Poker Variations – Part Two – Five Card Stud

Five card stud is not a particularly old game compared to some of the more ancient varieties of card play but it is the earliest form of stud poker and can be reliably dated back to the American Civil War (1861-1865).  It’s current waning popularity can be clearly seen in it’s omission from the World Series of Poker but it’s still a popular game in many countries around the world.  Like other forms of poker is has also been given a boost in recent years by the proliferation and popularity of online casinos.

It’s an appealing game and it’s not difficult to understand it’s appeal which endured for many years.  So let’s have a look at the rules.

The aim of the game, as with other poker variants, is to obtain the best hand according to general poker hand rankings.  With five card stud, the player is betting also on the likelihood of their hand winning in the end.  One player is the dealer and the game begins by dealing two cards to each participant, one face-up and one face-down.  A bring-in can be used in five card stud and this is a compulsory bet amount, similar to a blind. The player chosen to lay the bring-in is the one with the lowest ranking face-up card.

A round of betting now begins, the interesting aspect of the game being that players can all see each others hand except for one card.  When the first round is complete the dealer removes the top card from the deck (this is the burn card) and then proceeds to deal another face-up card to each player.  The next round of betting then starts and the first player to bet is the one with the highest ranking face-up hand.  Play continues in this fashion until all players have four face-up cards and the showdown can begin.  In practice though the game is usually over in an earlier round and the showdown is rarely necessary.

It’s popularity was enshrined in several movies including The Cincinnati Kid in 1965 and here’s the final scene:

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