5 Card Stud Poker

5 Card Stud was introduced at some time during the American Civil War and was one of the most popular games of the time. However, since the gradual increase in popularity of other variations such as Omaha and Texas Holdem, 5 Card Stud has seen a noticeable drop in popularity - particularly at online poker sites. Until 1975, 5 Card Stud was a major game played in the World Series of Poker. However, as entries began to drop, the game began to be left out of the major tournament after 1974. 5 Card Stud does maintain some popularity as a favored game in some regions of the world, particularly Finland where a variation of the game is played called Soko (roughly translated as I check).

5 Card Stud Rules

The most common type of 5 Card Stud play is fixed limit but no limit and pot limit games can be played. It is also possible to play 5 Card Stud Hi-Lo but this variation is usually not effective and is very rare - nonexistent at online poker sites. 5 Card Stud frequently includes the use of an ante that players must post before receiving their cards but this rule is sometimes not used. Some 5 Card Stud games will also include an obligatory wager before any action that must be placed by the person seated on the left hand side of the dealer. Neither of these wagers are required in all 5 Card Stud games but are often included in order to increase the speed of the game.

How to Play 5 Card Stud

If there are obligatory wagers, the payment of these wagers begins play. Each player in the game receives a two cards - one face up and one face down. Should the bring in wager apply, the player that holds the face up card with the lowest value is responsible for that bet. If there is no such wager, the player with the face up card of the highest value is the first player to act. Regardless of whether or not there is such a wager, play continues to the left from the first acting player, making up the first betting round. Following this round, a third card is dealt to each player - face up. The first player to make a betting decision is the player with the best hand where only the face up cards are concerned.

Each of the remaining cards are dealt followed by a betting round each, resulting in 4 face up cards and 1 face down card. Following the final betting round, there is a showdown between the players that are still in the hand. One variety of 5 Card Stud is popular in Finland and also called Canadian Stud. Straights and Flushes are uncommon in 5 Card Stud. Canadian Stud remedies this problem by adding a 4 card straight valued just above a pair and a 4 card flush valued higher than the 4 card straight. However, two pairs are considered higher than the flush. Other varieties include similar rules to make the game more competitive. These varieties include Asian Five Card Stud and Shifting Sands.

5 Card Stud Strategy

5 Card Stud is often governed by an aggressive play strategy. In fact, few hands in the game actually result in a showdown. This is largely because the relative strength of a 5 Card Stud hand is generally quite easy to determine as there is only one card that is hidden to the rest of the players at the table. Most strategists will recommend folding hands that consist of less than a pair in value during the first three cards. By its nature, 5 Card Stud is a game variety where bluffing is less powerful and less common. Typically, only small elements of a hand's strength are hidden from the rest of the table.