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The History of 7-Card Stud Poker

Pokerrrr is proud to announce that we’re soon launching a 7-card stud game mode, and to kick things off we’re going to dive in with a series of articles on this popular variation. In today’s installment, we’re going back in time to look at the history of 7-card stud.

Texas Hold’Em gets the most press in today’s poker scene, but that’s actually a fairly recent change. Until the 1980s, 7-card stud was actually the most popular game. As a result, many players of the older generation still prefer this game over NLHE. Or, as poker legend Daniel Negreanu put it, STUD is not a young man's game. Still, that doesn’t stop “kid poker” from playing it!


The earliest stud poker games happened during the American Civil War, and it took inspiration from European games like Poque, Nas, and Bragg. 5-card stud was the first version played, and it became an official poker game when it appeared in The American Hoyle in 1864.

The game then became popular in New Orleans and on riverboats on the Mississippi River, where con artists would convince tourists to wager a lot on games that they rarely understood. Thinking it was a game of chance, they would lose their money to those who understood that poker is a game of skill and knew how to play it.

Stud poker, including 7-card stud, was also frequently played by servicemen in both world wars.

Modern 7-Card Stud

In today’s casinos, it’s still possible to find 7-card stud games, but they’re nowhere near as common or as big as NLHE. One main reason is that most poker players consider stud to be the hardest of all poker games. There’s no charts to follow, and there’s no substitute for experience. This means new pros and amateurs alike don’t often commit to stud, and the rare stud pro has a hard time making a living playing their preferred game.

Still, Stud always make an appearance at the World Series of Poker, and there are some big wins that will go down in history. For instance, when Tom Koral won the 2017 WSOP stud event, he ended a 13 year losing streak and took home almost $100k. Now that’s a big commitment to the game!

Today, 7-card stud also remains more popular on the East Coast compared to other regions. Obviously, since Hold’Em is from Texas, that game is much more common in the West. This regional and generational divide is one of the most notable characteristics of today’s 7-card stud scene, and we’ll just have to keep playing and see how it shakes out.


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