How to Play Stud Poker

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Poker


When you are interested in Poker, you have noticed many game variants. However, all games can be divided into two main types – Draw and Stud Poker. The main difference between the two types is that in Draw Poker, some of a player’s cards are known to the opponent at the finale.

Today, we are looking into the rules of 5 Card and 7 Card Stud Poker.

Basic Rules in 5 Card Poker

As you can find in general poker, the game’s object is to make the best five-card combination at the showdown.

Antes and Bring-in

Most likely, you are used to the concept of Small and Big Blinds like in Texas Hold’em. However, the five-card stud uses Antes and a Bring-in instead. Before each hand, players need to put in an Ante of any chosen amount. Generally, it’s a small fraction of the minimum bet.

After the Antes are placed, each player gets dealt two cards, one card faces up and one looks down. All cards are dealt clockwise, starting with the active player on the dealer’s immediate left.

The second of your hole cards is the door card in five cards poker. Now, the player with the lowest-ranking door card is in the position to post the Bring-in, which is usually half of the minimum bet.

First Betting Round

As mentioned before, the player with the lowest-ranking second card had to post the bring-in. However, this player can also decide to complete, which means to bet the total amount of the minimum bet.

After the first player makes a decision, the next active player on the left has the option to either call, raise or fold. All remaining players with an active hand have the same options.

It’s important to note that all raises in five cards poker must match the minimum bet, and the maximum number of total raises is capped at three. This means that at that point, the remaining players can only call.

Third Street

Following the initial betting round, another card is dealt. The betting interval of five cards poker requires the player with the best hand showing at that point to act by either checking (pass the action to the next player) or placing the minimum bet. Should this player have one pair showing, they can also make the big bet.

After the opening bet of this round is completed, betting commences clockwise around the table. All remaining active players can either check (if no one has bet or raised), bet (if the previous player chose to check), raise, or fold. Again, raises are capped at three.

Should a player bet or raise, and all other players fold, the player who bet or raised wins the hand without a showdown.

Fourth Street

The betting interval repeats itself in five cards poker as soon as the third street is completed. A fourth card is dealt – the so-called fourth street to all remaining players.

The big bet is always the opening betting size within the following betting rounds. Again, the player showing the best hand acts first with either check or bet, and the remaining players act clockwise with either check, bet, or raise.

Again, should a player bet or raise, and all other players fold, the player who bet or raised wins the hand without a showdown.

Fifth Street

After the fourth street is completed, the final and fifth card is dealt. In five-card poker, This card is known as the fifth street. Once again, the first player to start acting needs to use the big bet as the opening betting size before betting continues clockwise around the table.

Should two or more players make it through this final betting round without folding, a showdown commences, and each player reveals their hole cards face down.


The player with the best five-card combination wins the pot.

The poker hand rankings are identical with Texas Hold’em; therefore, you’ll find familiar combinations like two pairs, full house, four of a kind, and the strongest hands like the same suit straight flush and the same suit royal flush.


Play Seven Card Stud

Compared to 5 Card Poker, this version is played with two downcards and one upcard before the initial betting round. After the first round is completed, players get dealt three more cards face up with each new betting round and one more downcard.

After the final downcard is dealt, the best five-card combination wins the final pot.

The order of betting rounds is identical to the five cards version, with the small bet used on the first two betting rounds and the big bet used from the fifth card until all seven cards are dealt.

Poker Hand Rankings

The strength of poker hands differs from Texas Hold’em. For example, one pair of higher rank will often win the pot in hold’em poker. However, in 7-card poker, one pair is not a solid hand. The highest possible hand you can make is the same suit straight flush when using the standard pack.

The best possible starting hand in seven cards poker is ‘rolled up’ aces (e.g. AAA). It’s a solid hand with a high chance of winning. Generally, any rolled-up cards dealt put you in a powerful position.

The Wild Cards Variant

Seven Card Stud poker can also be played with additional wild cards, increasing the frequency of the higher hand rankings. The value of such a wild card is specified and agreed upon by the players and dealer beforehand.

An additional poker is added and replaces the same suit straight flush as the highest possible hand for hand rankings. Instead, a five-of-a-kind is the most substantial hand. This ranking occurs when at least one card is a wild one, a Joker.


Final thoughts

We now have introduced you to the more challenging way of how to play poker. You do not require the same actions and memory to play well in draw and Hold’em poker.

Therefore, if you are looking for the next challenge on your poker journey, why not give one of the Stud versions a shot?


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