Five card stud is one game of poker that will never go out of style and still retains a loyal following, despite the growth in recent years in the number of Texas Holdem enthusiasts. Five card stud is the fastest game of poker that you will ever play; in fact, it is not uncommon to find tables where over 100 hands are played in one hour! This fact alone makes five card stud poker popular with many players who hate like fast-paced action. For solid play of five card stud poker, it is imperative that you are well versed in five card stud rules. If you already understand the rules of 5 card stud please visit our five card stud strategy guide.
The highest traditional hand in five card stud play takes the pot. The ace is a versatile card in five card stud – it can be played on the low end or on the high end to make a straight. Five card stud rules state that each round can have no more than three raises.
The cards speak in five card stud. This basically means that the cards on the poker table must be face up (speaking) in order to play the game, making anything that is said verbally about the hand worthless – the cards “speak for themselves”, you might say. The cards speak at the end of a hand of five card stud. Still, this does not rule out the bluffing actions that players might take, only what is said about the hand if it proves untrue (the “liar” would not take the pot).
There is an initial ante in five card stud, before game play begins. Antes can be as little as a quarter or as much as hundreds of dollars, depending on the particular stakes for the game. Following the ante, each player receives one card facing down and one card facing up from the dealer in a clockwise motion around the table. The face-up card becomes a porch card.
Based on the lowest porch (face-up) card, the player holding that card will make what is known as a “forced bet” that is either half of the low limit or the player can choose to bet the full limit. For example, in a game of five card stud that is being played at $2/$4 – the player who has the lowest porch card will be required to bet at least $1 (which is half of the low limit bet), or he/she can choose to bet the full maximum of $4. If two players have the same low card, the suit of the card will determine which is lowest. Suit values in five card stud (from highest to lowest) are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
Once the first player has acted, each player around the table in a clockwise fashion will either call the bet that is made, check, or fold (muck) their hands. Those players remaining in the five card stud game will get a third card, which will be dealt facing up, followed by a round of betting at the low bet limit of $2. Beginning with this round, the player with the highest porch card will become the first player to act by checking or betting.
The fourth card of the five card stud hand is also dealt facing up, and betting is now at the upper level (in our example, $4). The fifth and final card is dealt facing up and followed by betting (again, at the upper limit, or in our example $4). The highest hand left in play at the table is declared the winner, according to five card stud poker rules.