Five-Card Stud Rules

Five-Card Stud poker is similar to Seven-Card Stud in that it uses the same poker hand hierarchy and ways of betting, although with five instead of seven cards dealt to each player.

Because only five cards are dealt to each player, high winning hands – like flushes and straights – are less likely than in other poker games. Another major consideration is that four of your five cards will be visible to all players after the last round. This means that there’s little opportunity for bluffing and it’s best to fold, unless your hold card is really likely to transform your hand into a winning one.

Five-Card Stud can be played by between two and ten players. A higher winning hand is usually needed when there are more players at the table.


Before any cards are dealt, each player is required to place a small wager, referred to as an “ante.” This has the effect of seeding the pot, ensuring that play is exciting even in early rounds.

Rounds in Five-Card Stud Rules

The dealer shuffles a pack thoroughly and passes it to another player to cut. An initial card is then dealt face-down to each player, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. A face-down card – one that a player doesn’t expose – is commonly called a “hole card”. A second card is then dealt, this time face up. Betting begins with the player who receives the highest-ranking face-up (or “showing”) card. Other players have the option to match the bet, raise it, or fold.

A third card is dealt face up to each player who has not folded. The player with the highest hand showing starts this round’s betting. Players have the same choices – to call, raise, or fold.

A fourth face-up card is dealt and a similar betting round takes place.

The fifth and final card is dealt face up to each remaining player, and a final round of betting is held.

Showdowns in Five-Card Stud Rules

If all players but one fold, the remaining player is declared the winner and is not required to show their hole card.

If more than one player remains at the completion of all the betting, the players must reveal their hole cards and declare their hands. Whoever has the highest poker hand wins the game and the pot.

For details on different forms of Five-Card Stud, see Five-Card Stud variations.