5 Card Stud poker first appeared during the American civil war and became very popular. It is only in recent years that it has been surpassed by 7 Card Stud and Hold’em.
The game differs from most modern Stud variants because the number of visible cards makes it easier for players to judge the strength of their hands. With four rounds of betting, you need to know when to hold and when to fold. Patience and skill are key to success.
For a number of years, this was one of the games of choice and made it’s entry into the World Series of Poker in 1971 where it stayed until it’s final year in 1974 (all four won by Bill Boyd).
Much like other games, the dealer will deal to the player immediately left of the dealer button, moving clockwise round the table. All players will be dealt two hole cards, one face down and one face up (known as the door card). There will then be a round of betting however the action will start with the player with the lowest card and suit (known as the “force” or “bring-in” bet), This is a forced bet and would be half of the low limit (so if playing $5-$10 would be $2.50). This is an unusual game as most games don’t involve the ranking by suit. In 5 Stud, the suits are ranked in alphabetical order Spades, Harts, Diamonds, Clubs with Spades being the top suit and Clubs the lowest. After this initial deal and betting round, the suits do not play a further part in determining the strength of a players hand.
The Third Card Dealt (known as Third Street)
This is the third card to be dealt to each player, dealt first to the player on the immediate left of the dealer, dealing clockwise round the table. This card is dealt face up (you will now have two up and one down) and the dealer should always burn a card to the muck before this card is dealt. This is then followed by a further round of betting and as in the first betting round, starts with the player with the highest two card value (known as ‘having the action’). There will be occasions where two or more players have the same hand. The player closest to the dealers left will be the first to play.
The player who ‘has the action’ after this card is dealt can, as in normal poker games, check to the next player clockwise or make a bet. All bets at this stage are lower limit.
The Fourth Card Dealt (known as Fourth Street)
The Fourth card dealt to players is also dealt face up with the highest hand starting another round of betting, where the action continues clockwise until all players have matched the required bet or folded. This is the first stage where bets are now higher limit, as will Fifth Street.
The Fifth Card Dealt (known as Fifth Street)
This is the final hole card dealt to players to complete their hand. All players still in the hand will have one card face down and four cards face up. There is now a further round of betting until either all players but one are left in the hand, a winner.
Should more than one player still be left in the hand, there will be a showdown in which players will turn over their face down card to reveal their five card poker hand with best hand winning the pot.