Five Card Stud

March 12, 2011 by Dan Brown in Five Card Stud
Tara Rice - Stud Poker Player

Tara Rice - Stud Poker Player

Variety might well be the spice of life (maybe not married life) so take a look at some of the other games out there in the big bad world of Poker, and Five Card Stud is a great place to start. The grand old man of poker originated during the American Civil War, and it’s still a pleasure to play (even if you’re not tired of Texas Holdem Poker). Although it’s nowhere near as popular as Hold’Em which is clear from its conspicuous absence from the World Series of Poker it’s still a great game. Oddly enough this game tends to be more popular over in Europe, for some reason it’s a popular game in Finland where a variant called Sökö can often be found being played (quite possibly in saunas).

The basics first off; the round begins with each player being dealt one card (face down), followed by one card (face up). If the game is being played with a bring-in, the player with the lowest-ranking visible card must pay the bring in, before betting proceeds from his action.  After the first betting round, played like any normal poker round, a second face-up card is dealt to each player  (you know have 2 cards face up and 1 face down). Betting begins again with the player who has the best poker hand (on his two up cards). This second round of betting is followed by another (third) upcard to each player and a third betting round. In subsequent rounds the player who has to open the round changes to whoever now has the best hand (based on his upcards). Finally, a fourth face-up card and fourth betting round, and now you (and everyone else) has five cards one face down, four face up. Therefore you can have a really good idea what someone might have, yet still is agonizingly illusive. Then you have a showdown, it’s not usually necessary as most 5 Card Stud games end before the showdown as players tend to fold earlier on.

On the pro side it’s a much faster game than most poker variants as so few games go down to a showdown, playing stud online you can manage dozens of hands an hour, if you find a decent site. This rapid turn means that you can wait for quality starting hands, and when you don’t get them there’s not that long to wait for the next hand. The next big plus is that it’s a simple game to learn and you don’t have a chance to get confused with communal cards, or excessive rules. Finally it’ a game where a little skill goes along way, so you can make plenty of cash if you find yourself at a table with people who are more used to Hold ‘Em.

The best way to play Five Card Stud is to have quite a quiet strategy, remember that Five Card Stud is mostly a game of HIGH CARDS and PAIRS. I wouldn’t recommend starting with anything less than a pair or at least one lively card. As a general rule; don’t go chasing straights and flushes, also Aces in the hole are never as cool as they sound. Fold if you’ve not made at least a pair in your first three cards and (almost) always fold if you’re beat on the board (the board rarely lies). As you’ve only got one down card, it’s a lot easier than most poker games to work out opponents’ hands. Pay close attention to how they each play.

Sometimes a change is as good as rest – poker should be as varied as life.

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1 Comment »

  • Five card stud was a game I liked. I new a man that won alot money in the 1950s and early 1960s.I played in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Alot, then the game died out

    Comment by randall bly — May 2, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

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