Stud Poker: Five-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud

Learn the rules and strategies for winning at the card game called Stud Poker.
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Stud Poker: Five-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud

Stud Poker can be played with seven to nine people, but is best played with two or four. A standard 52-card deck is used.

In Five-Card Stud the dealer can be chosen in the same way you choose a dealer in Straight Poker. After you have established who will deal, the dealer gives each player one card face-down (the “hole” card) and one card face-up. The rest of the deck is laid aside and the betting begins.

After the bets have been equalized in the first betting interval, the dealer gives each player another face-up card (excluding any player that folded in the first interval). There is another betting round after the second deal. The bets are equalized and a third card is dealt to any remaining, active players. This continues for a fourth deal until each player has five cards in front of him or her. There is one more betting round, after which the showdown takes place. Each player turns up his or her hole card. The highest hand wins.


There is no ante in Stud Poker unless all players agree to one. In the first betting interval, the player with the highest face-up card must place a bet. If two players have the same high card, then the player closest to the dealer's left must bet first. In each subsequent betting interval, the person with the highest-ranking poker hand showing chooses the first player to bet. You do not have to bet after the first interval.

High Score

It is the dealer's responsibility to point out the first bettor by saying (if the highest card is a King, for example): “First King bets.” The dealer should also point out a player's ranking combinations. For example if a player is showing three Spades, the dealer should point to that hand and say “possible flush.”

There is usually a betting limit in the first three betting intervals of Stud Poker. In the final interval, the stakes are usually raised. It is also customary to raise the limit in an earlier interval if one player is showing a pair.

Checking is permitted as long as no one has placed a bet before you.

When you fold, you should place your face-up cards down and do not reveal your hole card.

Seven-Card Stud

In Seven-Card Stud, each player is dealt three cards before the first betting interval: two face-down and one face-up. You then have your first betting interval. After the first betting interval is complete and the pot is equalized, one card is dealt to each player face-up.

There are three more rounds after the first deal (of one card face-up), each round is followed by a betting interval. After the fourth interval of betting is over and the pot equalized, one more card is dealt face-down to each player that has not yet folded—and one more betting interval takes place. This time, after the pot is equalized, the showdown takes place. At this point, each player turns over the three face-down cards and selects five cards from his or her hand to make the highest possible Poker combination. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

So, now you're ready to play Poker. Ready, set, bet!