The Rules of 5-Card Stud

What is 5 Card Stud?

5 Card Stud is the oldest form of Stud. The original would be traced back to the American Civil War. This variant can be played in hi or hi-low. Note however that this variant is mostly played in hi and fixed limits with a big and a small bet. On a $5/$10 table, for example, the small bet on the first streets will be $5 while the bets on the last streets will be $10. In fixed limits, a raise is equal to the bet. For example, if a player bets $10 and wants to raise, he must raise exactly $20

Before the cards are dealt

Some poker variants work with blinds (like Hold'em or Omaha), but Stud works with antes and bets. Tournament players will already be familiar with the concept; an ante is a bet paid by all players at the table before the start of all poker hands. In Stud, the ante will only be paid once, unlike the way tournaments are played. According to the game's limit, all players must therefore have paid their ante before the cards are dealt

Flow of a 5-card Stud game

Each player will first receive two cards, one private and one face-up. The dealer distributes the cards clockwise. He will deal one card after the other and not by giving the cards away in pairs. The first card to be dealt is the hidden card and the second card to be dealt is the visible card

The player with the smallest visible card will open the bidding. That person will have to pay what is called the bring-in (some people also use the term "small bet" to refer to the bring-in) which is half the small limit on the pot. If two or more players have the same denomination, the player closest to the dealer will pay the bring-in. The player who pays the bring-in will not have to pay anything more to see the next card if no player raises in this round

If the player who is to put in his bring-in is already all in and therefore cannot do so, the bring-in must be paid for by the next player, clockwise

The player to speak after him or her will be determined by the clockwise direction. As is the case in all types of poker, you have to pay the down bet to continue in the hand. Players remaining after the first round of betting will move to the 2nd round of betting (3rd street) after the third card is dealt face up. Before dealing cards, the dealer will "burn" (discard) the card above the deck. When the third card is dealt, the player with the best hand will speak first and the turn will be clockwise again

When playing Fixed Limit 5-Card Stud, if a player has a visible pair with his two cards, he will be able to bet a big bet rather than a small one (permission normally given to fourth street)

Once the betting round is over, the dealer will deal the 4th card (4th street). This card will, like the 3rd, be visible to all players. After the 4th card is handed over, there will be a bidding period. The player who has the best hand made up with his or her cards face up will have the floor first. The speech will then move clockwise. Starting at 4th street, bets will be made from the highest limit. After this auction period, the 5th street will take place

The 5th and final card given to players will, for the most part, be visible, although some versions of 5-Card Stud will have the 5th card hidden. But in the majority of online casinos or rooms, the last card will be visible, for a total of 4 visible cards and 1 private card

The person with the best hand consisting of his or her 4 visible cards will open the betting, and, as always, the next players will speak clockwise

The showdown

The Slaughter is when the players still in the hand will show their hand. Most of the time, the player who initiates the last action on 5th street (bet or raise) will be the one who shows his hand first

The best hand will be the highest hand according to the same hand chart as Hold'em. If the game is in Hi-Lo, the pot will be divided into two equal parts. One part will be attributed to the best hi and one part will be attributed to the best lo. In cases where no player qualifies for the lo, the player with the best hi will win 100% of the prize pool

Special feature of 5-card Stud bets with fixed limits:

  • There is usually a cap of 3 raises per betting period when there are 3 or more players in the hand. If a hand is played in heads-up (2 players), the two remaining players will then be allowed to raise unlimited
  • The initial round of betting is determined by the play limit
  • The bring-in bet forced on the player with the lowest exposed card in the first betting round is not considered a raise in the conventional sense
  • At the third street, bets will be according to the small bet of the limit. As mentioned above, this bet will also determine the size of the reminders
  • At the fourth street, the bids will be played according to the highest bid in the limit
  • At the fifth street, the bids will also be played according to the highest bid of the limit played