Five card stud poker is considered to be the fastest poker version around – which is why it still holds such a huge following among poker enthusiasts who prefer fast-paced and exciting game play to the slower playing games out there. Five card stud is also one of the simplest games in poker which makes it easy to learn and easy to master. Still, having a good five card stud poker strategy is necessary. Let’s look at some tips, tricks, and strategies for five card poker.
Live and Dead Cards in Five Card Stud
From the start, you should play only “live” cards. From the middle to end of the hand of five card stud, you should play cards that are at least “semi-live”. By the time you have been dealt your first three cards, you will know pretty much what type of hand you are actually holding. Unless you have at least a pair, you should fold once you receive card number three. There’s no real help for you in this hand after the third card.
Don’t Get Over-Confident with an Ace in the Hole
In general, avoid playing low hole cards. If you have an ace in the hole, don’t plan on riding through with it. Fold early if you can’t get any help and avoid being fooled by the power of an ace in the hole in five card stud – it is of no help in hands. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to fold. Five card stud is a fast-paced game. If you suspect that the card you are chasing is not coming your way, fold up your cards and save your chips.
Observation is Key
Observe the table and those opponents sitting around you. Pay close attention to which cards are dead on the table and compare that with the cards you are hoping to get. This is the best way to judge the odds of getting the hand that you need to win, or if it is time to fold and wait a few seconds for the next hand to begin.
Bluffing in Five Card Stud
Bluffing in five card stud is a great way to keep your game fresh in the eyes of your opponents. If you never bluff, or if you always bluff, your game becomes predictable and you are an easier opponent. Win or lose with your bluff, you spice up your game and keep people guessing about your playing style.
Fast or Slow Play?
Vary the speed at which you play. Fast play is great for getting rid of some competition – by betting, raising, and re-raising you will eliminate some players. The flip side of this is that the pot will reduce, but you may get rid of some stronger hands. Slow play (checking and calling) keeps the maximum number of players in the game and is the perfect way to build a good pot worth taking home.
Best Five Card Stud Hands
The hands to watch for in five card stud strategy are those with pairs and high cards. Because there will be only one hole card during game play, it is a perfect game for estimating what your opponents are holding, but they can also get a good idea of what you have. You have to have at least a pair or one live card that beats the porch cards on the table to start out with in five card stud. Don’t play for flushes and straights, with the exception of playing for three to a straight (three cards to a straight flush).