There are thousands of poker variations played around the world in
homes, casinos, and online poker sites. There literally is no end to
the game’s variations since one of the enjoyable aspects of the
game is to see how badly you can twist conventional poker rules while
playing. Five Card Stud is a variation which has been around for hundreds
of years, though the variation played in today’s casinos is much
different from the five card stud games played in the 1800’s.
The strategy, game play, and game flow are much different than Hold’em,
the world’s most popular poker game, mostly due to the fact that
vastly different hands win pots in five card stud. Five Card Stud is
one of the easiest poker games to learn. It requires patience and exceptional
observational skill for players to succeed.
If you are just learning to play poker you need to review the one thing every poker game has in common: Hand Ranking. Check out the Poker Hand Rankings to see the strengths in order from best to worst. At the end of each poker hand, the one player with the five card combination ranked highest on the Poker Hand Ranking list wins the pot.
Five Card Stud is a variation of poker where every player at the table receives two cards to start the hand, one face down and one face up for the other players to see. After a round of bets by all players, another card is dealt to each player face up. This process of betting and dealing a card face up happens two more times until everyone still in the hand has 4 cards face up to go with their one card face down. A final round of betting follows the last card and the players show their hands. The player with the best five card hand according to the Hand Ranking Chart wins the money in the pot.
Betting and the Ante
Five Card Stud can be played with or without an ante (a fixed amount of money each player puts in the pot before the cards are dealt). When I was growing up playing poker with friends, betting always started to the left of the dealer, but today’s Stud games are played with a slight twist. The player with the lowest face up card is forced to make (or ‘bring in’) a bet equal to half of, (or the full amount of depending of the game rules), the previously established opening bet. If two players have the same low card, for example if each has a three, the one with the lowest suit alphabetically pays the forced bet. This makes the two of clubs the lowest card in the deck, followed by the two of diamonds, then hearts, then spades. Betting on the first round starts with the player to the left of this forced bet. On all subsequent betting rounds, the player showing the best face up hand bets first and play proceeds to the left.
Betting caps in each round for Five Card Stud vary depending where you play, so make sure you understand them before you sit down at a table. A typical $1/$2 table will allow each player to bet or raise $1 on the first and second round of betting, then $2 on the final three rounds of betting. As I said, table rules differ vastly. Some tables increase the bet on the second round of betting, other tables allow $4 bets on the final round. It is important to make sure you understand the betting and ante structure of the table you are sitting down at.
Example of play
If you were involved in a typical hand of Five Card Stud at a $1/$2 table your experience may go something like this:
- You are dealt Ace of Clubs face down and Seven of spades face up;
- The player to your left has a 2 of diamonds up and has to pay fifty cents;
- You and two others call the $1 first round minimum bet, everyone else folds, including the player to your left who already paid fifty cents;
- The third card is dealt face up to all players, you get Queen of Clubs;
- Another player has a King, the best face up hand, and checks to you;
- You bet $1 on your Ace high, the other two players call;
- The forth card is dealt face up to all players, you get the Ace of spades;
- You are showing an Ace so you lead the betting, you bet $2;
- One of the players folds, the other with the King calls your $2 bet;
- The last card is dealt face up to both players, you get 3 of Clubs;
- Your Ace is still high, you bet $2;
- Your opponent calls your $2 and raises you $2;
- You call your opponent’s re-raise;
Now the two of you show your facedown card. Your opponent shows a King giving him a pair of Kings. Since your pair of Aces beats his pair of Kings on the Hand Ranking Chart you win the money in the pot.
Poker hand rankings
5 Card Stud rules
5 Card Draw rules
7 Card Stud rules
Omaha Hi/Lo rules
Texas Holdem rules
Lowball and Razz poker rules
Crazy Pineapple rules
Triple Draw poker rules
5 Card Stud strategy
5 Card Stud variations
5 Card Stud terminology