Seven Card Stud was the main game for nearly 100 years before Texas Hold' Em took center stage in the poker world. However, Stud is still popular as it is played in a variety of brick n’ mortar and online poker rooms.
As with most modern day poker games, they originated off of Five Card Draw. The same is true for Seven Card Stud; towards the end of the 20th century poker players began playing Five Card Stud, a variant of Five Card Draw. Over the years, the game progressed, and two more cards were added, hence the name Seven Card Stud. The two extra cards produced better hands and seemed to make the game more fun and action oriented.
In Seven Card Stud, the object of the game is to make the best five card poker hand. Before the cards are dealt, all players put an ante into the center of the pot. This bet is normally a fraction of the normal bet size. Each player is then dealt three cards, one is dealt face up, and the other two are dealt face down. The player with the lowest upcard is responsible for the "bring in" bet. This player can make a half minimum bet or complete the bet for a raise. The rest of the table, going in a clockwise order, can either call the bet, raise, or fold. A fourth upcard is then dealt to each player, and another round of betting occurs. A fifth upcard is dealt, and again a round of betting occurs. A sixth upcard is dealt to players, and then another round of betting occurs. Finally, a downcard is dealt making seven cards, a round of betting occurs, and then players are forced to showdown their hands where a winner is declared.
Stud can be played as a hi/lo game as well, the nut low in a Stud hi/lo game is A,2,3,4,5. Also, Stud is a fixed limit game, with a set bet size for each street.
Though, Stud is second to Omaha and Texas Hold'Em the game is still played more than it has ever been in its long history. Most popular card rooms run the game regularly, and many online poker rooms have active Seven Card Stud games up the middle limits.