Five Card Stud Poker
by Greg Cavouras  

One of the oldest forms of Poker, Five card stud doesn’t enjoy the current mainstream popularity of Texas Hold’em or Omaha, but is nevertheless an exciting game that has been a mainstay of “Poker Nights” for many years. While 5-card stud is very similar in gameplay to 7-card stud, it requires a different strategy. Here is a basic rundown of how the game is played.


The game starts with each player at the table placing an ante, and there are no blinds as there are in Hold’em. After the antes have been placed, each player is dealt two hole cards face down and one card face up. The betting action then begins with the player showing the lowest up card, and action proceeds clockwise. The first player to act must place a bet known as a “bring-in”, this is a forced bet, and the player has no option to fold or check. The action proceeds around the table, and once all bets have been settled, each player remaining in the hand is dealt a second face-up card. Now the second round of betting begins, and it proceeds at the lower limit. The second round of betting will always proceed at the lower limit, unless any player at the table is showing a pair with their two “up” cards, in which case any player may make a bet at the higher limit.


Once all bets have been settled in the second betting round, every remaining player is dealt a third up card. At this point all betting will proceed at the higher limit. Once this penultimate round of betting has concluded, all players remaining are dealt a fourth and final up card. No more cards are dealt, and at this point each player holds 4 up cards, and one hole card. Now the final round of betting begins, again at the upper limit. Once all bets have been settled in this final round of betting, the showdown occurs, and all remaining players turn over their hole card and compare hands. The top 5 card hand will be the winner, and that hand shall take the pot.


5-card stud plays differently than 7-card mainly because in 5-card you only have one hole card, making it easier to predict opponents’ best possible hand. Some say that 5-card stud is more a game of luck, however like any poker game, the best players will inevitably win. 

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