Five Card Stud Poker Rules

Five Card Stud Poker is one of the oldest forms of poker still played in casinos around the world. Its rules are quite straightforward and are played in a manner similar to seven card stud poker. The game is played in several betting rounds - from 2nd street to 5th street - followed by a showdown. Usually, the form of five card stud poker played is the fixed limit format as the game is rarely played with Pot Limit and No Limit rules.

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The game begins with all the participating players paying an ante, a small forced bet that'll be around one-third the small bet. That is, in a $10/$20 game, it'll be $3. Once done that, cards are dealt to the players starting from dealers left, one up card and one down card, to begin with. There is no concept of dealer button in five card stud.

The player with the lowest upcard must start the bet with a 'bring-in'. This is usually 1/3 to of the small bet. If more than one player has the same low value card, the betting priority is determined by suit. So 2c is the lowest ranking card. But, suits have no impact on the final hand rankings. On the other hand, if there is no bring-in, the betting begins with the player showing the highest ranking upcard, the preference being given to the player sitting first in the clockwise direction should any two players have the same ranking upcard. No suit rankings are used in this case to break the tie.

After this round of betting is over, the players are dealt another face-up card (after the burn card that is useless) and this is the third street. From this round onwards, the player who acts first can check or bet until the game's upper limit. The betting goes on in a clockwise direction until all the players have matched the bet or have folded their hands.

In the fourth street, each of the players is dealt another face-up card, followed by another round of betting, with the player whose upcards form the best poker hand betting first. In this round, the bets will be of the highest limit. As in the previous round, the betting goes on in a clockwise direction until all the players have matched the bet or have folded.

In the last round, called the fifth street, the players are issued their last card, face up. The players remaining in the game now will have five cards with them, four upcards and one down card. The betting format is similar to the fourth street, and if there are more than two players still in the hand, the game proceeds to a showdown. In showdown, it is the first player to show his hand will be the last person to show strength with a raise or bet. Here, all the five cards are used, and the player holding the best poker hand claims the pot. If there be a tie including two or more players, the pot is split equally.

The rules are nearly the same for all the five card stud poker variants such as Mexican Stud, Canadian Stud, Telesina, Crocodile Stud, Asian Five Card Stud etc.