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Home > How to Play 5 Card Stud Poker >

5 Card Stud Poker


Number of Players: 2 to 8

Five Card Stud is the original stud poker game. Its popularity was unsurpassed until the invention of Seven Card Stud early in the Twentieth Century. But it is still a very popular game, especially among the purists at heart.


Ante An amount determined by the poker rooms that each player puts in the pot before receiving cards. The amount of the ante varies with the game stakes. There is no ante in $0.50/$1.00 games.
Bring-in A small beginning bet required from the player with the lowest exposed card by suit.

Betting Structure (Example for $10/$20 game)

Ante Bring-in 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round
$1 $5 $10 !0/$20* $20 $20

*When a pair is showing.

Starting a Game

To begin playing Five Card Stud, you place an ante on the table. The amount of the ante varies with the stakes of the game. There is no ante in $0.50/$1.00 games.

Each player is then dealt two cards; one face down and one face up. The player with the lowest face-up card by suit starts the betting with a bring-in bet that is half the lower full bet. Subsequent players may then either fold, call or raise the amount to a full bet.

Second Round

Another card is then dealt, face up, to all players at the table. Another round of betting begins. The player who has the highest combination of cards showing acts first and may either bet or check. If two players are showing equal cards, the one nearest the dealer's left acts first. If a player is showing a pair, any player may opt to bet at the higher limit in which case all subsequent calls and raises must be at the higher limit.

Third Round

Another card is then dealt, face up, to all players at the table. Another round of betting begins with the player who has the highest combination of cards showing. Bets are at the higher limit.

Fourth Round

With all the cards dealt, one down and four up to each active player, a final round of betting begins. When the betting is finished players show their hole cards and the highest five-card hand wins the pot.

A final round of betting ensues, ending in the showdown.

Players have four exposed and three hidden cards by this point. They then create the best five-card hand from their total of seven cards.

Note: Occasionally (rarely), there will not be enough cards left in the deck to deal everyone an individual seventh card. In this event, the dealer will turn up one card on the table that is common to all remaining active players.


  • Watch your opponents' exposed cards. Not only can you see when you are on a losing hand and fold early, you can also see if any cards that you need are already taken by someone else.
  • Trying to make straights and flushes in 5 Card Stud can be very expensive and risky - it hardly ever happens. Staying with low connectors or low suited cards is usually a losing play.