How to Play Five Card Stud

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Five Card Stud is a classic and popular variation of poker that has been played for generations. It's a straightforward game with simple rules, making it an ideal choice for beginners who want to learn how to play poker. In this game, players have to make the best possible hand using five cards, with no community cards.

Basic Rules to Five Card Stud

Here are the basic rules of Five Card Stud:

  1. The game starts with each player placing an ante in the pot to start the hand.
  2. Each player is dealt two cards, one face down (hole card) and one face up (door card). The player with the lowest door card must place a "bring-in" bet, which is usually half the size of the minimum bet for the game.
  3. After the first betting round, the dealer deals each player another card face up.
  4. Another round of betting takes place, starting with the player who has the best hand showing. The betting continues in a clockwise direction.
  5. The dealer deals each player another card face up, and another betting round ensues.
  6. The dealer deals each player another card face up, followed by the final round of betting.
  7. The remaining players show their cards and the player with the best hand wins the pot. In case of a tie, the pot is split equally between the tied players, with any odd amount going to the player nearest the 'D' button's left.
  8. In some variations of Five Card Stud, there may be a wild card, which can be any card the dealer chooses. In this case, the wild card can be used to make the best possible hand.

Five Card Stud Betting Structure

The stakes being offered at a particular table determines the limit or maximum bet on any player's turn. For example, at a $1-$2 table, the limit on any bet is $1 on the first two betting rounds and $2 on the final two betting rounds. We allow one bet and 3 raises in our card room.

Noteworthy: The betting action of the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the table structure. The exception of this rule is when a player shows a pair after the 3rd street. All players have the option to bet the higher limit for the second round of betting. If a player does bet the higher limit, subsequent bets must also be at the higher limit. The last two rounds of betting are at the higher limit.

Fun Fact: When the WSOP first began in 1970, the most popular game in the poker world was, arguably, five-card stud. Made famous in the Steve McQueen film Cincinnati Kid, the variant had a short-lived stint at the WSOP, occurring only three times.

Important Points to Remember About Five Card Stud

  • Unlike in Texas Hold'em, there are no community cards in Five Card Stud. Players are solely responsible for making the best possible hand using the cards they have been dealt.
  • If a player decides to fold at any point during the game, they forfeit any money they have already put in the pot.
  • If there are not enough cards left in the deck to deal to all remaining players, a single community card is placed face up in the center of the table. This card can be used by all players to make the best possible hand.

Five Card Stud is a game that can be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced players alike. It's a simple game that allows players to focus on their own hand rather than worrying about the actions of their opponents. With these basic rules, anyone can start playing and enjoy the excitement of Five Card Stud.


Read More: This Player Defeated a Field of 1 to Win a WSOP Bracelet


Five Card Stud at the WSOP

Bill Boyd, who is generally considered the best five-card stud player of all time and enshrined in the Poker Hall of Fame in 1981 amazingly took down all three Five Card Stud events held at the WSOP.

Interestingly, the WSOP website lists Boyd as winning the $10,000 Limit 5-Card Stud event in 1973. According to their site, Boyd won $10,000, which was the amount of the buy-in, and lists the event as having one entry, suggesting Boyd was awarded a bracelet just for entering, although this could not be confirmed.

GameEntrantsWinner (prize)
1971 $1,000 Limit 5-Card StudunknownBill Boyd ($10,000)
1973- $10,000 Limit 5-Card Stud1Bill Boyd ($10,000)
1974- $5,000 Limit 5-Card Stud8Bill Boyd ($40,000)

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