A poker variant.

The Ante:
The game is usually played with an ante. At small limit games (usually $1-$5 spread limit) in a casino you'll find that there is no ante and only a bring-in is used to stimulate action. Most home games and higher limit games at the casino require an ante from each player before the cards are dealt.

The Deal:
Each player initially receives two cards face down, called hole cards, and one card face up. These are dealt clockwise one card at a time starting with the player immediately to the left of the dealer.

The bring-in:
In most games (especially at a casino), an additional bring-in bet is required of the player showing (face-up) the card with the lowest rank. (2 being lowest and ace highest). If two or more players have the same card then the one with the lowest suit is required to make the bring-in bet. (suit rank is the same as in Contract Bridge, from lowest to highest: clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades).

The action:
If there is a bring-in bet then the action starts with the player to left of that player. If there is not a bring-in then the action starts with the player with the highest ranking card exposed. The action proceeds clockwise around the table with each player having an opportunity to check (only if there has not been a bet or bring-in), call, raise, or fold. The action continues around the table clockwise until every player has either called all the bets and raises or folded their hands.

Continuing the deal and action:
Each player receives a fourth card card and a betting round ensues. The fifth and sixth cards proceed in the same manner with betting rounds after each. The seventh card is deal face down after which the final betting round begins. These betting rounds are often called "fourth street", "fifth street", etc..

Awarding the pot:
After the final betting round is completed the players expose all their cards (the "showdown"). The hand with the highest value claims the pot. Most casinos have a rule that says the player who made the last best or raise must expose his hand first, which gives the others involved in the hand an opportunity to muck their hands without showing them if they can't win. Other casinos just make the player immediately to the left of the deal expose their hand first. If two or more hands have the exact same value then all the tied hands receive equal shares of the pot.

Other variations of Seven Card Stud:

Commonly found in a casino:

Usually found only in home games: