For over a hundred years, stud poker was the game of choice for players worldwide in live poker rooms and around kitchen tables. That began to change in the 1980s as Doyle Brunson and his crew roamed the Texas landscape, promoting a new game that would later become known as Texas Holdem. Although the game retains just a shadow of its former glory, 7 Card Stud continues on thanks in part to the internet.
Choosing the best 7 Card Stud poker sites is a matter of priorities. We know the game does not have a big fan base today, so we have to be willing to deal with fewer choices. The good news is that I have a few safe and reliable recommendations. None of these are going to overload you with 7 Card Stud action 24/7, but they will get you in the game often enough to enjoy your time and maybe even make some serious cash.
The Best 7 Card Stud Poker sites must be judged by their traffic and reputation first. The game does not have a large following these days, so we put a premium on how often the games actually run. Software and other considerations must come second to the availability of games in the first place.
Reputation is just as important because you’ll want to get paid at some point. After all, that’s one of the main reasons we all play, isn’t it? It does not matter if a poker site holds a hundred Stud tournaments and dozens of cash game tables every day if it cannot be trusted to pay what you’re due when you are ready to cash out. So with that in mind, I came up with these rankings by rounding up every safe poker site I know of and then logging in myself to see how much traffic they have.
It should be a little surprise that some sites didn’t cut at all. A growing number of even mainstream poker sites have completely done away with their 7 Card Stud games. It’s a shame to see because 7CS is a deeply strategic and unique game, but that’s the way of the world. I ended up with a handful of sites that have a decent number of stud games most days.
It bears repeating: real money 7 Card Stud is not the most popular game these days. I did my best to find you a few sites that do actually host 7CS tables, but it wasn’t easy. To be completely honest with you up front, you’re not going to find the exact games you want every day. You can probably find a few tables each day if you check a couple sites, but you won’t be able to pick and choose games like you would with Texas Holdem or Omaha.
If you are a die-hard Stud player, the best thing you can do is sign up for an account at a couple of poker sites and split your bankroll among those equally. This will give you access to the widest range of games and the best likelihood to find a table at your preferred stakes.
7 Card Stud is Worth It
Nobody would blame you if you got tired of hunting for tables and decided to give up and go back to Texas Holdem or Omaha. I know many players who tried to get into 7 Card Stud online and eventually went back to some other game because it was hard to find much action at the mid to high-stakes levels.
7 Card Stud is most definitely worth learning and adding to your arsenal. Even though it does not generate as much action online, it is still a mainstay in real-world high roller cash games and mixed poker tournaments. Mixed game variations such as HORSE are still very much a thing online and in the real world.
If you follow the high-stakes scene for any length of time, you’ll see that all the greatest players are skilled at 7 Card Stud. These players have earned millions of dollars playing poker, so it would be smart to take a page from their playbooks. Why do they learn a game that is no longer the king of the hill?
There are three reasons. First, as I mentioned above, the game is still played quite a bit in the real world. Home poker games and high-stakes cash games often feature 7 Card Stud to mix things up. Some of the highest-paying tournaments are of the mixed variety. And if you ever have dreams of playing with the big boys in Las Vegas or Macau, you better know how to play some stud poker.
Secondly, the competition is softer in 7CS – at least at the lower and middle levels. With everyone rushing over to Texas Holdem, there is little demand for advanced 7CS books, websites, and training courses. The overall level of knowledge in 7CS is way less advanced than it is for Holdem and Omaha.
However, that does not make 7 Card Stud a license to print money. You still need to take time and develop your strategy. As you move up through the stakes, the level of competition increases sharply. Many up-and-coming pros eventually take a time out from Holdem to learn 7 Card Stud. Like you, they want to be ready for the big games.
Finally, becoming proficient in 7 Card Stud will make you a better all-around player. Even if you never play a game of high-stakes poker, you will still see improved results. 7 Card Stud teaches you new ways to think; learning it exercises the “poker” part of your brain, and it makes you a more analytical student of all things poker. It is good to break out of ruts and learn new games in this manner. Plus, you will always have 7 Card Stud as a back-pocket option if you can’t find any soft Holdem games one day.