add to your bet down the line during the
hand if the cards are in your favor. For example, if you only bet two coins to
start, you can still raise your total bet up to the level of five coins by
adding a coin in each of the next three rounds of betting.

Keep in mind that your initial bet will set the limit for what you can bet in
subsequent rounds of betting. For example, if you only bet three coins to start,
you can’t make a five-coin bet in any other round. Also, you should realize that
you can cut off betting at any time, which means that you might be able to
lighten your betting load if a hand isn’t falling in your favor.

The Deal

In 7 Stud Poker video poker, you will be dealt seven cards once you make your
initial bet. The catch is that only two of these cards are initially revealed.
You can only guess what might be brewing with the five cards that haven’t been

Let’s take a look at how this might play out. Suppose that the initial
seven-card deal revealed the following hand:

Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts

This is a pretty good start. While it isn’t a pair, which would be ideal, the
two cards are consecutive and suited. And, as a jack and queen, they keep alive
the chance of a royal flush, which is the highest paying hand in the game.

Betting Round One

Now is when strategy becomes significant. You have the opportunity to wager
up to as many coins as your original bet at this point. If you do place a bet of
at least a coin, you can see another card.

Or, if you choose to do so, you can simply press “deal all,” and the
remaining five cards will be revealed all at once. You will be scored on whether
or not the seven cards constitute one of the winning hands on the pay table.

Keep in mind that there is no way at this point (or in the next round) to
keep the hand alive without making a bet. You have to bet something in order for
a single card to be revealed; if you don’t, the remaining cards will be turned
over. In other words, there is no option to “check” as you might in table poker.

Since we’ve already established that the hand is off to a nice start, you
should probably place some kind of bet to keep the hand alive and see the next
card. Let’s assume you do that and get the following card as your next reveal:

Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds

While you didn’t add another heart, you did pair up your queens, which is
another promising development. Suddenly, a possibility of a four or even a five
of a kind strengthens.

Betting Round Two

This is essentially the same process as round one. You will have the
opportunity to bet as much or less as your initial bet to reveal another card.
Or you can once again cease betting and deal the rest of the cards.

But, in this case, the hand is shaping up pretty well. You decide to go for
another card and make the necessary bet. Here is what you receive:

Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Nine of Hearts

It’s another heart, which is a good thing. And although it isn’t directly
connected to the other two, you now have three cards to a straight flush, which
is another high-paying hand.

Betting Round Three

This is the final betting round for 7 stud poker video poker. You know that
the next step will be for the final three cards in the hand to be revealed. But
you can add to your bet if it is the same as or less than your initial bet.

Again, because of the seeds which are forming in this hand, it makes sense to
add to the bet in some fashion. Or you can choose not to do so and just have the
final three cards revealed without adding more to your wager.

Let’s take a look at the final reveal:

Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Nine of Hearts, Ten of Hearts, Joker, Three of Diamonds

Things get interesting now because the joker is involved. The joker is a wild
card, which means that it can be used as any other card in the deck. Whatever
card produces the best results for the hand is what the joker becomes.

Let’s look at the hand again. Without the joker, that hand is short of what
you would need to have a winning hand. But the joker gives you a straight flush
in this way:

Nine of Hearts, Ten of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Joker
(Becomes King of Hearts)

You have produced one of the most lucrative hands in the entire game. That
means that you can check the pay table (which we’ll show you below) to see what
you’ve won.

As you can see, slowly revealing the cards requires you to put more money
into the hand. But it also increases your chances of winning big if you have
more money at stake and you hit a big hand.

7 Stud Poker Video Poker Pay Tables

How do you know how much you will win if you can make certain hands in 7 Stud
Poker video poker? That comes down to the pay table. It reveals the number of
winnings for each bet.

Let’s take a look at a pay table for 7 Stud Poker video poker:

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

Note that this pay table only goes up to five coins-the standard for video
poker. But when playing 7 Stud Poker video poker, your bet can actually greatly
exceed that number. That’s because you can bet multiple coins in each of the
three extra betting rounds on top of the initial hand.

For that reason, you should consider the first column (“1 Coin”) to be the
odds for that particular hand. You can then extrapolate those odds over however
many coins you might have played.

If you bet between one and five coins, you can simply use the table as shown.
For example, a four of a kind hand with five coins played would return you 75
coins. Taking away the five coins wagered, that makes for a 70-coin profit.

But what about a hand like the one that we played above? Imagine that you had
bet five coins originally, and then had aggressively bet five coins at every
turn. That would make for 20 coins, or four times five, bet in total.

Let’s take a look at how to calculate that. Since you made a straight flush,
you would go to the first column, which shows that it pays off at 50 to 1. That
means for every coin bet, you receive 50 in return.

Since you bet 20 coins, your total payout would be 20 times 50, or 1000
coins. Minus the 20-coin wager, you would have accumulated a profit of 980

As you might imagine, the multiple betting rounds in 7 Stud Poker video poker
can create winnings that exceed what you might be able to achieve playing normal
video poker. In those games, it takes a rare hand like a royal flush to possibly
achieve a jackpot-like payoff. But if you can bet at every turn and end up
getting one of the top hands in 7 Stud Poker video poker, you can really tuck
away a tidy profit in just a single hand.

Lack of Payback Percentages

Here is where things get a little tricky in determining whether or not 7 Stud
Poker video poker is a profitable game to play. Most video poker machines and
games that you can find in a casino or in a top gambling website come with
what’s known as a payback percentage. This is a percentage that gives you a good
idea of what you can expect in terms of monetary return from the game.


If a video poker game claimed a payback percentage of 99%, it
would mean that $100 put into the machine would result, on average, in a
bankroll of $99 once all of the money is played (a $1 loss). Much could change
these results in a short session, but, over time, the payback percentage would
reliably come in at around that number.

This can be determined by taking the probabilities of receiving certain
five-card hands and multiplying it by the pay table. But these totals are based
on a five-coin bet being played every time. They also assume that perfect
strategy is being employed by the player on every hand.

Percent Sign Over Money

Right off the bat, you might be able to tell why payback percentage is pretty
much impossible to determine for 7 Stud Poker video poker because there is no
telling what the bet will be on a given hand.

It could far exceed five coins, especially on the good hands. Or it could
come in below that if the initial cards shown are less than promising. Without
knowing the size of the bet, there is no way to know how much of a profit can be
made with the payback.

In addition, there is no way to determine any kind of optimum strategy for
the game. With regular video poker, you can pinpoint the way to play each deal
based on the expected value of each hold and discard. But there is no draw in 7
Stud Poker video poker, so it would be impossible to figure out just what the
right bet should be at each and every point in the game.

What that means is that there is no real payback percentage to which you can
turn when playing 7 Stud Poker video poker. You just have to take it on faith
that there is a solid return inherent in the game (if you can strategize well).
Considering the fact that the game is popular within casinos and as a part of
gambling websites, it seems that gamblers believe that they are getting their
money’s worth.

Deciding on Strategy for 7 Stud Poker Video Poker

When you talk about strategy for 7 Stud Poker video poker, you really have to
pick one that suits you. There is no definitive way to play the hands. It could
come down to your temperament.

You also could try to play the game for free on websites that allow it to see
what works for you. Sadly, there are no such things as video poker trainers or
strategy charts to help you along, as there are for most other video poker

The other problem with coming up with a serious video poker strategy for this game is
that, more than with most other forms of video poker, luck will come into play.
After the initial deal, there are still five cards which are part of your hand
that you haven’t seen. Think of the many different ways that the hand can turn
bad, or good, based on what those five cards might be.

Basically, your strategy will come down to how you want to arrange your
wagers. For some, it might be prudent to keep your wagers down to one or two
coins initially. That will keep your potential exposure on a hand down to a
minimum since you can’t bet more than what you initially wagered in the later
betting rounds.

Yet doing this will also limit your winnings. If you came away with a nice
pair on the first two cards, followed by third and fourth cards that compliment
those initial two, you can’t suddenly raise your bet. That means that a great
hand can’t really be maxed out.

That’s why it’s probably better to max out your bet to start. Doing this will
leave you with more options down the road as the hand is played out. You can
always quit betting to cut your losses if you see a few cards and don’t like
where the hand is heading.

It’s also probably beneficial to at least see the third card before giving up
on the hand. After two cards, it may be extremely difficult to see where you
stand. A third card will clarify what kind of hand you might be able to post.

Again, strategy is an elusive thing with 7 Stud Poker video poker. And you
have to accept the fact going in that you will have less control over this game
than you will with other video poker action. If you can accept this and
determine when to balance out aggression with caution, 7 Stud Poker video poker
could indeed work out for you.

Pros and Cons of 7 Stud Video Poker


  • Less to worry about in terms of strategy
  • Possibility of maxing out good hands with extra bets
  • Seven cards in play mean that big hands are in reach

  • Some might like more control over gameplay
  • Very little idea of what you can expect in terms of payback
  • Can get expensive with the multiple betting rounds


7 Stud Poker might be too different for some diehard video poker players, but
it can be quite rewarding if you can nurture a good hand with continuous bets.
Look for it in your casino, or at your favorite betting website, as a nice option
for a little change of pace from the usual.