How to Play Five Card Stud
Five card stud is an old form of poker that has lost popularity to more modern games like Omaha and Texas Hold'em. Five card stud is unique in that you can see almost all of your opponents cards (4 out of 5). Despite this glut of information, few people are able to play this game well and that means opportunity for the poker player who's willing to expand their knowledge beyond the ubiquitous Texas Hold'em.
Here's how to play the almost forgotten game of five card stud.
Obviously five card stud is played with five cards. There's usually an ante followed by four rounds of betting. The maximum number of bets in each round is four: a bet, a raise, a re-raise and a cap. Here's an example of how a $1/$2 game of five card stud would be played:
- All players post a nominal ante determined by the card room or the person hosting the game.
- After the ante, the first card is dealt to each player face-down starting to the dealer's left and going clockwise. Then the second card is dealt to each player face-up in the same fashion
- Once the first two cards are dealt, the person with the lowest card showing "brings in" the betting with a forced bet of at least 1/2 the minimum bet. When two players share the lowest card, the tie will be broken by suit. Listed from highest to lowest, they are: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs.
- After the first round of betting, the dealer deals the remaining players another card face-up. This time the player with the highest hand showing starts the betting.
- After the second round of betting, the dealer deals the remaining players their fourth card (4th Street) face-up. And the player with the highest hand showing starts the betting. Remember that the minimum bet is the higher rate on this street. In this case the rate is $2.
- The dealer now deals the last card face-up to each player and the player with the highest hand showing starts the betting.
- Once the betting is over, the remaining players showdown and the highest hand wins.
Remember that a hand will most often be won with a pair or a high card. Higher hands are relatively rare in five card stud.
Good starting hands are high cards and pairs.
Tend to fold if you haven't made any kind of hand by third street and if you're not three-to-a-flush or three-to-a-straight by now, don't draw to it.
Remember what cards have been folded. If you're trying to make a hand, make sure that no one is holding the card you need and that no one folded that card.
Five card stud is a game that tests your memory. The pots are usually large because of the four rounds of betting, so your odds can be good if you're trying to improve your hand. The key to playing winning five card stud is to remember the cards that have been played so you're never drawing dead.