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Learn the poker rules for 5 card stud

Of the myriad poker rules, those for 5 card stud are probably the oldest in existence. When we see movie cowboys sitting down in a Wild West saloon over a glass of rye, 5 card stud is probably the game that results in a frantic shootout over a stashed ace.

Old-fashioned stud

Although it has been overtaken in popularity by faster games like Omaha or Texas, the poker rules for 5 card stud ensure it is an intriguing variant of the game, ideal for casual social games, or just as a break from relentless Texas sessions.

Initially each player is dealt one card face up and one card face down and the first round of betting commences. There are optional ways of deciding the opening bet; either the player with the lowest card showing betting an agreed minimum, or the player with the highest face up card choosing whether to bet or check.

Each player remaining is then dealt another card face up, followed by a round of betting. This continues until each player has four cards face up and one "in the hole". Order of betting depends on which player has the best hand showing on the table. Once betting is matched, players reveal their face-down cards.

Five card stud is probably the simplest form of poker and ideal for beginners. It introduces the principles and strategies important in other variants of the game. It is also the basis of several other forms of poker that use a similar combination of face up and "hole" cards.

Respect the game

Players who have spent a lot of time playing Texas or Omaha may be contemptuous of the rather basic poker rules of 5 card stud, but they should respect its potential complexities. Depending on the number of players, winning hands tend to be less spectacular, but concentration is imperative, or your chip stack can diminish rapidly.

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