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5 Card Stud

5 Card Stud is the oldest form of Stud Poker, and considered to be a simple, naive version of the game. Its simplicity is both its charm and drawback. 5 Card Stud is similar in every aspect to 7 Card Stud , with two exceptions:

  • The obvious difference: In 5 Card Poker, instead of 7 cards each player is dealt 5 cards in total – one facing down, known as the ‘hole card', the other 4 facing up.
  • 5 Card Stud is played with up to 10 players at a table, since there are enough cards to go round.

5 Card Stud Poker Rules

  • 5 Card Stud typically starts with an ante
  • After the ante two cards are dealt to each player – one facing up and one facing down (the hole card).
  • The first betting round takes place. It follows the same rules as third street 7 Card Stud in play: the round begins with a bring-in bet, which is forced on the player with the lowest value up-card. Betting continues clockwise.
  • A third card is dealt, face up.
  • The second betting round starts with the player showing the best hand. All subsequent betting rounds follow the same rule.
  • A fourth card is dealt, face up.
  • A third betting round takes place.
  • A fifth and final card is dealt, face up. Now each player is showing four cards and hiding one single hole card.
  • A fourth and final betting round takes place.
  • The showdown is when the pot is awarded to the highest ranking hand.

5 Card Stud Poker Strategy

Showing 4 up-cards at the end of every round makes for highly visible hands, demanding a unique 5 Stud strategy. Remember that most rounds never reach the showdown, since players with an obvious disadvantage will be forced to fold no matter what their hole card is. The logic above should lead you to the following 5 Stud strategy: Given strong up-cards from third street on, if faking a half-decent hole card puts you ahead you should go for it. A good bluffing opportunity is a rarity in 5 Card Stud poker since bluffing is limited to that one single hole card. On the other hand, bluffing can be used to force weak opponents out of the game simply on the merit of your up-cards. In 5 Card Stud, when a bluffing opportunity comes your way, embrace it.