How To Play Five Card Stud Poker
Five Card Stud is similar to Five Card Draw, the difference being that you do not ever get a chance to replace cards in your hand and therefore do not get a chance to improve that hand. As in Seven Card Stud you get a hole card and 4 open cards for all to see.
Most versions play the final card as a community card. Since there is no chance to improve your hand, the winning hands tend to be either pairs or high cards and it is hard to string people along to the final street. Some variations on Five Card Stud alleviate this by making the last card a pocket card allowing for some raises.
The hand starts with the dealer handing each player 2 cards. First cards dealt are a hole card and then the dealer follows up with an open card for each player. Wagering then begins, usually with the high open card going first and then following clockwise. This continues until betting is over. These are the first two “Streets”.
The dealer then hands out a third card, which is another open card. This is followed by another round of betting. Betting begins again with the highest open card opening and continues until there are no more bets made. Then it is time for the Fourth Street.
Again the dealer hands out an open card, which is then followed by another round of betting. Betting again continues until all call and then it is on to the Fifth Street.
The Fifth Street is the final card. Usually this is an open card but some variations play this as a hole or pocket card to make the game more interesting. This variation creates more uncertainty about which cards your opponent’s hole cards could be and allows for more interesting betting opportunities. Bluffs and more creative betting make this variation more interesting than four straight open cards.
Another variation is to have both the first and second cards remain hole cards, for much the same reasons as making the fifth card a hole card. The problem with having only the first card as a hole card is that even beginning players get a feel for the odds of any particular player having a better hand than theirs, based on their open cards. Therefore it is difficult to have an interesting hand of cards as betting tends to be rather a bit more conservative as a result.