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Five Card Stud Game Variations

By Gary Steele

There are many different variations of the poker game Five Card Stud. You will not find most of these being played at your favorite poker site online, but if you are playing with friends, all of these are fun to try. In the future online poker sites will offer more games than the limited selection available now. I imagine will see some of these games played then. All of the following explanations assume you already know how to play basic Five Card Stud.

These explanations do not go into the rules, only the deviations. Stud is any type of poker where each player is dealt a set number of cards. No draws or community cards are involved. There are many more variations, and you are certainly allowed to make up your own. Most of the variations listed here can also be applied to seven card stud. I have listed a few of the most common games.


The lowest hand wins the pot in this variation. Aces are low.

“Rollover” or “Mexican” or “Roll Your Own”

Players are dealt their first two cards face down and can choose which one to flip over and show the other players. As each card is dealt, each player in the hand has to decide which of the two face down cards they want to show the other players. Lots of strategy here since you can hide the strength of your hand, advertise the strength of your hand, or hide a card another player may be looking for.

“Deuces Wild” or “Jokers Wild”

Actually, any card can be wild, but typically deuces are wild because, let’s face it, they usually aren’t much good to anyone otherwise. Jokers can also be added to the deck and be considered wild.


This can be a very expensive game and takes a while to play, but it is popular. All players are dealt all five cards face down. Players then decide all at the same time if they are still in the game or not by either:

  1. Secretly holding a chip in their hand and revealing at the same time;
  2. Holding a card up in the air and all players either drop or hold their cards on the count of three. Players drop the card if they are “out”.

If a player is “out”, they are out for good. All hands are flipped over. The player with the best hand does not have to pay. Everyone else still “in” has to put money in the pot. The amount players put in the pot each round is either:

  1. Equal to the size of the current pot (ouch);
  2. Equal to a progressive amount of money (such as $1 first round, $2 second round, $3 third round, etc.).

The hand is retrieved and the deck is reshuffled. A new 5 cards are dealt to all players “in” the game. The same sequence as the first round follows until only 1 player stays “in” the game during a round. If all players drop “out” in a round, the players can either repeat the round or the player with the best hand that dropped out has to pay the pot.


All cards below a seven are removed from the deck leaving only 32 cards in the deck. Otherwise the game is played as normal.

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