Five Card Stud Poker - The Basics

Five Card Stud Poker, or 5 Card Stud Poker, is the earliest avatar of Stud Poker, and is believed to have been originated during the American Civil War period. Historians credit both sides of the conflict to have played their part in popularizing the game in America . As of now, its different variants are played all across the globe, even though 'five card' form is more or less dethroned by seven card stud poker and Texas Holdem in most casinos in the US .

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As the name indicates, Five Card Stud Poker is played with five cards, dealt one at a time. Here is how it is played. The 5 Card Stud Poker begins with each player being dealt one card down the hole card - followed by one card up. The card is issued starting from the left of the dealer.

If there is bring-in, the player with the lowest ranking upcard should pay the bring-in. Betting starts only after that. The betting begins with the player showing the lowest card by suit - spades (highest), heart, diamonds, and clubs (lowest) with a forced bet of half the lower limit. The next player, to the left, has the next turn to challenge the bet, call, or fold, and so on until all the players are finished. 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 the first betting round of Five Card Stud Poker is over, the players are dealt another face-up card (after the burn card that is useless). Betting now starts with the player whose upcards constitutes the best poker hand (no flushes, straights or full houses). From this round onwards, the player who acts first can check or bet until the game's upper limit. However, if a player bets at the higher limit, in the subsequent rounds as well, the betting limit must be also at the higher limit. One can't come down once a player once bets at the higher limit. From the foregoing, it is clear that the betting limit will be the highest in the last two rounds.

The second betting round of Five Card Stud Poker is followed by dealing a third upcard to the players, and the betting again begins with the player whose upcards constitutes the best poker hand. Therefore, it is imperative that the first player to act in each round will change. Post the fourth betting round similarly done - is the showdown, but that happens rarely. In most cases, the game ends even before that when a player bets and receives no calls. However, if a showdown indeed takes place, it is the first player to show his hand will be the last person to show strength with a raise or bet. In showdown, all the five cards are used, and the player holding the best poker hand claims the pot. If there be a tie, the pot is split.

Around the world, the five card stud poker is played in different variants Mexican Stud, Canadian Stud, Telesina, Crocodile Stud, Asian Five Card Stud etc to name a few.