5 Card Stud poker is probably the easiest form of poker to play for new players. Players must make the highest hand out of five dealt cards, only one of which is dealt face down. A standard 52 deck is used with regular poker rankings and aces are both high and low for straights. The simplicity of the game and the fact that players get to see most of their opponents cards leave little guess work which may be why the game has lost popularity over the years among professional gamblers. However, it is still a great introduction to poker and enables newcomers to learn the ranking order of hands while having fun playing the game.
Here is how 5 card stud poker is played.
Games are played with anything from two to ten players at the table. A round starts with each player first being dealt a face down card, called a pocket card. Immediately following this each player then receives another card this time face up. Players check their pocket card without revealing it to the other players.
There then follows a round of betting beginning with the player showing the lowest ranking face up card. This player must usually lay down a mandatory small blind bet that is half the table minimum. Betting continues clockwise around the table and each player must decide whether or not to fold, call, or raise the bet.
When all bets have been called each player still in the round receives another face up card known as 3rd street. To raise players must first match all previous bets. Another round of betting follows beginning with the player showing the highest ranking card who may choose to check, raise, or fold.
When all bets have been a called a fourth card known as 4th street is dealt face up to all players followed by another round of betting again beginning with the highest ranking card still in the round.
Finally, a fifth card is dealt face up to all remaining players followed by another round of betting as before. This is known as 5th street. When all bets are called comes the showdown when players reveal their hands and the highest ranking hand wins.
5 Card Stud is hard to find in brick and mortar casinos these days and rules concerning antes, small blinds and big blinds may vary from casino to casino. Also the number or raises permitted in each round may be limited if there are more than two players still playing for the pot. There are some internet casinos that offer the game. 5 Card Stud still has some popularity in social settings because it is easy and fun to play. In games played at home a variation is often used in which the 5th street card is dealt face down or the first two cards are dealt face down as pocket cards. This adds an element of uncertainty to each round but this rule is never played in casinos.