Poker: How To Play 5 Card Stud

What is 5 Card Stud?
5 Card Stud is the earliest form of the card game stud poker, originating during the American Civil War. In the classic 1965 film The Cincinnati Kid, 5 stud is the game played by "the Kid" (Steve McQueen) and "the Man" heads-up.

How is it played?
5 Card Stud starts with each player being dealt two cards; one card face down, followed by one card face up. There is then a 'bring in' (more on that later) and a betting round. Another card is dealt to the remaining player(s) face up. In 5 Card Stud the betting rounds are typically referred to as 'Streets' from this point onwards, so the fourth card would be 'Fourth Street', and the Fifth card 'Fifth Street' and so on until the final card. Each street is followed by a betting round.

Play continues until a total of five cards have been dealt, with the initial card still face down, and the other four face up. There is one final betting round after this last face up card has been dealt. After this the cards are turned up and the best hand takes the pot.

What are the blinds like?
Unlike Hold'em, you do not have blinds. Instead, all players put in a equal amount of money before the cards are dealt, called the 'ante'.

What exactly is the 'bring in'?
Once all players have posted their antes, they are all dealt two cards, with the first card being dealt face down. The next card is dealt face up, and the lowest one showing is forced to make a bet to start off the action. This 'bring in' bet is typically a quarter of the size of the early street betting, and the bring in player also has the option of just making a standard raise if they so choose.

How much can I bet during the game?
Stud is a limit game, which means your betting is restricted to certain amounts on each street (in stud players typically refer to the action in 'streets', so if on the fifth card players would be on 'fifth street'). Usually the betting will be in small units for the first two streets, and will then double for all subsequent cards.

Who plays first?
As Stud has no blinds, the position is dictated by the strength of the hands showing. Although the low card showing has to bring in on the first round of betting, all subsequent streets of betting are kicked off by the high hand showing.

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