Stud Poker - How to Play & Different Types

There are a quite a few different variations of Stud Poker, ranging from the obscure to the most popular 7 Card Stud. The most commonly played variant is the game of Seven Card Stud Poker, closely followed by other and more rarer variant of this same game Seven Card Stud Hi/Low Poker. Players may also find 5 Card Stud Poker at the biggest and most populated casinos.

The playing structure these variants are nearly identical, with the only difference being in the way you can win the game, in the Hi/Low variant there are in fact two different prizes to won be in each game played, and this is half of the value of the pot. This is common to all Hi/Low poker variations. The pot is equally shared out to the player who have the highest ranked hand and also to the player who has the lowest ranked poker hand.

Below is an overview of the game of Stud Poker, as well as an explanation of the Hi/Low variation. Before Texas Holdem had it's recent boost in popularity, Stud poker, especially 5 Card Stud was the most popular poker game.

Stud Poker Hi/Low

Just about every poker player is already very familiar with what the strongest ranked poker hands are. They are common to nearly every poker variation- which is why many players can be confused by Hi/Low variations. In order to clear that up, we'll list here the lowest ranked ones of this Hi/Low variants. The lowest five hands are as follows:

The 5, 4, 3, 2, A hand is the lowest ranked hand possible and then this is followed by the 6, 4, 3, 2, A hand. Next is the 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 hand and then there is the 7, 5, 4, 3, 2 hand, the fifth lowest ranked hand on this variant is the 7, 6, 5, 2, A hand.

Stud Poker Limit Game

Limit Game - Seven Card Stud Hi/Low poker games are Limit games. Five Card Stud is also often offered in Limit games. It is rare you will find No Limit or Pot Limit Stud, although they are sometimes offered.

Limit Poker simply means that every betting round players can only place wagers up to the maximum amount permitted at every stage of the game. For example, when taking part in a $2/$4 game of Stud Poker then the initial rounds will have a maximum permitted bet limit of $2, with the latter stages and betting rounds having their betting limits increased to $4 limits.

How to Play Stud Poker

Ante - No matter what version of Stud Poker you play, all players have to pay an Ante Bet before the first cards of the game are dealt. The amount of this starting bet is small and its sole purpose it to ensure there are funds in the pot as the game begins.

Third Street - The first three cards dealt in the game are called Third Street. In Seven Card Stud, every player is dealt thee cards, one card dealt face up while the next to are dealt face down. Five Card Stud players are dealt two face up cards and one face down. The face down cards are called the “hole” card(s).

The player with the lowest face up card has to place a wager to start the betting round. This bet is called the Bring In bet, and all other players take it in turn to place their bets clockwise around the table.

Fourth Street - Each player then gets dealt another card called the Fourth Street which is dealt face upwards, another round of betting is started by the player who is showing the highest ranked two card hand.

Fifth Street - The Fifth Street is where each players gets dealt another face up card, and the player who is showing the highest ranked hand starts this particular round of betting. In Five Card Stud, this is the final card dealt before the showdown.

Sixth Street - However, Seven Card Stud players get two more cards. Sixth Street is another face up card is dealt to each player and the player with the highest ranked poker hand showing is obliged to begin this round of betting.

Seventh Street - Seventh Street is where players get dealt their last card which is dealt face downwards, a final round of betting then takes place.

The Showdown - If after the final betting round more than one player is still in the game, it's time for the Showdown where players then reveal their hands in turn. When playing Five or Seven Card Stud, the winner is the highest ranked poker hand. When playing Hi/Lo, the pot is split with the player who has the lowest ranked poker hand. Each hand can only contain a total of five cards. This means in Seven Card Stud players can choose the best five cards to complete your final five card hand.