Stud Poker

It might not be the most glamorous version of the game, but Stud is still a hugely popular variant across many parts of the US. Indeed, while online poker sites in America might not spread as much Stud as some would like, the game is still the number one home game for recreational players in the USA.

The Basics of Stud Poker

Stud PokerSo, how do you play Stud Poker?

Stud poker, either five or the more common seven-card variety, is a game in which you’re dealt three (two in Five Card Stud) starting cards and are required to make the best five-card hand. If you decide that your initial three cards are worth playing then you are required to put some money into the pot, either in the form of a call or a raise.

Once you’ve made the decision to play you will be dealt another card by the dealer. Once again a betting round occurs and if you decided not to fold the action moves onto the next street. This dynamic continues until the set number of cards for the game – which is usually seven – have been dealt and the remaining players go to a showdown.

As with all forms of poker a showdown isn’t necessary for a win to occur; indeed, if all the other players fold before you do then you’ll win the pot. In Stud Poker, though, it’s often the case that at least two players will reach a showdown and the pot will be awarded to the player with the strongest hand.

One of the biggest things to consider when playing Stud Poker is the cards you’ve seen.

When everyone is dealt their first three cards, two are face down while the final card is placed face up. All subsequent cards, except for the last card, are dealt face up which means that it’s important to keep track of which ones have been folded. Indeed, by knowing this, you’ll have a better idea of which cards are left in the deck that can improve your holding.

Stud Poker is one of the oldest variants of the game, and one of the most popular in the United States, as well as being one that provides a solid basis for many other variants. Indeed, the closest link is with Texas Hold’em and if you can master one then you’ll find it relatively easy to prosper in the other.

Five Things You Need to Know About Stud Poker when you play at our top online poker sites in the US:

  1. Players are dealt between five and seven hole cards.
  2. No community cards are used in Stud Poker.
  3. A mixture of face down and face up cards are dealt in Stud Poker.
  4. Remembering the face up cards a player has folded in important in Stud Poker.
  5. Stud Poker can be played with a limit, pot limit or no limit format.

Types of Stud Poker:

stud-pokerAlthough we’ve used Stud Poker as a general term throughout our guide so far, the realty of the situation is that the game has a number of variants. Although Seven Card Stud is by far the most common, you can also enjoy the following offshoots of this game when you play at a USA online poker site:

Six Card Stud: Six-card stud is played in an identical way to seven-card stud; the only difference is that the last face-up round is removed (thus, it is two down, three up, one down). It can also be played as 1-4-1, where the first betting round occurs after only two cards are dealt (one down and one up).
Razz: This form of stud poker that is normally played for ace-to-five low (lowball poker). The object of Razz is to make the lowest possible five-card hand from the seven cards you are dealt. In Razz, straights and flushes do not count and aces are counted as a low card.
Stud High-Low Eight-or-Better: Also known as stud eight, eight or better is the most common form of high-low split stud. The game works in the same way as seven-card stud, but the pot is split between the player with the highest hand and the player with the lowest hand (using the ace-to-five low values). An 8-high hand or lower is required to win low.

Biggest Winners in Stud Poker History

Biggest WinnersBecause Stud Poker is seldom played at United States online sites in the modern day, we have to look at the tournament world to find some of the biggest winners in history. Of course, Stud Poker hands will have given some mixed game players a lot of profit in the past, but few will have won as much as the following list of WSOP Stud Champions:

  • Joe Awada (2004) – $221,000
  • Jan Sorensen (2005) – $293,275
  • Benjamin Lin (2006) – $256,260
  • Chris Reslock (2007) – $258,453
  • Eric Brooks (2008) – $415,856
  • Freddie Ellis (2009) – $373,751
  • Men Nguyen (2010) – $394,807
  • Bertrand Grospellier (2011) – $331,639
  • John Monette (2012) – $190,826
  • Mike Matusow (2013) – $266,503
  • Matt Grapenthien (2014) – $268,473

Play Stud Poker At The Top US Poker Sites

Now that you understand Stud poker (and now that you know there’s a lot of money to be made) give it a go at your next home game. Or play online. Many of the top US poker sites offer Stud poker games in addition to Hold’em. You’ll find cash games, tournaments, SnGs, and more. Just take a look at our recommended poker sites on the left side of this page. We’ve reviewed the top US poker sites so you can enjoy Stud poker in just a few clicks.

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