5 Card Stud

5 Card Stud is often referred to as the grandfather of online poker games, and is often considered more sophisticated than Texas Hold'em because of the betting structure. Poker players are dealt five cards throughout the course of the hand, and the best five-card hand is used to determine the winner. 

Starting the game

Instead of blinds, in a game of Stud, all poker players have to put an ante into the pot to get the betting started. Their size is dictated by the table limits, e.g. on a $5 / $10 table, there is an ante of 50c. Likewise, on a $10 / $20 table, the ante would be $1.

Dealing the cards

To begin the starting hand each poker player receives in turn from the dealer two cards, the first is dealt face down (known as a pocket card) then a card is dealt face up. After these cards have been dealt, the first round of betting occurs, beginning with the "bring-in".

The bring-in

The poker player with the lowest showing door card must post the "bring-in", a mandatory initial bet of usually half the smaller stake amount. So on a $10 / $20 table the bring-in would be $5.

The bring-in poker player has the option to increase this bet to the full small stake. If two players are showing the same door card, suit rankings decide which card is weakest. The ranks of the suits are (strongest to weakest): Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs.

When you play poker online, the following betting rounds can consist of one bet and have a maximum of three allowable raises, known as the "cap". So, if a bet is made, that bet can only be raised three times, after which all players must call, or fold. However, if only two poker players remain in the hand the cap is increased, to a maximum of five raises.

Third Street

After the Bring-In bets have all been called, each poker player is now dealt another face up card, called "Third Street." Now, the highest showing hand opens the betting round.

If a pair is showing for any hand on Third Street, that online poker player has the option of doubling their bet amount, and "raising the stake" for this betting round. Otherwise, Third Street bets and raises are limited to the small stake.

Forth Street

Another face up card is dealt to each player, and the high hand opens the betting round. For these last two rounds, the bet amount is now the higher stake.

Fifth Street

The final card is dealt to each player face up making a total of five cards in each hand. Now the final betting round begins, and as before, the highest showing hand starts the betting.

The Showdown

All the bets have been called, and it's time to pay the winner. The last poker player to bet or raise during the final betting round (the river) will show their hand first. If all the players checked through (nobody bet) on the river, the last player to have made a bet will be the first to show their cards.

The remaining online poker players' hands will be automatically revealed moving clockwise, unless a hand is weaker than the winning hand shown. In this case, you'll have the option to show, or muck. The best five-card hand takes the pot.


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