The rules for 5 Card Stud are nearly identical to those for 7 Card Stud except that in 5 Card Stud each player is initially dealt only one face down card instead of two, three cards are dealt one at a time face up instead of four, there is no final down card, and there is no option to select five of seven cards to make the final hand. In 5 Card Stud, you get five cards total and that’s your hand. Those are the only differences.
1. Players ante (small forced bets that ensure action in every pot).
2. The Deal - each player gets one card face down and one card face up.
3. 1st round of betting (starting with the player with lowest ranking face up card).
4. Each player is dealt one more card face up.
5. 2nd round of betting (starting with the player with the best hand showing).
6. Each player is dealt one more card face up.
7. 3rd round of betting (starting with the player with the best hand showing).
8. Each player is dealt a final card face up.*
9. 4th round of betting (starting with the player with the best hand showing).
10. The Showdown.
* Notice in Step #8 above it says, "face up". Many games of 5 Card Stud have this final card dealt face down. Make sure you know which version of the game you'd be playing before you throw your money in. Whether this final card is dealt face up or down can, and should, definitely affect one’s playing strategy. Essentially, more bluffing is possible, and likely, when this final card is dealt face down.
The player with the lowest ranking card showing must open the betting, and usually this player is not permitted to check or fold. All subsequent players in that round of betting may then either call, raise, or fold. After the next card is dealt, and for the remainder of the game, the first player to bet is the one with the best hand showing at that time and this player may check if they wish.
The following are some interesting and exciting versions of 5 Card Stud you may find in your travels:
Mexican Rollover: Two cards are initially dealt to each player face down, and the player chooses which one to expose (turn face up). Each subsequent card is also dealt face down and each time it’s up to the individual player which card they will expose.
Chicago: At the Showdown, the player with the highest spade in the Hole (face down) wins half the pot. Thus an Ace of Spades in the Hole is sure to win at least half the pot.
Lowball Stud: Same as 5 Card Stud except that the worst hand wins. See our article outlining rules for Lowball for more details.
Push: After each player gets a Hole card, the first player to the dealer's left gets a card face up which they may either keep or pass to the player to their left. They are then dealt a new face up card that they are required to keep. The player to their left may now either keep the card that was passed to them or pass it along in turn to their left. Play continues like this until each player has an up card. The last player in sequence, if wishing to pass on the up card that was passed to them, simply discards it and is dealt a new up card. Remember, any player passing on the first up card dealt to them in each round must keep the second (replacement) up card dealt to them that round. After a round of betting, play continues in this fashion until all players have five cards. Push is often played with a high-low split, meaning the best hand and the worst hand split the pot evenly.
Pig Stud: Played like 5 Card Stud except with three down cards and two up cards. After the fourth round of betting, instead of a Showdown, players may draw new cards if they wish, replacing down cards with down cards and up cards with up cards. Then there is a fifth, and final, round of betting and the Showdown.