5 Card Stud
5 Card Stud is not as popular as it’s 7 Card counterpart and is rarely played in casinos. The major downside to 5 Card Stud is that there’s only one pocket card, which leaves little doubt as to what a player is holding. Since there are only 5 cards and no discards, most 5 Card Stud hands are very low ranking, often a pair or just high cards.
The result is a game with fewer variables that people generally find less interesting than other poker games. There are some 5 Card Stud rule variations that help spice the game up a bit. One variation adds another card to the pocket, sometimes the first and last card, sometimes the two opening cards. This course presents the basic rules for standard 5 Card Stud.
A typical 5 Card Stud buy-in is 10 times the low limit. A minimum buy-in would be $20 for a $2-$4 Stud game. Beginners should stick to Stud games below the $10-$20 level. Anything higher than this and a beginner will face players beyond their skill level.
In 5 Card Stud the ante is mandatory. Lower games generally require a 10% ante, $0.50 for a $5-$20 game. Higher games may raise the ante to 25%. These percentages may vary depending on where you’re playing. After all players have put their ante in, the dealing begins.
5 Card Stud begins with the dealer giving each player two card. The first is a pocket card dealt face down and the second is open, face up. The first player to bet is determined by the lowest open card. If there is a tie then suit is used; spades tops hearts, then diamonds and finally clubs. This player has the option to open the betting with a bet equal to twice the ante.
If the ante is $1 then the opening bet will be $2. If the first player does not wish to open then they must fold and the opportunity to open moves to the player on their left. After the opening bet has been made, the betting advances clockwise. The next player can either call the opener, raise by betting the low betting limit, or fold.
The third card is dealt to each player as an open card, known as Third Street. The opener is determined by the player with the highest up card hand. The rest of the openers are determined in this fashion. The player has the option the check (pass), bet, or fold. All raises for the round will be fixed at the lower bet level.
At Fourth Street, one more card is dealt face-up. The high hand opens and all bets and raises are at the upper limit.
The final card, Fifth Street, is once again dealt as an open card. All bets and raises are at the high limit. The winner is the player with the highest-ranking poker hand.