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5 Card Stud - the oldest Stud Poker variant now in online casinos

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Let the poker thrill beginn

Five Card Stud is the oldest Stud Poker variant and has been in existence since the American Civil War (mid 19th century). In this poker game, there are four rounds in which cards are dealt; in the first round each player is dealt two cards and in the following three rounds all players are only dealt one card.

The very first card is dealt face down, all others face up. In Five Card Stud, there are no community cards; this means that players can guess their opponents’ hands very well. Due to this, the last card is hardly ever dealt in a heads-up game and the showdown may not even be reached in many cases because one of the players already leaves the game beforehand. There can be up to ten players in a Five Card Stud game and usually the game is played with a pot limit. If you want to play Five Card Stud online, we recommend doing so at Ladbrokes Poker. Who gets to this popular casino directly from here receives a special welcome bonus. Fair enough? Sure!

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First 5 Card Stud steps

Each player has to pay an ante before the first cards are dealt. Since there are no blinds in this poker variant, without the ante there would be no money in the pot. As soon as every player has paid the ante, each player (beginning with the first player to the left of the dealer) is dealt one hole card face down and another card face up.


The first round of betting

Now the player with the highest ranking upcard has to pay the so-called ‘bring-in’ (should two players have the highest ranking card, suit is used to break the tie – clubs before diamonds, hearts and spades). As soon as the bring-in is paid, each player (starting with the player to the left of the bring-in) may fold, call or raise (In a fixed limit game – which is very rare for Five Card Stud – the player with the lowest-ranking card would have to start betting).

3rd, 4th, 5th Street

At the so-called 3rd street, every player is dealt another card face up. Now, again, the player with the highest-ranking upcard must begin the betting. Every player is dealt another upcard and once again, the player with the highest-ranking hand has to start betting. Again, all players are dealt one card face up and yet again, the player with the highest-ranking open hand begins betting.


In case there is more than one player left in the game now, the showdown takes place after the 5th street (as already mentioned above, a showdown in Five Card Stud is highly unusual because players can see four out of five of their opponents’ cards, which makes it easy to see who has the better hand). The player with the best hand wins the pot; the player who has bet last, has to reveal his hand first.

Information about poker basics


If you do not like the cards you were dealt, you have the opportunity to discard (fold) them and thus leave the current round of the game. Should you be the big or small blind or should you have called someone’s bet already, you lose that money. Apart from that though, since you have folded, you cannot lose any more money during that round.


If you want to keep your cards and stay in the game, you can, for example, check. This means that nobody before you has placed a bet yet and that you do not either. Now the player after you has the opportunity to check as well or to place a bet. If any of the players in the round bet, you need to – as soon as it is your turn – decide whether you fold, call or raise.


To call means that, in case a player before you has placed a bet, you bet the same amount as he does; you call his bet.

Bet and raise/re-raise – according to the limit

If you find you have been dealt decent cards, you can bet a certain amount of money on your hand being the winning hand. If a player before you has already placed a bet, you can raise his bet. Depending on the betting structure, the amounts you can bet or by which you may raise are fixed.

  • Fixed limit: On a $ 5 / $ 10 table you may bet $ 5 in the first two betting rounds and up to $ 10 in the last two. In each round, players may bet once and raise three times (bet, raise, re-raise and again re-raise or ‘cap’). After three rounds of betting, the so-called cap is reached, this means that in this betting round, no more betting can take place. In this case the next card is dealt – or if it was the last round – the showdown begins.
  • No limit: Here the betting structure follows these rules: each player may bet all the money he has on the table, regardless of the size of the pot. As a rule, the minimum bet has to at least equal the amount of the big blind and if you decide to raise, your raise must at least equal that of the player before you.
  • Pot limit: In a pot limit game, a player may bet a sum between the minimum bet and the total size of the pot. In a $ 5 / $ 10 pot limit game, the small blind is $ 5 and the big blind $ 10. The first player could call the big blind (i.e. $ 10 in this case) or raise to any amount up to the total pot size. The raise has to either equal or exceed the previous bet. So in this case, the maximum possible raise would be $ 25 ($ 5 small blind, $ 10 big blind and $ 10 the call) which means that player #3 may actually bet a total of $ 35. So should player #3 raise the pot limit, the total amount in the pot would then be $ 50.

    Now if the next player (let’s say player #4) wants to continue playing, he has to at least call the $ 35, i.e. the bet player #3 has made. Should player #4 want to raise (up) to the pot limit he would have to put $ 120 into the pot. That is the total pot size ($ 50) plus the maximum raise of $ 70 ($ 35 call + $ 35 raise). The number of betting rounds per hand is not limited and in each round calling and raising continues until every player has either called or folded his cards.


If you have a good hand, you might feel the thrill of risking everything and winning the pot, a thrill doubled by the possibility of losing everything.  Another possibility would be that a player goes all-in to bluff and merely signal that he has a good hand, in order to make the other players fold and win himself the pot. Apart from the situation described above, players could also go all-in for the following reason: In case a player lacks the necessary amount of chips to call or finish a hand but has good cards and wants to stay in the game anyway, he does not have to fold. The player can also go all-in; in doing so he bets all of his chips (even if they are not sufficient to cover the sum he would actually need to call) and can stay in the game, though without being able to act any further. All the money that is in the pot up until the point when the player goes all-in is what the player can win. All money put into the pot after he went all-in is put into a separate pot (‘side pot’). Should the player who is all-in win the showdown, he wins the main pot, whereas the side pot goes to the player with the second best hand. When a player goes all-in and his fellow players decide to call his bet, they obviously have to call the sum he bet.

Learning by doing

Even after the best of explanations, you still need to practice. We have put together extensive reviews of the best schools to show you where you can practice your game. When first starting out, online poker can seem very fast-paced and confusing, so we recommend you use some kind of external player aid to avoid mistakes. We at BonusBonusBonus have tested and reviewed the best strategy programs and external player aids for you.

Betsafe A short history of Five Card Stud

This poker variant was created during the American Civil War and is the oldest Stud Poker variant. Just like its relative, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud lost a lot of its popularity due to the rise of Texas Hold’em Poker. The fact that Five Card Stud has not been played at the WSOP in a long time has also damaged its standing a great deal as well. Most casinos now prefer Texas Hold’em and Seven Card Stud over Five Card Stud. Five Card Stud was last played at the WSOP in 1974 and today it is mostly a popular home game. The Five Card Stud champion of 1974 was Bill Boyd, who died in 1997 and had won a total of four WSOP bracelets in the course of his career – all four of them in Five Card Stud games.


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