How to Play 5 Card Stud

There was a time when five-card stud reigned supreme and was considered ‘the’ game ever since the time of the American Civil War, and all the way to the classic hits as the Cincinnati Kid 5 where the Kid is played by Steve McQueen and this earliest form of poker is massively enjoyed.

Formerly all poker games had been ‘closed’, meaning that all cards were known to the player only, but this practises changed with an ‘open’ game like stud poker. The whole idea was to change the concept of the game since this way, players could be more aware of other players’ strengths, and weaknesses and act accordingly. Since poker is a five card game, it is understandable that the earliest form of poker is the five card stud. Let’s move on to the rules. 

Place the Ante

As you are most familiar with the fact, the Ante represents a small portion of the total bet contributed by all players in the game to seed the pot. However, this term is no longer used in most of Hold ’em tournaments, and it has been replaced with the following term: blinds. 

This term is used when playing 5 Card Stud, and the size of Ante should be determined long before the game starts. Once the amount is determined, the dealer shuffles the face-up and the face-down cards, and distributes them to the player left of him; and the game can begin.

Place the Bring-in

This term is usually used when players have to make a ‘forced bet’, and the player needs to make this bet if he is dealt with the weakest face-up card. 

A player can choose to place the bring-in in two ways:

The first way includes that one who has the weakest face-up cards; he should put a smaller bet.

Another way to do this is to follow the other rules of bring-ins — no player has to be forced to make a bet, but the player with the strongest hand has to place a bet. If two players have the same value of hands, the player closest to the dealer needs to make a bet and place the first bring-in.

The Deal

The gameplay of the 5 Card Stud is rather simple and easy to understand; each player will be dealt with two cards — one card face down, followed by another card face up — the dealer will deal with the player left of the dealer button, and then clockwise direction around the table. After the two hole cards are dealt with everyone at the table, the round of betting, more known as ‘bring in bet,’ can begin. The player with the lowest card suit dealt has to start the action at the table. This is also known as the ‘forced bet’, and players must bet half of the original limit. For instance, if you are playing for $5-$10, the first ‘forced bet’ would be $2.50. It is important to note that during the first round, the ranking by suit is crucial for determining the strength of the player’s hand, however, after the initial deal and the betting round — it is no longer a factor. 

The Third Street

This is the part when the third card is dealt, and the course the dealer will be dealing clockwise around the table this time too. This one is dealt face up, and during this phase of the game, more known as the Third Street, the betting round must be initiated by the player who has the strongest face-up card at the moment. All players follow his move, and they move on to the next phase. 

The Fourth Street

At this point, players are dealt with the fourth card, but at this phase, the dealer is not burning a card as he does in ‘flop’ games. The opener on Fourth Street is the player with the highest hands of his open cards. The one who has the highest hand calls CHECK — passing his bet to the subsequent player — or bet. It is important to note that this is the first stage where are bet is at the low limit. We will use an example for this one: 

If your bet is $10, the rest of the players need to place the same amount in the pot or fold, and the second round of betting will be finished.

The Fifth Street

This is the final stage of the game when the players complete their hands. The ones who haven’t folded will have one card face down, and the rest of them face up. In the rest round of betting, players need to turn over their cards and reveal the fifth mystery card. The last aggressor to the pot is an obligation to show his card before the rest of the opponents; this move is followed by ‘showdown’ in which is decided which poker hand is the winning one, and the player in question wins the pot. After the pot is awarded, the new game of Five Card Draw is ready to be played again.

If there is an outcome in which two or more hands have the same value, the rules state that the pot is equally shared among two players.


This is the game that many people have fond memories of since many people grew up watching this game on TV, or playing around the kitchen table. 

5 Card Draw has been around for such a long time, and no matter if it’s played in home games more than in casino venues, this game remains one of the simplest versions of poker and players’ first introduction to the game of poker. 

Even though Texas Hold ’em occupied the first place in the hearts of millions worldwide, 5 Card Stud remains the ancestor of all poker games, with its easy-to-comprehend rules and rapid pace gameplay. 

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