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Five Card Stud Poker Rules

Five Card Stud Poker Rules

Five Card Stud

At some point Five Card Stud used to be the most popular form of poker in the United States. It was played by the presidents and even the Hollywood celebrities in the world-famous motion picture – “The Cincinnati Kid”. Although the popularity of the Five Card Stud in casinos had dropped severely, it is still played in home games and some online poker rooms.


In 5-Card Stud all players post antes before dealing the cards. Antes are usually 1/5 of the bring-in, but sometimes they may vary. The players who do not contribute their antes do not receive the cards. The purpose of posting antes is to arise the players' interest early in the game so that they would already have something to play for.


Every Five Card Stud poker player receives 2 cards: one closed, the other – open. The player with the lowest open card posts the bring-in. Should two or more players have the same lowest card, the bring-in is decided by the suite of the cards. Spades is the highest suit in Five Card Stud, followed by Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. The player making the bring-in can either bet half of the minimum limit or “finish” the bet up until its full amount. For example, when playing $4-8 Five Card Stud, the bring-in can be either $2 or $4.

Betting Rounds

After the bring-in has been submitted, the betting round continues clockwise starting with the player on the bring-in's left. Each player has three options: fold their cards (put them into the center of the table face-down), call (bet the same amount as the bring-in) and to make a raise/post a full bring-in. The amount by which the players can raise their bets is determined by the player who contributes the bring-in. Should they submit only half of the bet, the player who decides to raise would only be able to “finish” the bet. Once the betting is finished all the upcoming raises have to match the minimum limit. For example, in a $4-8 game of Five Card Stud with a $2 bring-in, the raiser can bet $4. Should the bring-in be equal to $4, the raise may be either $4 or $8. There is usually one bet and three raises allowed during one betting round.

As soon as all the bets are submitted each of the remaining players receive one more open card. The highest pair is the first to act. If no one has the pair, the player with the two strongest cards starts the round. They can either make a bet or check (pass the right to the move to the nest player). However, if the first-acting player makes the bet the next one can either fold, call or raise. If the first player checks, the one on their left is also free to bet or to check. This continues round the table until all of the remaining Five Card Stud players have checked or leveled-up their bets.

Once the betting is finished, the fourth card is dealt to every player face-up. Then the player with the best open card combination makes the first move having the same options of betting or checking. This is the round when the bets are doubled, therefore in a $4-8 Five Card Stud game the players who want to make a bet after dealing the fourth card have to post $8.

When all the remaining players have checked or called their bets, the last face-up card is dealt. The best open hand starts the round with the bets being made according to the high limit of the game. As soon as the round is finished, the last player either shows their cards or folds. Every remaining player does the same clockwise. The highest five-card combination collects the pot.


Five Card Stud poker can also be played as a No-Limit and a Pot-Limit game. The only difference is that the minimum bet has the predetermined value and the maximum is either equal to the pot (Pot-Limit) or to all of the player's chips (No-Limit).


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