5 Card Stud Poker


Five Card Stud Poker is an “oldie”, invented around 1850, though it is still loved and played by many to this day.

It is a relatively simple variation of regular poker, and can be played with between two to ten players.

How to play the Game

At the start of the game each player puts an ante, a prescribed sum of money (or chips).
Then the dealer starts the dealing of two cards per player, one dealt face-up (also known as the “up” card or the “door” card) and the other face down (also known as a “hole” card). There is only one “hole” in five card stud poker, and it will be revealed only at the very end of the game.

The first betting round in five card stud poker is started by the player who received the lowest ranking up card. The player sitting to his or her left make the second betting, and so on, clockwise. The players have the options of calling the opening bet, raising it of folding (dropping out). The betting round is over once betting has equalized, meaning that all of the players remaining in have bet the same sum.

Once the first round of betting is completed, the dealer gives out a third face-up card, and the second round of betting begins. This round, and the next two to follow, are started by the player who holds the highest ranking cards face-up. That player starts the betting at the lower limit, unless he has a pair, in which case he has the option of starting at the higher limit.

After the third betting a forth and a fifth card are dealt, both face up, both followed by rounds of bettings. These rounds are also started with the player which holds the highest card face-up. The bets at this point are at the higher limit. It is important to know that the option of calling is available only during the first and last betting round.

When all the players still remaining in the round have five cards in their hands (four face-up plus one face down) and have placed their bets, they turn their face down cards over. The first player to show his hand is always the person that most recently demonstrated strength with a bet or a raise. The ranking of the hands is identical to the regular ranking hands in poker, and so the winner takes the pot.


Take note of your opponents’ visible cards in order to see if you are losing a hand

If the cards you need to help improve your hand are visible in your Opponents hands, assume they are unattainable

There are 13 cards in a suit. You need five of them to make a flush, if the cards you need happen to be in your opponents’ hand you have no chance of them being dealt to you, however, if you can’t see them, it means that it is still possible to pick up those cards

It is recommended that you fold if another player’s exposed cards are very strong

It is recommended that you fold if another player’s exposed cards beat your entire hand

If you are trying to complete a Straight, first check to see if any other player displays the cards you need. You can then alter your strategy accordingly

Fold when needed. 5 Card Stud poker is a game of patience and it’s not worth betting all your money on losing hands.

With 5 Card Stud, patience can be the most valuable virtue!

TIPS – for Five Card Stud poker

  • As oppose to regular poker, most of the cards in this game are exposed. There are clear advantages and disadvantages to playing poker this way. One thing is certain: if your strongest talent in poker is bluffing – this isn’t the right game to put your poker faces into action. Then again, this might be the game to play with people that know you so well that you don’t stand a chance of bluffing them anyway…
  • We would recommend playing Five Card Stud poker also as a stepping stone to playing Seven Card Stud poker. Remember, there’s always more to learn about in the poker world!
  • Make sure that during the game your “hole” card is never exposed. (If you manage to peak at your opponents hole cards, that’s a blessing…)
  • If your hand is definitely weaker than the other players’ up-cards, it is time to simply fold.
  • Constantly watch other peoples cards, and bet accordingly. If you need a certain card in order to complete your hand, say – a Jack to make three of a kind – look around the table and see if perhaps it was already given to someone else.
  • The pot in Five Card Stud poker is won many times by relatively low poker hands, either pairs or high cards.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy yourself 🙂

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