Five card stud poker rules are often confused with the basic five card draw rule. There is, however, one significant difference between the two games. Unlike the rule of five card draw, five card stud rule states that you are not allowed to exchange any amount of cards in order to improve your hand.
Five card stud is the sister game to seven card stud and is played in a very similar fashion. In five card stud, players receive one hole card and four cards face up. Because players lack the opportunity to improve their hands by exchanging cards, five card stud poker hands tend to be weak. It is not uncommon to see a weak hand, such as ace high win, a pot.
Beginning a Five Card Stud Hand
The five card stud poker rule is to have the dealer give each player two cards, with the first face down and the second face up. The player with the highest exposed card must begin the first betting round by posting a bring in or completing the bet, just as in seven card stud poker. The betting then moves in a clockwise direction around the table.
Five Card Draw – Third Street
The dealer burns a card, then gives each player another card face up. Now, the player with the highest hand showing is the first to act. A round of betting occurs and we move on to fourth street.
Five Card Draw – Fourth Street
The dealer burns another card and passes each player one more card face up. The player with the highest hand showing begins the betting. After betting has ended, we move on to fifth street.
Five Card Draw – Fifth Street
Depending on the five card stud rule set by the person running the game, fifth street is either dealt face up (typically) or dealt face down. When fifth street is dealt face down it causes the game to be much more interesting because of the ambiguity of the identity of the last card. More creative betting and bluffing are common when the card is concealed.
Five Card Draw – Showdown
After fifth street betting finishes, players show their hands to each other. The best five card hand wins the pot.
Five Card Stud Variations
Other variations of the five card stud rule include facing the first and second cards face down then facing the rest up. It helps stir up action during the beginning of the hand and keeps players from having an overload of information on their opponents.