5 Card Stud Poker is possibly one of the easiest games to beat – provided you know what you are doing! With all five dealt cards counting towards the final hand, flushes and straights are not as “easy” to get as with the 7 card version of the game and, in order to win money at 5 Card Stud, it is important to know that more hands are won with a high card or pair than any other combination. Understanding your pot odds and implied odds is more important in 5 Card Stud Poker than in any other discipline of the game.
How to Play 5 Card Stud Poker
Players in a game of 5 Card Poker pay an ante to be dealt just two cards – the first face down, and the second face up. Similar to 7 Card Stud, the player with the lowest value card showing in the first round of betting pays a “bring in” equivalent to half the small blind or can bet the full small blind. Action in the later rounds of betting starts with the player showing the highest open card combination. Play follows in a clockwise motion around the table, until each bet has been called or the maximum of three raises has been reached.
When the initial round of betting is completed, a third card is dealt face up to each player remaining in the hand and a further round of betting takes place. Big blinds are introduced after the fourth card has been dealt (so in a $1.00/$2.00 game of 5 Card Stud Poker, betting during the first two rounds is conducted in units of $1.00 and in rounds three and four units of $2.00 are used) and the final card is dealt face up – unlike in 7 Card Stud Poker – so each player has four cards face up and just their first card hidden.
Winning hands are determined by standard hand hierarchy with no distinction between suits. The only time the suits come into play is when two players have the same low card and who acts first is determined by the suit of their card. The order of suits in 5 Card Stud Poker is Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs – with Clubs being the lowest. Therefore if two players have a pair of Kings, the next highest card (the “kicker”) will decide the winner. If two players have identically valued straights (ie 6,7,8,9,T), the pot is split between the two players.
5 Card Stud Strategy
With only one card dealt face down, it is easier in 5 Card Stud Poker to calculate your odds, your pot odds and your implied odds. Further help is offered by the way in which players with low-value open cards bet; enabling you to assume that they have hit a pair or, at the very least, have got a high-value card that beats the other open cards on show. Most players will fold to aggression after the third card has been dealt if they do not have the minimum of a pair or three cards to a straight flush with no obstacles to the draw open on the table.
You can often use other player´s betting and folding tendencies to your advantage in 5 Card Stud Poker because it is such a quick game. At some online poker tables, you can see more than eighty hands an hour being played. This can be very expensive for the player who limps in to every third round of betting, but potentially lucrative for the player who identifies this trait and out-bets him to steal the pot.